Journal, May 19: The Rub

as an idealist, a dreamer, a writer + imaginer of worlds, i find my current situation deplorable. i have, in my practical, midwestern way, managed the shit out of this household in a way that would stupefy maria montessori. she found ways to enable small children to do everything; i copied her when my kids were small. now my kids have to move a coffee press + stack of linens to find their bentos when they’re packing lunch. nobody knows where things are or go, so it’s hard to put them away.

“lazy” – the word i mentally assigned to everyone in this house except me.

but. in a covid control frenzy, i reassigned all menial tasks to myself while balking and complaining all the way. why?!? i needed A THING TO DO in the naked swathes of time, a bounty i’d never foreseen + felt too stunned by to use properly. i dropped everything. i worried + bought things + followed the news. i played boggle on my phone + texted for hours. george + i spent his lunch breaks on ridiculous projections we read – no wonder the kids gave up walking with us! add in election + presidential “news” + we could spend allllllll day on it. what a fucking waste!

i mourn this space of time in which, i now realize, i was frozen.

i’ve always felt admirably calm in crises. trained in first aid + cpr, i handled my own kid’s ER trips with urgency + an unruffled air, despite pooling blood or a backward arm. but how i fell apart then – both slowly depleting as i read read read plus the immediate surfeit of fear + dread – felt new. sorrowful. and its been difficult to creep back from its many edges.

i am trying to realign now. i am not depressed, but i am raw, aghast at things not going my way even the slightest bit. living at the stress point for so long has taken a toll + one thing that’s gone is my trust. unlike before, i do not think my kids can cope with the world off-screen. i don’t feel chipper about all our sacred time together. in fact, i’m angry about what we’ve lost + how much + how long we’re going to pay for this + how little actual freedom was left to us then + how little more we need now. i cannot BE this soft, naked version of myself forever. something about “bootstraps” + “big girl panties” that still rolls in my brain. i keep moving, doing, ignoring it all loudly, but it’s all here, waiting for me. these 25 minutes of calm evoked the unfurling mass – always hungry + angry together. all it needs: a feeding of quiet. unspent anger, i guess, maybe stuck, maybe misdirected.

if i am not myself, how can i model anything for my kids? how can i trust them, me? i need to start carving myself a larger space, more room, more quiet + contemplative time. unwind this rage +, yeah, let it burn. i want something real in its place, + something i made.

stop. BE. heal. or at least i am hopeful of this progression.

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