When I sing I listen to my 'healing' playlist. Mostly women. Mostly at least semi-introspective music. Lots of relationship stuff. Lots of anger and lots of sadness. There are happy songs too. One of the main reasons I don't think I run very fast is because I can still sing along sorta pretty much the whole time. I pant the words out during sprints. Just like labor, I never lose the ability to talk. I keep hearing about how something doesn't qualify as heavy exercise unless you lose the ability to talk. I hear that serious labor inhibits the ability to talk. I never lost my ability to communicate. I don't get silent.
I used to. I used to experience everything scary or hard or painful as something that caused me to withdraw. Now the harder something is the louder I want to be while doing it. I just can't suffer in silence any more. This means that my neighbors look at me funny while I run around singing fairly loudly. I smile and wave. I decided that if I am going to run in a Cheshire Cat hat complete with ears I am required to be cheerful. People stare at me a lot. If I take the hat off and run with the super short hair they stare just as much. Early in the running I felt kind of defensive and weird. I doubt my facial expression was cheerful. People used to look at me warily. Now I run along singing, at about a normal conversation volume, and I smile and wave and interrupt myself to yell, "Hello! Nice night, isn't it?" Then I go back to singing loudly. Now people laugh and wave and answer me with some appropriate comment.
I think people dislike me because I project hostility so much of the time. Mostly people don't have an opinion of me. But I'm a polarizing figure! Whatever. Mostly people don't have an opinion of me. They don't care enough to have an opinion.
I'm not sure I can actually wrap my head around that.
Yeah, no. Can't do it. I have an opinion about everything and everyone. Only I don't actually. I think I'm lying again. I'm sitting here trying to force myself to have neutral thoughts. It's more difficult than one might think. If I look around my garage I can think that I don't have an opinion on the quality of most of the books (I share library space with people who have a lot of books I haven't read) but I have an opinion on how much room they take up and where they are stored. Is it a neutral impression? Well... if I see the book dropped somewhere else I will have very strong negative opinion about the book. So I think that all of them are just on the negative side of neutral for me which means I have an opinion.
Yeah. I don't think I can imagine what it is like to go through the world with actual apathy. Do you want to know the problem? The problem is that I have this weird little piece of me in the center and it decides if my opinions are positive or negative today. Pretty much across the board. Today I'm feeling hostile and pissy; I don't even know why. I could come up with candidates, but they aren't really big enough. I have too much good coming. I should be excited. At this time tomorrow I will be on an airport shuttle with Noah and we get three full days of no kids.
The running is hard. I'm tired. When I arrive back I am in high spirits. Then I crash the next day. It's fairly consistent. I am not explosively angry I am just kind of short in temper. Snippy. I feel bone weary exhaustion and the kids aren't happy unless I'm running with them. I really can't right now. I'm so tired. I'm not always. I won't feel like this all day. But it feels like the core of me is just barely on the negative, whiny side.
Noah is trying to express appreciation for me. For all the work I take off his plate. I hate feeling like it isn't enough. I don't feel appreciated. I don't feel valuable. I don't feel effective. I feel plodding and stupid. I feel like I am barely going through the motions. I feel like I'm looking at everything through a dense cloud bank. I feel like gravity is too heavy. I think that is what I feel. Gravity is too heavy. That makes it harder to do everything. I have to decide if it is worth the effort. I still haven't started packing. Not for us and not for Shanna. Shanna is getting picked up at two this afternoon. I should probably get started.
It doesn't help my overall feeling bad that last week Shanna was helping me with cleaning. I didn't like how nasty her tone was and her word choice in describing the activity. Do you know where she learned it? Watching me. I didn't say anything to her about it. She was just reflecting what she sees. But I've been thinking about it. I haven't described her toys as crap since. She doesn't have crap. She has high quality neat toys in a dizzying variety. It's really not crap.
I'm cheerful sometimes. I'm not sure why it is so hard right now. I'm grieving; I think that is part of it. Grieving for so many things. I'm more than half way through the first round of editing the book. I really don't want it to be an angry book. I want to tell the story in the most simple and direct way I can. I don't want to flail around and be angry forever. I just want to get it right. I want to have other people know the simple facts. I don't want to be alone with my story. It's scary. I can't handle being alone with it.
As I run I think about a lot of things. I think about the one who got away. Ha. I have several. I think about the many possibilities I had open throughout my life. I think of what choices I made and where. Which were the most important ones? Where was the tipping point?
I have the life I wanted. I really do. Why aren't I happier? Why is everything viewed in terms of me failing? How have I really failed? How am I bad? I'm not really engaging in questionable activity any more. I think this is as close to the center of the bell curve as I will ever be. I still feel bad. I still feel like I am bad. That's what makes everything just negative of center. Because I am. I can't help it. I was born bad. This is why I run as far and as fast as is safe for my body on a training schedule and I yell out the words to Born This Way.
I'm not bad. I have done a lot of things that other people don't do. That doesn't mean I am bad. The balance of my life is heavily skewed towards doing and being good. Why do I still feel so unworthy? I feel terribly unworthy. God knows I don't deserve Noah. He is far nicer than anyone like me deserves. In this mind frame I even know that he wasn't trying to cheat. He did act like a jerk, but good grief how much do I expect one man to put up with while never ever doing anything to retaliate? I deserve a good smack down now and then. I get too demanding and pushy and uppity.
I don't like it when I think this way. I know these thoughts are fleeting. I know this isn't how I always feel. It's how I feel today. I'm enjoying this part of growing older. I feel a lot more security around the fact that I won't feel this way forever. And I really do know that I have far more good than bad in my life.
Today my baby goes to her Godmamas. She is excited. She loves these visits. Recently she asked me if we will be together forever. I told her that depends on how we define it. I told her that we will always be together again but we won't do everything together all the time. Sometimes we will be in separate places but if she thinks about me real hard and knows she will see me again soon it's like being together at all times. We will always be together again very soon. She said that works for her.
Calli has changed dramatically recently and I don't talk about her in writing much. My experience of parenting her has been different. She needs me in very different ways. For the past few months she needs much more intense physical contact than she seemed to want when she was small. She is very serious and when things don't go how she wants she gets this stricken expression on her face. It's really pretty hilarious. I love watching her play with things. She looks like she thinks more like an engineer. She isn't a dilettante. She wants to sit and figure something out. That's not how her sister approached objects so it's neat to watch. She makes me understand how uncurious I am. She also makes me understand that I know so much more than I think I know. She holds things up and grunts at me. She wants me to explain. I always start at the most concrete level with name, color, size, that kind of stuff. Eventually I get to imaginative uses. It generally takes several options before I find the right one for her. Then she nods and runs away. I'm not sure if I have finally given her sufficient data or if I finally said the right word. I won't know until she can talk.
Calli is going to talk on a very different curve than Shanna. That's ok. It means that she feels much less there and I think I've been underestimating her for a while. Her comprehension is fairly astounding. I think she understands a lot more than she obeys. She is willfull. In a very different way than Shanna. If I try to prevent Shanna from getting what she wants she responds in a very wild, free-swinging way. She always has. Calli clenches her fist and shakes with fury. She may or may not release a few ear-drum-shattering shrieks but mostly she just looks like a bull about to charge. She doesn't swing out but she may lean over and bite. Calli is a runner. Letting her walk on her own is dangerous. She won't come back and she is going faster by the day. Shanna never went far from me and would come back when I called. This kid doesn't feel as strong of a leash to me.
Today I need to pack. I should probably go do that. Everything takes a really long time so I had best get moving. Any second now. Don't wanna.