Eating chocolate babka
over the sink with my fingers,
the day violated me,
pinched my every nerve raw
with the constant need of me
to be all things
to all people.
It doesn’t matter that
it is all in my head.
I yell at my daughter to go to bed,
and stain the dish towel
when I wipe the chocolate
and cinnamon pastry from my hands.
A while back I wrote a post on a few apps I use on my smart phone to help me with my endeavor towards mindfulness. One of these apps is called Transform. It gives you a quote and then a little learning lesson from Cheri Huber for the day. Today’s ‘transformation’ was particularly appropriate for me this week.
The quote: “If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster.” (Clint Eastwood)
The instruction: “Notice how you confuse expectation and assumption with what is and become upset if life isn’t the way you think it should be.” (Cheri Huber)
I’ve been on staycation this week. I was desperately needing a break from work, and looking forward to a little down time, relaxation, and some opportunity for self care. In my mind, this looked like getting spa treatments, going to stare at the ocean for hours on end on a glorious sunny day, taking myself out to a solitary lunch, catching up on my DVR’d programs on the couch in between naps, and writing some poetry.
In reality, I have two children, one of whom started first grade this week and has a rough time with transitions of any nature. In reality, when I am home from work there are gritty floors that still need cleaning, heaps of laundry that still need washing, and meals that still need cooking. In reality, my daughter still wakes up at 5:30 every morning.
In addition to the ups and downs with my family, the weather has been chilly and glum, and the Department of Public Works is doing a huge construction job right outside my house, so there are jack hammers going off for hours on end. So much for my rosy vision of relaxation.
I’ve been pretty pissy and frustrated this week because life hasn’t been the way I thought it should be.
It has been a non stop search for that tiny cave of solitude which I can never seen to find. I would love to tell you that in my free time this week I was really looking forward to spending some extra QT with my family, but the truth is that I just want to be alone. As an introvert, my greatest need in life is just to be by myself. I am touched out, burnt out, and tired out from being and interacting with people.
It isn’t because I’m a jerk, I swear. There is just something about being alone, not having to talk or be social that helps me to reset myself internally so that I can get back out into the world and engage.
Problem is, when you are a wife and mother, you don’t get a heck of a lot of time to yourself.
My expectations and assumptions for how this week was going down did not meet with how life really is. While this is not a huge revelation, it does help me to put my annoyance into perspective. I could berate myself for being so selfish to think that I deserved all that pampering, but I’m not going to. I’m going to recognize the thoughts and urges and allow them to pass like the many clouds in the sky this week.
So, here we are, and I’m going to have to renegotiate how I envision self care, because that single ticket to a deserted, tropical island is not coming anytime soon.