Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm going to run out of steam

I've been thinking a lot about this whole "having limits" thing.  What does it actually mean?  Does it mean that I have pushed myself so far that I end up in a hospital?  I'm not sure if something is going to have to go wrong internally or if someone is going to over rule me on putting me in a psych hospital some day.  I suspect that part of the reason I put off finding a therapist last year until I did was because I had to get past the lowest point on my own because a professional would have made different choices.

What life am I choosing and how do I want to live it?  I wanted to give the money to Occupy and be done with it.  I knew I didn't have extra spoons.  Instead I was asked to invest in a company that exists to support a community I am only kind of attached to any more.  And now I am a business owner.  And now I have Responsibilities.  And simultaneously I have also discovered that I was inappropriately depending on help from some sources.

Lately Shanna is increasingly cranky.  Some of it is her age and normal development.  A lot of it is me.  I can see my facial expressions and I can hear my tone of voice.  I am teaching her to be an angry person.  I am teaching her that life is overwhelming and not something that can be done to ones satisfaction.  I am teaching her that life is a series of failures and let-downs to be bitter about.  On one hand, not everything works out and learning to roll with that is part of life.

I don't think that I can truly be accused of not coping with the things life throws at me.  I do it.  But I'm not a nice person.  When people promise me things and then don't deliver I am so angry I can't function any more.  Part of that is I am over-scheduled and over-promised as well.  When someone lets me down I have to either suck it up and find a way to do even more with less or I have to let someone else down.  A large number of my biggest fuck ups in life have happened because I was terrified of letting someone else down.

My children are 17 months old and 3.5 years old.  They must be supervised 24 hours a day.  When I am trying to figure out what I can accomplish in a day the very first thing I have to account for is watching my children.  Once again it is me and Noah.  Noah is working from home one day a week now so that I can continue to see my therapist.  That means he is down to being unavailable for ~55 hours/week.  That is better than it was.  If I am going to go anywhere during any of that time I have to pay someone to watch my children.  I don't have enough money in the budget to pay for a date night with my husband once a week.  I am sure as shit not going to pay a babysitter so I can go work for free.  I can't.  That's a hobby I can't afford.

Because of how much our income has been reduced my driving is severely curtailed.  I get to put about a tank and a half of gas in the van every month.  That's it.  And my kids deserve to still go to homeschooling activities.  Sorry, that's basically all of my gas money.

I get $100/month to spend on all of my personal entertainment.  My extra commuting money comes out of that and means I don't get to do anything fun.  This fund also has to buy my running shoes and running bra (that I still don't have).

I have less than two hours a day where the children are guaranteed to be ok-to-ignore.  That's only if they nap at the same time.  That happens most week days, but certainly not all and Shanna is trying hard to drop naps entirely and Calli really wishes I would move the start time of nap-time up by 2 hours.  But then I would be in the house having to keep kids (alternately) quiet for four hours and never get five minutes off.

I am of the opinion that my children are rather freakishly independent and able to entertain themselves.    Unfortunately Shanna's favorite game is still, "Let's dump every drawer, shelf, item of bedding, toys, and anything else I can find all over the floor!"  She has been a force of destruction all day every day since she attained mobility.  I refold every item of clothing in their room multiple times a week.  Often multiple times a day.  Now that Sarah has moved out I think I am going to give them a sleeping room and a play room.  The sleeping room will have about five toys in it so that during quiet time Shanna can't rip them all out.  Her clothes can go in a different damn room.

During the day I have to deal with the fact that if I am absorbed in something I am doing (delete details I am not allowed to give in public about something very hard to learn that requires a lot of training, education, and higher learning thinking) Shanna is probably going to decide that when she pees she wants to use the little potty.  And she wants to be helpful and dump it into the toilet herself.  In the process she sprays half of the god damn bathroom with pee.  Do you think this is an isolated incident? Oh god no.  It's worse when she shits.

You have to supervise children.  You can't ignore them to go do adult things at these ages.  You just can't.  It's not ok to do.  They get into trouble.  And when they get into trouble guess what happens?  I get angry.  And then inevitably I say something I shouldn't.  I don't name call.  But I'm louder and fiercer and more blaming than is appropriate.  "It's your fault I have to do ________ and I don't want to."  Whereas it's true that I wouldn't be doing whatever I was doing if not for her making the mess the blame is on me for not supervising my freaking three year old.

I can't have so many adult things requiring a lot of my time and attention.  It doesn't work.  I know it is the modern way that people have to be multi-tasking at all times but multi-tasking means I do everything badly.  I have to supervise my children.

And the second most important priority in my life has to be sleep.  If I don't sleep I get physically ill and my emotional problems go through the roof.  The single most important piece of holding my mental health together going forward is probably going to be sleep.  Not sleeping makes me crazy and suicidal.  The strain of feeling that way makes me incredibly difficult to live with.  I'm quite sorry I wake up as early in the morning as I do.  I would give just about anything to change that, but I can't.  If I go to bed at 8pm I get enough sleep.  That is just how my life has to be for a while until my body decides to allow this to change.

Those are some pretty big limits to have in this life.  If I was more able to deal with sleep disruption or change my sleep schedule I would have a lot more options.  But I really and truly can't.  This is the make or break of me getting to be sane.  No one can ask me to give that up.

That does still leave me some wiggle room.  Not a lot, but a little.  I could start using Noah-home time for business related stuff that I can do from home.  There is a fair bit of that.  I am not going to give up the marathon training, but that doesn't use up that much time yet.  I'm not happy about it.  I think I shouldn't.

I wanted to donate the money to a cause I believed in not get tied to something that was going to steal what little down time I have.  I'm not sure how this is going to work.  But I think I am going to have to push really hard and really fast for limits on what I am giving.  We need to find a way that will make it work or walk away.  I'm not killing myself for a business I can't set foot in because I am stupid enough to be a breeder.

I don't want to be angry at my children because they need my attention.  And I don't want to be doing tag team parenting so that I can go put in more work for someone else.  That's not something I can support right now.  I'm not getting anything other than the knowledge that other people get to enjoy it. Fuck that.

I'm not being effective.  I'm spinning my wheels and focusing on the wrong things.  I'm not thinking like Sebastian here.  I'm acting like my time doesn't need to be treated as valuable.  That's really not an approach to life that is going to work for me long term.

Keeping this business would mean giving up writing.  There just isn't enough time in the day for me to do both.  I'm not going to do that.  I think that's another limit.  If something is going to cut in on my time to such a degree that I can't write... I should strongly consider just not having it in my life.  Writing is how I find my way through this life.  I decide things and think things while I am writing.  I can't do the same thing any other way.

When I am going through the day working I can't finish my thoughts.  I can't make connections.  I have to be in the moment responding constantly.  I have to have time to finish my thoughts or I feel increasingly angry all the time.  I am not going to get much socializing out of this business experience. I'm not going up there to schmooze I'm going up there because we need someone to fucking wash dishes and we can't pay people right now.  And the smell of coffee makes me want to vomit.  I'm not going to learn how to barista.  Having to wash the dishes is disgusting enough.

I gave the money to this company because I was willing to walk out front and dump the pile of money on the ground and light it on fire if I thought that would do something in the world I cared about.  That doesn't mean I have the energy to go get a job.  I don't.  That's a big difference.  Ok.  I've been negotiating wrong so far.  I need to change my approach if I am going to get what I want.  It's time to go inside.  Noah is going to work soon.

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