Yesterday I had a weird realization. I read back a bit in my blog and I noticed that for all I discuss my mental state (obsessively, constantly) I say very little about my life. This was interesting to me to note as I also got to a place where I had to talk to Sarah about my plans for the yard. They are connected, bear with me.
I get up every morning and I look at the stats page here on blogger. I feel lame admitting that. I can tell which traffic sources are probably just spam and I sigh. But I look at the other ones. The numbers are growing. Every day I close my eyes and I smile and say thank you. Even though these people are not talking to me, even though they feel no motivation to contact me in any way... someone sees me. I'm not invisible. It's hard to admit how visceral and important that is to me.
How often do you call your mother? How much do you resent talking to her? I think about my mother every day. I think of the things I would like to tell her. I think of the off-hand comments I would like to make about my daughters because my mom would understand them. Most of the time I just bite my lip. I know that her responses would vary from completely on the same page to shaming and horrified. She has always reacted like that to me. I last spoke to my mother in May. It had been many months since the previous contact. I have barely spoken with her at all in twelve years.
What is my life actually like? I clean a lot. It's a lot of how I deal with my compulsive tendencies right now and given the ever-present terror of losing my children for being an unfit mother. I think I read MDC too long. I worry that if I have a basket of laundry sitting out I'm screwed. I read books to the kids. I play a lot of Lego's and blocks and Play Doh and I draw and I dig in sand. I haven't been gardening recently. Running has been taking most of my physical strength. I'm doing more of it than I post on facebook. I always want to put a smiley when I am being defensive and I have a firm commitment to myself that this journal will be smiley free. It's awkward relinquishing that desire to appear friendly.
I don't mean to be as harsh as I sound most of the time. I spend a lot of time apologizing for my tone and I worry about that, actually. I hate that I apologize for speaking so much. I speak quickly and directly, why is that so bad? I'm not attacking. I'm really not. I'm left feeling like there is nothing I can say that will be taken well so I should just shut up. It's not my favorite.
I'm glad that Sarah is here now. I'm not alone. I have had people ask me, when I'm discussing issues I have with Sarah, if Noah would allow me to make Sarah leave. I thought that was hilarious. Sarah is mine, not Noah's. I don't know what Sarah is to me, but she's mine. And that's that. I don't know what that is going to mean going forward. She has an awful lot of needs I can't and won't meet. Life is complicated. Right now we are just trying to raise these babies. We'll see what the future holds.
It is interesting that for me "closeness" is out of sight and out of mind with some people and not with others. I feel betrayed by the fact that people didn't make an effort to see me when I was a child. That I went all those lonely years without continual on-going relationships. I would meet people once or twice and then maybe never see them again. I barely saw my brother Jimmy. I rarely saw my father. Aunt Vonnie and Uncle Bob were weirdly intermittent, hell--so was my mom.
I have been sitting here working on my running schedule for two days. I am going to be ready for a marathon in October. Damnit. It's just a matter of making the schedule and then doing it. Once the schedule in place it's just fill-in-the-blank. This was part of teaching that I loved. I love knowing what I am going to do on so many days in the next year. I love that I don't have to wake up and decide. I'm going to make up another hidden calendar for housework. I'm going to start tracking it and schedule it more. If I have a schedule and I'm just keeping my schedule I don't feel resentful. If I have to look around the house and think, "Well what's a mess now?" I feel pissy. I feel angry. I feel god damn sick of cleaning up after these fucking people. When I'm just keeping my schedule and doing the job-of-being-me I don't mind. It's a mind-trick. It mostly works. Until I slack on my schedule and then I resent the schedule and then I stop following it and instead I am resentful of the housework. Cheers.
Life is what happens when you are killing time on your way to dying. Being suicidal means not wanting to kill the time anymore because it is so unpleasant. If you have something to do instead of killing time you are building something you feel proud of. I really did pay attention Mr. Frankl. Thank you for giving the world your insights. It's not just about building something like a building. What are you living for? What is your purpose? "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." That's from a picture on facebook. I don't know who actually made it and it's been reposted so many times I'm going to admit that I'm a lazy fuck and I don't know who started it.
There is such a high burden in conversation these days. Every single fucking thing you reference must have a citation. I don't think that we would have ended up with T.S. Eliot this way. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe I'll start a revolution. When I'm not trying to prove a specific point and instead I'm babbling I'm allowed to just say what is in my head without worrying about who said it first. Maybe I'll just start adding little things at the bottom of all posts: I plagiarize at will but since I make no money or fame off it I don't care. I won't bother. But I should.
What is my life like? Noah makes me breakfast most days. It feels really sweet. My kids climb on me and love me and scream at me (volume control is a few years away) and run around in circles around me. My life is quiet. My life is slow. I feel like I alternate between getting very little done in the greater-good-sense and periods of intense productivity where I remodel the house or do a bunch of yard work.
Now I have scheduled running into forever. It's time to start thinking about how I will balance my energy load. I am going to build a playhouse for She-Ra (we have capitulated to her requests) and Calli this month. It will be cute and little and very rough and rustic. Simple plans mean I can follow through. Excellent. It's time to break ground outside and start prepping for this year. I need to talk to Sarah. She is going to be doing starts in the house. I have no idea how much work I'm signing on for. But given that we can't spend any money, why the heck not? We can't go elsewhere and do stuff this year.
This is going to be a save money year. Even stuff like gas really is significant when we go anywhere. So it's time to stay closer to home for a while. We've been gallivanting a fair bit. I'm thinking about my financial goals for the year. I should say "our" and pretend this decision involves Noah and/or Sarah but I suppose that just means that this is my opinion and our actual household decision may or may not look like this.
Right now I have the budget set such that we can save $1470/month. It's not a very friendly budget but it does have perks and fun money in it. It's not oppressive by any measure. I would like for us to get to $2,000/month in saving. But that's where it starts feeling oppressive.
And it feels like every single day just involves more things we "should" buy. Why do I want to save this much money every month? Because it is stupid not to if we can. Because we didn't fund the college savings last year and that's really not ok. Because I didn't pay off DVC with the annuity fund and it needs to go away. Because we own a house and eventually we will have to do major repair work again and we have almost no buffer.
Really, if I save $24,000 next year this year it will be not even close to as much as I should have saved/paid off last year. I'm behind in my long-term goal reaching. Damnit. And it's because we had a really fabulous trip to Scotland, I gave away a lot of money, etc. It was a really expensive year. If I want to do the things I say I want to do long-term I need to stop bullshitting around and start doing them. The first step is to stop spending so much money. That means that we don't get to have everything we want. Far from. It means doing without things that might be convenient or nice because we don't need them. I will say as diplomatically as I can that Sarah and Noah tend towards "Let's throw money at this problem" in ways that give me hives. I love them both. We can't keep spending money and that means choosing to simply not think about the wide variety of under-$5-things that "could" make our life better. What makes our life better is not spending money. Really.
We want to have $100,000 per kid for college. We need to be saving a lot faster if we want to get there. We have fifteen years until we need to have most of that ready.
We want to travel the world for a year in less than ten years. We have to get ready.
We want to pay off a $19,000 loan this year so that we don't have to pay more interest on it.
We want to remodel this house some day, maybe. We have to do prodigious maintenance whether we like it or not. That's really expensive, every year.
We really need to save money.
But I was writing about my life, not future goals.
Right now my life is about going in and playing with the kids. Bye.