I am almost always behind in nearly everything I do, seemingly no matter how hard I try, so I’m not sure why I thought my blog would be any different… I have been working on several posts on varying topics over the summer, everything from buying our preschooler’s new car seat in May and his birthday in June to a trip to our preteen’s best female friend’s new home and an amusement park nearby there in July and how amazing he is in August… but mostly, I think I am just overthinking everything again…Case in point, we had a wonderful, albeit small and stressful, birthday party for Rohan this June, with just my cousin and closest friend attending with their significant others and children, but as I have not finished writing and ‘perfecting’ the piece even nearly 6 months later, though I have continued to write as I am able, I have refused to post anything else before the birthday piece.
I have all these grand ideas for posts, many just as long or longer than my current few, however with those comes tedious proofreading/fact-checking/editing sessions to ensure that every sentence sounds exactly the way I’d like (though it never quite does). This process has left me many times wanting to share something small such as a great deal on a homeschool supply we found or a new skill that Rohan learned, with so many ‘back’ articles waiting in the wings that I want to post first though, and in order, it is also blocking myself from sharing nearly as much as I’d like to here. Not to mention how many times I have put off doing a special project or fun activity with my family because I want to share when it happens, not weeks or months later…
Since my minimalism post, I haven’t done much of anything on my home… I wish I could be posting that I cleared one entire room or that my oldest son finally has only his own belongings in his bedroom but in all honesty, I am surprised I was able to get done even a fraction of what I did given how badly my fibromyalgia has been effecting me this year… (and much of that progress was thanks to Shawn’s help…) The pain is something that can stop me in my tracks in an instant, a constant psychological assault both in knowing that the pain will never stop, that I can’t ever get a break, and in the severe “fibro fog” that results in the memory and comprehension issues that make me feel so *incredibly* stupid. If I had to say what the worst part of having invisible disabilities was though, it would have to be the judgement I receive. People look at me and cannot *see* anything wrong with me which leaves them with doubts about the severity of what I go through on a daily basis. Even my husband doesn’t truly understand because people don’t really want to hear how bad it really is, and yet, those people who see me a maximum of 10 days a year, most far, far less than even that, even strangers, somehow believe that they could possibly comprehend or worse, that they know better than I do myself… The thing is that I make the absolute best of the situations I am given, which means that on my “good” days I tend to burn the candle at both ends in an effort to make up for how guilty I feel about my off days, those days where I am not only stuck in my home but usually unable to do even the most basic of tasks… Hell, even showers are too much to handle on the worst of those days. I feel like my life is just passing me by, what should be the best years of my life, while I should feel young and vigorous, while I should be out doing the things I love, with the people I love, before I get old and my body fails me…and yet, instead I am often stuck at home, alone or with the only 3 people I ever see (excluding medical providers), wondering if this is how I feel at 32, how I am ever going to make it at 60 or 90?
Ever since our junkyard gem Gertrude’s alternator and battery died, I haven’t been able to visit anyone myself, nor get done nearly as much as I need to given how much longer and more effort it takes to walk, especially with Rohan, in comparison to driving. I was able to replace the battery when it happened as I had just gotten my very first secured credit card but not having enough for the alternator too once I realized it was both, and with Christmas coming just a few weeks before Shawn’s 13th birthday, whether we have money for gifts or not, we haven’t even been able to set anything aside to fix it later, meaning another Maine winter having to walk with my young child… I really hate that a few hundred dollars can completely sideline us for months!
I had been feeling particularly good about how well things were going just before this all started, I’d even made plans for dinner on my birthday and wanted (though didn’t expect) to have a small party that weekend as I haven’t had one in decades but when my van broke down, dinner was cancelled and I was depressed, angry and hurt that by the time my birthday came around it felt like I was an afterthought. I mean, Facebook told people it was my birthday, but if it hadn’t? I mean, no one off Facebook sent me any well wishes… I keep being told that people aren’t mind readers, so I have worked really hard to push past my anxiety, to say exactly what I want, what I need, or how I feel, for it to fall on deaf ears again and again… I want my boys to have family and friends around them whom they know love them, through time spent together, through interest in their lives, and we don’t have anyone like that… I mean, it took 2 1/2 months for the first text to show up, it’s been 3 weeks since then and I have yet to respond because I don’t know what to say, where to even start, and because I am hurt and I feel like no one understands. It breaks my heart that being gone for 3 months only warranted one timeline post, with no comments/reactions; a few chain letters, and a text. You know aside from the one essentially asking for money despite not having enough myself, and oddly my “best” friend finally writing to me after over a year, after I waited and waited for a reply before seeing on Facebook along with everyone else, that she had moved, just weeks after moving cross country, without a word to me, and still waiting before deciding I couldn’t do that dance again… and does she want to know how I am or how her Godson’s are doing? Does she want to say Hi or apologize for disappearing again? Nope, just wants to know if I can give her/find her “everything and anything” for a baby due less than a week later… and I was the first person she thought of for that… without any explanation/story as to what happened or where she is in her life otherwise… that’s it, that’s everything I am worth to everyone I know… (Although I do have to add, strangely enough, that does finally make perfect sense as to why I had felt like I was pregnant for the past 7+ months despite multiple negative pregnancy tests, to the point that I posted on Facebook trying to find out who was because that had only ever happened once before…with her…)
Is it so much to ask for a real life friend or two? Ones who you go out for coffee with, maybe dye each other’s hair (though I’m not great at it lol), friends who come over (or invite you) for dinner or to visit, who show up for birthday and holiday parties, or even just because they want to see you, someone close enough to be called “Aunt” or “Uncle” despite not really being related… I feel like Facebook has changed our definition of what it means to be called friends, and not necessarily for the better… I feel like I have many acquaintances (who absolutely have a place in my life) and several who I would like to call friends but whom I am not sure feel the same way… I am looking for friends who you talk to often and about anything and everything, who confide in each other, who support you in the ways you choose to live your life even if it differs from their own and who sometimes tells you the truth whether you want to hear it or not, friends who truly love each other like family, maybe even closer since friends are supposed to be the family you choose. I’d like to think of myself as that kind of friend. That’s not to say that online only friendships aren’t real, on the contrary, most of my social contacts are people I met online and have never met in person and several of them I am particularly fond of and would be thrilled to meet one day and whom I would love to be that friend for if we lived close by each other. My internal conflict is that I don’t know that any of them feel the same as I do. I kind of feel like I could fall off the Earth and no one but my husband and kids would notice, I’m not a significant part of anyone else’s life, which is an extremely depressing thought…
As I have been told on numerous occasions that I am too negative, I have begun to attempt to find the silver lining in every situation. So as to not have all this depress you as well, the silver lining here is that over the past 3 months without the distraction that Facebook had become in a failed attempt to make and keep social connection, I have been able instead to focus on putting together plans for where I would like to take this blog, as well as determine exactly what I want out of life and for my children. Hopefully, I can put those together in a way that allows me to get this blog to where I always imagined. If I can be honest for a minute, I am so excited… and terrified that I have somehow piqued the interest of a handful of strangers, enough so to follow me; especially considering I never imagined my blog would actually go beyond my friends list no matter how much I hoped it would be successful…
Honestly, with the exception of a couple who left comments, I do not know whether anyone is even reading any of what I write but I do know that I have a lot to say even if no one ever sees it and whether it’s “perfect” or not shouldn’t come above sharing my life story. Therefore, while I will be going back to add the back posts at some point in the future, I am no longer going to force myself to wait, or not share a “smaller” thing simply because I haven’t told you about the “bigger” things yet.
I am still working on figuring out how to make this all work, which is actually more about my anxiety than the blogging itself (though I am definitely in need of a tutorial or two!); at least in the beginning I imagined myself surrounded by people close to me, or at least people I already knew & had spoken with, but it’s totally okay with me now that that’s not the case. It’s taken me a while but I feel I am finally there and open to sharing my life with all of you.
Therefore, I am giving myself the challenge of writing/posting something every day until Shawn’s birthday, January 18th. This would be a challenge for me anytime of the year but for many reasons, this is one of, if not the most difficult times of year for me with Thanksgiving through Christmas being particularly onerous. As I wrote that, again my mind went completely blank, in a trance like state that I find myself in often, a sort of self-preservation mechanism I believe, in that it happens whenever I start to think about anything that… again blank, any bad things, any unhappy things that have happened in my life or the lives of my loved ones. Perhaps I will share some of those stories here in the future as we get to know each other better, … perhaps not, but for the next few weeks there will be something here every day. I can guarantee it will not be nearly as thought out as my current articles but here are just a couple of the smaller things I’ve wanted to share over the past few months:
This calendar was the only one available in this style on a school supply trip to Walmart. It was listed at 19.99 and covered in scratches/gouges so I hoped maybe someone could do something about the price. I went to ask the closest worker, she could only do $2 off, a 10% maximum, so she assured me that her manager could do better and called one over to us who looked it over and asked “Is $10 okay?” I was thrilled and they offered to check us out in electronics to avoid having to call anyone else. I was so excited to install it in our homeschool corner and once I figured out what the instructions were saying, I was able to put it up myself. We’ve used it for 4 months now and it’s great! About the only complaint I have is the tray which is ridiculously designed to “stay in place” by aligning the edges, and gravity but it fails miserably… if you touch it in the slightest, it pops off and *tink-tink, tink* hits the floor. Enter my go to solution, duct tape for the win
I’ve wanted an easel for years, since I was 4, In Mrs. H’s kindergarten class where I got to paint on one for the first time; but with even basic models at my local office supply store running for $100-150+, it definitely hasn’t been a priority. Upon finding an easel on clearance for $45 I nearly purchased it, knowing I will likely never see that price drop again. After discovering that the cheapest easel pad was $17, I decided that I couldn’t afford both and since there was no point in owning an easel with no paper yet still needing the paper itself for a project, carefully set the huge pad of paper on top of my stroller, purchased it and headed home. After some thought, I changed our corner around a bit, creating an easel area by drawing a level line on the wall and driving 4 nails to hold up the easel pad. Finally, I threw a few nails in a paint stirrer over the top edge to prevent it from coming away from the wall. It’s totally ghetto and I will be coming up with a better solution eventually but for now, it works and that’s what’s important
I finally made a decision about what to do next to give myself the most progress possible on my home over the winter. I emptied the laundry room of everything except the clothes hanging on the rods and the two shelving units an old group mate gifted me at my last yard sale with them. I went through all the hanging clothes again to be sure we wanted each and every single item up there before moving Shawn’s clothes to his bedroom closet. I sorted what the rest of us use and put everything we can’t use during the winter i.e. shorts, either in a box or on the rear rod; everything else that made the cut was hung by type/owner on the front rod.
All of the clothes that were on the shelving units got brought to the living room after the boys cleaned up the toys and such and I vacuumed the carpet. I pulled out anything that could be worn now and put them in the hamper. Most of what was there was Shawn’s hand me down’s for Rohan which are still too big. Those got labeled and Shawn helped put them back on the shelf next to the dryer. On the shelf in behind, we put all the boxes (except for the tent tote) from the living room that I had already sorted through. I put everything we aren’t keeping in boxes and Shawn brought them to the basement (where our landlord gave us space to store things) with plans for one final yard sale as soon as I’ve finished sorting through each box in my home. We already have quite a bit down there but it’s nothing compared to what will hopefully be down there by my birthday. I am determined to be rid of this chapter of my life once and for all, as soon as I possibly can work my way through everything. With plans to find some way to purchase a home of our own by my birthday 2020, this has to be one of the first steps, (along with repairing my credit which I am doing amazingly at btw! If I do say so myself 😉 ) in order to truly have the home of our dreams.
I have been messy my entire life, not knowing how to deal with it, nor teach me how to properly handle my messy tendencies, (it required a professional so this is not a dig on my mother, she did the best she knew how) my mother would wait until I was at school or sleeping at a friend’s house to “clean” my room which basically meant, I imagine, walking through with the garbage bag that she threatened me with so often, grabbing many cherished possessions along with the “junk” and threw it out. Everything else was “organized” though I could never find what I wanted, whether it was gone completely or just “put away” was to be determined later, if at all… I was very overwhelmed, as I am now, and it’s made especially worse having come to know myself in that very important things, family heirlooms for example could be in the same box as dirty socks, a few books, and a half dozen unmated shoes. That’s why I have to carefully go through each and every box/bag/tote (I even found all our old laundry baskets while going through things, I thought they were gone but they were just holding random belongings) and even flip through pages of books to make sure I don’t miss anything (I found this drawing in an old dictionary, check out the definition for “multitasking”)
You’d likely be very surprised to learn that it has actually taken me years of therapy to get to where I am today, this is actually far, far improved over where I was 5-8 years ago, my worst period, and yet, that doesn’t make me feel even remotely better about the ridiculousness that is my “home”. It is beyond depressing to live like this and yet, I can’t get out of it, no matter how many times I have cleaned my home, it slowly creeps back and takes over my life again. No more. This chapter ends in 2017, join me for my journey to a better life for me and my guys.
Usually I have a question at the end of these but today, I just want to say thank you to anyone who took time out of their day to read this, it means a great deal to me. Thank you.