The View Through The Soda Straw

Myopia is a neat word, but a terrible condition. I know because I had it for many years, starting in elementary school. I could only see objects very close in front of me and everything else was just a colorful blur.  Glasses helped, but the blur bled through on the sides where there was no glass resulting in myopically good vision only in front of me. Contacts were better but sticking stuff in my eyes daily – or worse, sleeping in the contacts – was not particularly fun.  Then, in 2004, I had Lasik.  Angels sang, the heavens parted, and I could see the trees and the forest and the individual leaves.

Via Creative Commons

Via Creative Commons

While I can see everything clearly now, myopia is still ruling my life, only this time its of the metaphorical variety.  I realized recently that for some time now, I have not been able to see my forest for the trees of Little Miss, Rex, Mr. X, work, and household management.  I feel like I’ve been on a Sisyphean treadmill of laundry, dishes and poop control (dog, baby, pre-schooler or cat) and It. Will. Never. End.  Rex will never be potty trained.  Little Miss will never sleep through the night.  I will always be telling Mr. X to continue to look in the fridge for the cheese because yes! it is there! I will never be able to relax when I get home from work and enjoy 5 minutes of peace.  I will always be catering to someone else’s needs.

Intellectually, I know that this is not the case. Time will march on, hopefully magically depositing Rex’s poop in the toilet with it and encouraging Little Miss to snooze for at least 6-7 hours straight.  But, I can’t see into the future. I can’t see the light at the end of these tunnels. I cannot predict when these magical events will take place.  On the other hand, I can predict the next time I will have to empty the dishwasher (tomorrow morning), change a diaper (later tonight), or fold laundry (again, probably tomorrow morning).  I can see the very myopic view of the future and it looks a lot like the past days.

I want to see the bigger picture, though, because it helps me to appreciate the tedium of today.  I worked really, really hard to get this family and I want to enjoy these days that will never be here again.  I’m trying very hard to get the long view, to love every minute of this time because it will disappear.  Except that there is not an insignificant part of me that asks, “Do you promise?”

At any given time of the day when I reflect on these challenges, motivational slogans run through my head: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!”, “The days are long, but the years are short!”, “It won’t always be this way!”  Frankly, they just make it worse.  I want someone to say something more like, “Hard things are hard.”  Four words that recognize that sometimes life sucks the very marrow out of you and it’s ok to be tired, to maybe whine a smidge about the hardness of it all. Sure, many people have it a helluva lot worse than I do, but these are my challenges. They belong to me and I’m the one who has to live with them.

Maybe recognizing that I have been missing the bigger picture is step enough for now.  Frankly, between all of the potty training histrionics, sleep training failures and daily living, I’d just as soon focus on a big glass of wine at the end of the day.


The Madness of March

I honestly don’t know or remember how I made it through the month of March.  These past few years, March has been either very good or very bad for us.  This year, March was just BATSHIT INSANE.  I can’t think of a more polite or accurate way of putting it.  It was a perfect confluence of events and (literal) shitstorms that made the 744 hours that called March home nothing short of tornadic.

It started with the business trip during which you would think I would have been able to get five nights of blissful restorative sleep except that the bed was about as comfortable as marble. It ended with the final cleaning out of our old house in which our prolific hanger collection clung for dear life to the goddamn wire shelves in our master closet almost sending me into Faye Dunaway-esque fits of wire rage.

In between,  there was every kind of drama, large and small imaginable. Some highlights:

Little Miss had her first illness, a lovely combination of sinus infection and bronchiolitis with possible pneumonia, culminating into a three hour epic doctor’s appointment complete with a chest x-ray, breathing treatments and antibiotic shot to the thigh.  My usually sweet smiley girl was a hot, feverish and snotty mess who made a full recovery within 24 hours, as little ones are so easily able to do.

We got into heated negotiations with the seller of our new house over some furniture he had that we were willing to take off of his hands. It came down to a difference of $140 at which point, he offered to include with the furniture things like … old bricks to the house, floor mats in the garage and the manuals for the appliances.  Really.  We ended up taking his offer only because it also included the original blueprints to the house which we knew would come in handy when we went to renovate the architectural travesty that is the front of the house that he designed. We think the look on his face when he sees the changes will be well worth the $140.

We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with a beautiful dinner party for 20 of our closest friends at a gorgeous old restaurant in the French Quarter on a picturesquely beautiful New Orleans spring night. Except, Mr. X wasn’t there because he had come down with a terrible stomach bug the day before which he proceeded to give to me and his parents who were staying with us. May I never have to hear of my in-laws digestive troubles in such detail again.

The next – yes, the next – day, we celebrated Rex’s 3rd birthday with a windy race-car party of running 3 year olds and alcohol-wanting adults.  That night, I began to feel stomachly challenged and had to miss work the next day to lay on the couch while my in-laws begged for death in the guest bedroom and bathroom.  Oh, and the appraiser from the bank came around to do an appraisal on the house for the new buyer.

We packed, closed on the new house, moved, unpacked, cleaned the old house and closed on it in a space of 9 days.  NINE DAYS.

There were also the usual shenanigans of work, laundry, baby care, toddler wrangling, husband soothing, and kitty snorgling.  In other words, I never want to do this again.