Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Reading and thinking

The past few weeks have had me feeling a bit down.  It might be the mid-winter blues, or maybe I've given in to feeling sorry for myself a bit, or maybe everything I've shoved aside is becoming apparent.  I'm not sure.  Regardless, I feel like I've been on the struggle bus, and I've spent a lot of days on the verge of tears over the stupidest things.  I've whined to a co-worker far more than I ever should.  I've been grasping for a sense of connection, and not finding it.  This isn't new, it's just sort of weighing on me at the moment. 

This morning, the poor co-worker I've been whining to sent me this blog, and I had to read it in pieces, because reading it all at once threatened to send me into tears while sitting in my cubicle.  Sometimes it's odd, to hear what feel like your words, coming out of someone else's mouth.  Or keyboard, as the case may be.  When I got to this passage, I felt like I was this blogger for a moment:

"...supporting my husband while he went back to school. The more I gave, the more was asked of me, and the stronger my guilt became when I wanted anything: a night out, a haircut, to go to the gym, to be left alone for five minutes. I was…. An inconvenience."

This.  This more than anything is how I feel a lot of the time.  Last week I spent an evening away from home.  My husband picked up our daughter, and I went to happy hour with some friends from work.  Then I met my cousin for dinner and drinks, so I didn't get home until nearly 10:00 p.m.  The entire time, I felt guilty.  I felt like I didn't deserve that time away.  Never mind the fact that my husband spends evenings away at class twice a week, and I handle everything at home pretty much on my own while he's in classes or teaching.  Never mind that I do bedtime literally every night and have for at least the last year, barring being out of town for work.  Never mind that I cook dinner every night, and I spend literally  every waking moment that I'm not at work with my daughter.  Never mind that I probably earned an evening away.  I still felt like I didn't deserve it.  My husband told me to go, to have fun, that he had everything under control.  And he did.  I knew he did.  But....for me, it felt like wanting something just wasn't ok.  That me needing a night to breathe was unacceptable.  Like I was abandoning my responsibilities.  It was also coupled with the guilt of knowing that when my husband has evenings away, he's in class, so it's not like he's out enjoying himself or having a good time.  He's basically working, so I don't feel like I deserve to have my time spent frivolously when he doesn't get to do that.  This is all self imposed guilt, but it's hard to shake a lot of the time.  And, that feeling of being an inconvenience, of being invisible, of being somehow unworthy of what everyone else seems to get so easily, that gets hard to shake after a while too.

Which led me to that feeling of needing to connect.  Needing to be able to confide in a person, and feel like I'm not burdening them with myself.  As I was thinking about this, someone in my Facebook news feed posted this article, which had some stats in it that made me feel pretty sad.  Like this stat, for example:

In a survey given in 1985, people were asked to list their friends in response to the question “Over the last six months, who are the people with whom you discussed matters important to you?” The most common number of friends listed was three; 59 percent of respondents listed three or more friends fitting this description. The same survey was given again in 2004. This time the most common number of friends was zero.

So, I guess at least I'm not alone?  But, doesn't that suck?  Doesn't that say so much about who we are as a species where there isn't anyone you can talk to about your life?  It's just......it's depressing.  But the fact that having a weak social circle is as detrimental to your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day is even more depressing.  Because I have basically no social circle.  No support system.  I have one friend who has been around for a long time, and I cherish his friendship, but at the same time, he's not always the guy you can go to with your dark, unhappy thoughts.  And that's ok.  He's always there when you need someone, and that alone means a lot.  It just also makes me feel like a circle isn't two people.  It's not binary, me and you.  There needs to be more.  Often, I find that I'm really seeking a sense of family, of acceptance.  I'm seeking relationships where you can disagree on a topic and still be friends.  What I've realized in the past several years is that I don't have time or patience for people who just ghost you and disappear, or outright tell you there's no problem when clearly there is and they stop talking to you, or who claim to want to amend things and don't put in any effort, or who just decide that you suck without bothering to tell you why so you have a chance to try to fix it.  People who act like you've misunderstood the relationship, when the reality is that they're trying to separate themselves from any guilty they may feel for having hurt you.  Or people who just seem to think you can't be hurt, like you have no feelings, or that because you have a tough exterior, it's ok to just shit all over you because you can take it.  Unfortunately, those are the only people I really know.  Those are the only people I seem to come in contact with, and I'm beginning to wonder if there are any other types of people out there.  I often wonder if this is just it.  And so, I read that article thinking "Well, this would be easier if people weren't all a fistful of assholes".  That also becomes a barrier, because it means you can't force yourself to trust anymore, you don't care about making an effort for something that's going to die or hurt you anyway, so you sit, isolated and alone, and at that point you might as well be smoking 15 cigarettes a day for all the good it's doing you.

I don't know what the point of all of this was.  I just needed to clear my head.  Reading seems to give me a lot of things to think about.

Monday, February 13, 2017

A wealth of useless information

I was talking to a co-worker the other day about the things that worry her about becoming a parent, largely whether the balance of responsibilities will tilt too far to one side.  She said something about how she doesn't want to be the one who has to remember everything all the time.  I told her that once you're on the other side of that parenthood hump, remembering everything isn't really a choice.  It's just a weird habit that you develop and hold onto.  It's this mass of swirling information in your head that doesn't necessarily make sense to anyone else but your brain is holding onto it in case, at some point, you find you need it.  Spoiler alert: A lot of times, you never need it.

That's just how it is, though.  You think about stuff and realize that your own wealth of useless information grows with each passing day, and you can answer the most random questions.  Like, right now, these things can just be pulled from my head:

  • The cat only has one can of cat food left
  • My daughter needs an appointment made for her next checkup
  • My living room's paint color is "Earl Gray"
  • There are no diapers left in the diaper basket, but there's a spare box next to the arm chair
  • There are no diapers upstairs on the changing table
  • The Snurtch book is downstairs in the book basket instead of upstairs in the bookshelf, so if she freaks out that she can't find it, that's where it is.
  • We're out of Swiffer cloths
  • There are three pairs of socks with no matches in my laundry basket
  • The dog only pooped once yesterday, which seems weird.  Must watch to make sure there's not some sort of issue with him.
  • I have half a bottle of dish soap left, which means I'll probably have to buy a new one the week after next.
  • The HOA needs paid, but I want to wait until it's past due because I find the HOA useless and resent paying them so I pay late every year.
  • The Disney Junior book is hidden under my daughter's crib.
  • The Paw Patrol Christmas book is hidden behind the sofa.
  • My husband's phone charger is still sitting on the counter at home, which means his phone will be dead by the time he leaves work.
  • I have to text my friend at 4:30 to follow up on how her interview went.
  • The purple shoes are upstairs under the rocking chair, but the dress shoes are downstairs under the coffee table.
  • There's still a load of laundry in the dryer that needs to be folded.

All of this can be rattled off at a moment's notice.  But can I remember that we already have two containers of parmesan cheese in the fridge?  Nope.  Better buy another....