Friday, March 02, 2007

I'll just keep swimming, thank you

I pushed the big orange PUBLISH button yesterday and almost instantly regretted it. Does the world really need another “woe is me” post?

But truth be told, I really needed to write it. Those ideas have been clanking around in my cluttered brain for weeks and it did me good to air the place out a bit. Thank you for listening and taking me seriously. And thank you for giving me advice, encouragement and praise. How can I feel sorry for myself when I confess my deep dark chocolate-syrupy fridge secret and my family and friends still think I’m worth knowing?

And so, in the coming days, I will follow some of your good advice and also follow some of my own inclinations.

I will say no to anything new asked of me, unless it will bring more joy into my home.

I will sit for a few minutes and take deep breaths (and I promise not to sigh too loudly as I exhale).

I will pray.

I will go to church. Due to various sick kids, I have only gone once in the past month and that was when we were in Arizona. Actually I fully didn’t intend to go there either and I conveniently “forgot” to pack my skirt, gosh darn it. But then Ken suggested that we really should go. So on Saturday night when I had to run to the local Walmart for some milk anyway, I said, “If God wants me to attend church, he will provide the skirt. Otherwise, I’m off the hook.” Wouldn’t you know I’d find the perfect skirt. On clearance. For three bucks. Apparently, God does have a sense of humor. And he works small retail miracles in a pinch.

I will return The Journals of Sylvia Plath to the library where it belongs. Pronto. I checked it out thinking I needed it for “research” on my book. But I should know better. Sylvia’s dark cloud is very contagious. I do not need to listen to the macabre voices in her head. Just look where they got her.

I will step back and look at the big picture. I have much to be grateful for, much to embrace, much to enjoy.

I will spend some time with my Mom.

I will remember that I always get depressed at this time of year. I feel like Phil in Groundhog Day: There is NO way that this winter is EVER going to end.

I will pause for a moment and wait for my soul to catch up with me. Rabbi Harold Kushner tells this story:
I read once of a group of tourists on safari in Africa. They had hired several native porters to carry their supplies while they trekked. After three days, the porters told them that they would have to stop and rest for a day. They were not tired, they explained, but “we have walked too far too fast and now we must wait for our souls to catch up with us.”
I’ve been so busy lately that I’ve neglected my soul. I’m not even sure that a chicken with its head cut off has a soul.

I will not laugh at myself over the fact that I have essentially just written yet another To Do list.

I will go, right now, and pick up this baby who just woke up and is jabbering in her crib and I will squeeze her and kiss her and gobble her up.

I will come back to edit this post to say that when I went to get Nora, she had produced a total diaper blow-out, and despite her adorable “I’m SO happy to see you Mom cause I made you a present” expression, was a bit too, shall we say seasoned to be gobbled.

But it did make me laugh. So it’s all good.

13 comments:

An Ordinary Mom said...

It's so good to "see" you smiling again. Even if you still are juggling your 100 plates, you sound swimmingly today ... well at least compared to yesterday.

You can publish as many to do lists as you want - they are clever, funny and entertaining. I am glad you have hang out with you mom on your list. She seems like a gem. I wish I had some sort of family that lived closer.

Luisa Perkins said...

Hi! I found your blog through the 5 Minutes for Mom website. I'm the person who deleted the above comment; after I hit 'publish,' I realized I'd made a huge typo (note to self: try the 'preview' feature once in a while). Your blog is lovely. Thank you for sharing your 'woe is me' thoughts; it's nice to know I'm not the only one struggling at the moment. And trying to cope by making lists.

Kimberly said...

I think it's impossible not to regret, in some way, those posts that share a wee bit more than we intended.

But when realize that we're still loved and adored anyway? Well, it was worth the angst, wasn't it?

You can be certain that I was about to write something incredibly brilliant just now...but I smell a diaper explosion in the distance and need to dash.

Have fun happifying your life!

Andrea said...

Great ideas/ plan there. Thanks for your honesty and openness. It's nice to know everyone is real and has struggles even though they seem to have it all together.
Take care and enjoy your breathing in and out.

BooMama said...

Love.
your.
blog.

That's all.

:-)

Mom said...

Reading about Nora made me laugh, too.
Love,
Mom

Jane said...

Glad your feeling better. Returning Sylvia to the library is a good idea! The picture of your daughter is beautiful. I don't envy endless winters. I am so grateful for the increase in sunshine in my life. Vitamin D is a miracle.

Mary-LUE said...

Maybe you could have titled this, Just keep spinning. Ba da dum! But seriously folks...

Your list is like a personal mission statement. I think it is great and I will pray for your success at following it. Although my personal struggles have more to do with not giving myself too much permission to be a complete sloth, I understand the cathartic nature of your previous post. I wrote a couple of them in the last few days of 2006. :o

And the baby does look scrumptious... at least in the picture. The explosion story? Definitely too seasoned.

One last thing... Have you talked about your book here, that is any specifics? I'm curious as the the Plath connection. (Please feel free to tell me it's none of my business.)

scribbit said...

I tried to comment on your last post but Blogger was all wonky with the visual verifications and I gave up.

Glad you'll make it through, you have my sympathies and I have absolutely no words of wisdom to offer, but then I don't suppose that's what you were looking for anyway (I mean, who looks around and says, "I know what I need--more advice. I mean I just need someone to tell me what to do and everything will be great"? :)

Anyway, that picture of Nora looks just like you. As far as a picture comparision could say.

Heth said...

I loved your last post and I love this one too. Thanks for being honest about the chocolate syrup in your fridge, it's good to know I'm not the only one.

Jenni said...

Julie,
I just came across your blog recently and have been checking it now and then. After reading your post yesterday, I almost posted a comment, but decided you didn't need to hear what some stranger had to say. I should have posted it. I want to thank you now since I didn't yesterday. It was beautiful and it was something I needed to hear. Sometimes it really does help to hear (or read) someone express the thoughts in your own head that you've been hiding from. I loved the painting, too, and the meaning that you found in it for yourself. Don't you just feel that is such a gift when you can look at a work of art or read something and so identify with it that you *feel* it? Thank you for that giving me that gift yesterday and again today.

Sheela said...

beautiful. as always. keeps me coming back at least once a week. especially since you seem to say what's on my mind a lot, only, much more beautifully.

Ann Kroeker said...

Sigh.

So many thoughts going through my head from this post, but I'm going to point out a tiny little toss-in. Now, maybe I missed something in an earlier post, because I'm a little behind, but you wrote this:

"I checked it out thinking I needed it for 'research' on my book."

*Your* book? Are you writing something? A project? Hm? Hmm?

Or maybe I just need to work my way backwards for an explanation?