Thursday, February 9, 2012

Where I Am.

This week has been shit.
My spirits are down, I've had more than my share of emotional breakdowns, and I am stuck between allowing myself to wallow in ridiculous time-sucks like self pity and trying to snap out of it already.

I'm ready for the weekend. Ready to throw myself into some of the work we've started that's been on hiatus. Darrick has state wrestling championships this weekend, so in his absence I have some big plans. Taking the kids to the park. Grocery shopping and meal planning. Brainstorming a possible kitchen remodel that would involve moving some counters and creating an island. Finally finishing flooring transitions and caulking the foundation downstairs. Building up the bathroom cabinets to the proper height. Buying paint, choosing tile, and putting greenboard in the shower surround so we can tile the wall.

Look, I know how that sounds. My life is lame, right? My weekend plans include building things and planning meals and paint...and I'm looking forward to these things? What have I become?!?

The truth is, there are some times in my life when I need to bury myself elbow-deep in work. Not the sitting-in-the-office-with-a-to-do-list kind of work, but the there's-paint-in-my-hair-and-stain-on-my-elbows-and-hand-me-the-drill-please work. My husband likes to tease that if he wants a clean kitchen, he just needs to irritate me a bit. And it's true. The monotony of cleaning and cooking and sunshine and hard work soothes my soul. There's something about honest work that gives my brain the freedom to sort through the issues I normally try to stuff behind the couch and ignore. And there's something even better about stepping away from a Saturday of hard work and knowing that my mind is clear and my house looks better.

I've been buried under stress lately, firing off responses to flagged emails 20 minutes after I was supposed to leave the office and crying to Luca's preschool teacher (true - and humiliating - story) and  holding back tears over things that would normally not even phase me. My life is at a weird point right now where I don't feel like I know where I'm headed next. There are big decisions on the horizon for me and for us as a family, and all of them have the potential to be amazing and make our lives even better. Not one of them is bad, but the anxiety of making scary new decisions and the uncertainty over what the right choice is cause me to panic. I want to take a week to lay under a blanket on the couch and watch every sappy romantic comedy and crappy show on my DVR possible. I want to tear out kitchen cabinets and appliances and spend hours sanding and cutting and staining and painting. I don't know what I want.

What I am trying to do is this: channel that mindless distraction that leads to mental clarity and which I now get from things like washing and hanging all the laundry and putting it away in perfect ROYGBIV order into running. Write a to-do list to rival all to-do lists and check off every last item, one by one. Purge and clean and organize, in hopes that organizing my home will lend order to my mind and my life. Save money. Enjoy long mornings at the park, watching my kids hold hands in a sea of other kids. Eat slices of fresh, sweet oranges picked from my mom's orange trees.

My brain is all over the place. This weekend, my goal is direction and clarity. I am going to check off items on my to-do list and find time to make popcorn and hot chocolate and watch movies cuddled under a blanket with my family.

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