After the week we’ve had, I feel exhausted. And then I feel guilty for feeling exhausted because I have it a lot easier in life than most mothers in the world. And then I feel exhausted from the guilt. I just want someone to take care of ME for once, not the other way round.
I’m thinking that the blogging and Twitter worlds are a lot like being in the school playground, all over again. The popular kids ignore the new kids. The bullies pick fights. People take sides. Sometimes you just want to switch it all off.
I’m thinking how excited I am that I discovered a new poet, Mary Oliver, (thanks Tanya Kovarsky!) and that I can’t wait to dive further into Volume One of her New and Selected Poems.
I’m worrying about my vegetable garden. Things are dying and I hurt my back so I can’t weed and I’m so busy that I’m not spending any time taking care of it.
I’m trying to do too much and my body is telling me so. I’m trying to run a business. I’m trying to write a blog. I’m trying to grow a garden. I’m trying to look after a home. And keep in shape. And be a friend. And be a mother. And be a wife. And I’m thinking that perhaps my standards are just too high and that it’s time to lower them. Or stop trying to do it all.
I’m worried about schools. I’m not from Joburg. I have no idea where to send my children and also no clue if we’ll even get into some of the schools. It’s emotional and EVERYONE has an opinion and it’s exhausting.
I’m feeling crumbs in my bed, rubbing on the undersides of my arms as I type. Because in the morning when we’re half asleep and I pick Ben up from his cot and snuggle him into bed with us, I always have to give him a rusk to keep him quiet.
I’m thinking of how badly behaved my daughter was at the kids’ party we went to this afternoon and how, in those moments, I even disliked her a little bit. They don’t tell you that, when you bring children into the world, that sometimes you will feel this way. That although you will always love them, there are moments when you will not like them.
I’m listening to the silence of the house, broken only by an airplane flying overhead, a lone dog barking into the night, and crickets.
I’m wondering why I don’t really like dogs. EVERYONE likes dogs. And although I can see the cuteness and the companionship and all the other reasons people love them, it’s all in rather a distanced fashion, like a scientist would observe an experiment. And why does it seem that as soon as you’ve bought a house and popped out some kids, everyone wants you to get a dog? To complete the suburban picture of bliss? I’m feeling cynical tonight.
I’m wondering how it happened that suddenly this year I will be 35. That if I live to 70, I am half way through. And that I still don’t know what God I believe in or what will happen to me when I die.
Why don’t I feel like a grown up yet? Why don’t I have more of the answers by now, instead of more questions?
“…Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy,
and all the tricks my body knows —
the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps,
and the mind clicking and clicking —
don’t seem enough to carry me through this world
and I think: how I would like
to have wings —
blue ones —
ribbons of flame.”*
*Verse of a poem called “Spring Azures” © Mary Oliver, from New + Selected Poems Volume One
(Image from morguefile.com)