I am not as anxious as I was.
Work means I have less time for anxiety. In quiet moments, I suspect being home enhanced my anxiety. My anxiety lessened at part-time job and I have even less at full-time job.
There was a period of time when I was too anxious to work. I was too anxious even to volunteer at my customary rate. I was so anxious for a while, if it had not been for my children, I may not have been able to rise and put my feet on the floor every day. People said it sounded like depression, but I assure you, the only depressions I’ve ever had were causal and mild, never deep. I have felt the pang of despair a handful of times, and I do mean moments, fleeting. Something inside me rejects despair like an automatic response for “I am a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars” but also, a child of God, (my god, prolly not yours) and in that, I could feel my shame in having ever despaired, as I know good things are always coming and that I am here for reasons outside myself.
Hope has been bestowed upon me with such a heavy hand, I wonder if I didn’t get the hope other people were supposed to be given. Some glitch in the hope dispenser, maybe.
I seem to have received plenty of fret and melancholy to balance the hope, or vice versa.
Every time someone new comes to read this blog when I’m not at my glorious best, or when I’m crabby, I inevitably get maybe-well-meaning but definitely-rude commentary about how I should not put this out into the world, or how selfish I am, or how I’m not feeling the right thing — whatever. If you’ve stumbled upon me today as a new reader, I want you to go insert some rude shit here. I sure don’t believe you only feel the good feelings and no matter what happens, you’re always cheerful and positive and uplifting and giving, because if you were, then you wouldn’t leave maybe-well-meaning but definitely-rude comments on a stranger’s blog. Duh.
If that’s your brand of blogging, no thank you, I’m already on Twitter.
I’m keepin it real. I do try to spin the happy, I do. I measure my gratitude to offset the anxiety, but silver linings are found, not given.
“Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”
“I’m not gonna come home and cook big every night. And none of you are, either, so…”
“You know what? You’re fourteen. You can find the number to the pharmacy, call and ask them if your cream is in, then ask the cost. You can do that. Cause fourteen.”
“If I can’t get you there and me back before sundown, it ain’t happenin. Ask Daddy.”
“I need a fuckin day. I need one fuckin day. A day with no work, no laundry, no cooking, no shopping, no peopling, no surprise shit sprung on me.”
I acted like this had to be gifted to me, like it was out of my control. Careful with that.
I’m just a default setting, not a martyr. My family DOES do things to help. Now and again, my kids truly go out of their way to reset the default “Mama Does That” setting, and I am grateful.
I’m even more grateful that my husband actively seeks ways to lighten my load.
I am a person. A real person. A whole person. And if I am to stay whole, sane, well, I have to take care of me, too.
And that’s why Sundays are down days for me.
I work my ass off to make and keep my Sundays free of obligation. If I have to, I will shop every other day of the week, instead. If need be, I will run all the errands on Saturday. Sometimes, I’ll cook two dinners in one night, so someone else can reheat one on Sunday. There are Saturday nights where I do all the laundry so on Sunday, I don’t even have to do that.
I am a mature, generous, responsible person who makes as many commitments and meets as many expectations as I can, and I owe it to myself to find time for my pleasures, my comfort, my rest.
You know who gets that? My mother.
Behold the socks she sent me:
FEET UP, Amy!
Yesterday, I walked the dog and me, went to the vet, the McD’s drive-thru, the library, two grocery stores, and four retail shops. I cooked cod, rice pilaf, and asparagus. I tidied and vacuumed the entire house. I rotated laundry and put away clothes. I gave myself a pedicure. And at one o’clock this morning, I drove to school to collect my kid. Then I came home, took a shower, and went to bed.
Today, I get to sit here not doing things of the obligatory sort, all while wearing my favorite pajamas and my fabulous new socks!
I can be myself and still take good care of myself. For this, I only need my own permission. Give yourself permission to _________. Make it happen.