Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rock Bottom

So this stared when... Wednesday?

It had been a hard day.

I'd started with the best intentions--to not yell or snap (nasty habits I'd picked up over the past few weeks; not something I want my kids to remember about me), to pause and really be with the kids, to enjoy rather than be annoyed, to get things done instead of languishing in discouragement (or laziness).

So when Grace threw a tantrum about getting her underwear on and I snarled at her and then Charlie began an hour or so of nerve-grating, endless tears (probably because he was teething) while I was trying to get the house and dinner ready for Steve to come home, I lost it. I started crying--not just a little bit, to myself, but hard, sit-down-on-the-floor head-in-your-hands crying, right in front of Grace. Empath that she is, she burst into tears. So we were all sitting there--me on the floor, Grace in the throes of agony, Charlie distraught in his high chair--crying.

And I felt again the terrible emptiness of defeat.

It wasn't just the parenting-fail moment that brought this on, though. That was just the cherry on top of a massive guilt-over-underachieving sundae. (Sounds like the worst sundae ever, right?) Because I thought that by this point in life I would be able to keep the house clean and make it feel more home-y, cook dinner (or at least think of something to cook!), take care (physically, emotionally, spiritually) of my children, pay the bills, eat healthily and affordably, spend quality time with my children & husband, and, of course, exercise regularly so that I can both feel more energized and maybe let go of the spare tire I have leftover from being pregnant.

Oh and did I mention I am trying to pursue my ultimate all-time lifelong (or at least since I was 5) dream of writing a novel?

Maybe this seems silly to you, to worry about these kinds of things, but I hope it doesn't. We are all engaged in a constant battle to become better versions of ourselves, and I've just hit a spot where I look at where I thought I could be by now and see where I am, and the gap between those two places is dishearteningly wide.

Which is why it is time to make change a process instead of an afterthought.

So here I am. Feeling rock bottom. Ready to start fresh. I've been reading a lot about the things that I want to change, and about how to be happy, and I've decided to take the same approach Gretchen Rubin used in The Happiness Project: I'm going to do a month by month (or maybe bi-monthly) breakdown of the things I want to accomplish, and then chronicle how I am accomplishing them. I'm going to be asking for help and opinions, experiences and shout outs, so I hope you'll come along for the ride. :)

We'll lay out the rules and the goals next, and then we'll get started from there.

If you are interested in participating & pursuing goals with me, please fill out this SUPER quick form!


"And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life." - J.K. Rowling

The Fringe Benefits of Failure (via YouTube) - J.K. Rowling's Harvard Commencement Speech 2008

1 comment:

Paul and Madeline said...

I know you might be having a rough time, but just remember this: I'm ALWAYS asking you for parenting advice, which shows how much I admire the way that you deal with your kids. I think that you're great at being both loving and firm with them, and I would love to be able to replicate that. Just remember that we're all human, and it's totally okay to have a bad day, or a string of bad days (I have to remind myself of this CONSTANTLY)!

That being said, I'm really excited about your new blogging venture. I'll definitely be reading, as I feel like everything about me has been changed by having a baby -- and not always in a good way!