Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Sometimes when I come to post, I have firm and strong ideas about what exactly I have in mind to write. Sometimes I have no idea at all. Sometimes I have an idea that has been rumbling around in the back of my mind and is just about ready to roll out, then gets overtaken by something that feels far more urgent.

Here we are today.

I had a nifty little post outlined about happiness and what constitutes it, sparked by a video we were shown in Catalan class today and the subsequent discussion that followed it, some of it irritatingly naive....("the very fact that we get hungry and are slave to our bodily needs proves that we do not truly have liberty") *barf*

I have however been over come.

There has been a certain amount of complaint in this blog of late, I think. Bureaucratic hassles etc etc etc....and I am once again feeling that way.


I think the core problems comes down to something quite different from the superficial irritants, be they dog hair, communication difficulties or dumb *ss bureaucrats.

My issue right now is one of balance.

I, like most mothers of kids gradually do at some point, have been emerging from the overwhelming, and near completely self-obliterating process of mothering small children. I am one of those Moms who feel that the process is relatively short, and the impact on the children's future is well worth the stupefying requirements. Not only that but I have and do absolutely LOVE being a Mom. (except when I want to send them somewhere far far away because one has been whistling the same tune over and over again, right in my ear for over ten minutes and at least 30 million requests that she stop and the other is yelling at me because I have done exactly the same thing I did yesterday and it was fine but today is the single most irritating thing that any mother ever did anywhere. Sound familiar? Mom? But I digress.)

By the same token, I have been absolutely enchanted by the slow re-emergence of 'me myself and I' as an individual; now that the requirements on me-as-Mom are becoming less profoundly dominant. Rediscovering and deeply appreciating my re-emerging abilities and possibilities has been and continues to be fantastic....

Sometimes though I become impatient.

I continually have to find a balance between my desire to do so much, and my desire and need to be elsewhere, and to lead a life that is sane in pace and demands.

This is hardly news. Something generation after generation of women has worked through.

There is, for me, a pendulum swing in my management of the process. Things swing out of hand, I am sleeping too little, managing to get too little done and am frequently frustrated, oh, everything.

I don't do frustration in a pretty way.

At all.

Then I stop and look it all over and come to decisions about balance. Between me as me, me as wife, me as mom, me as working person etc etc etc.

When we lived on the boat it was fantastic, and oh so easy - this aspect of my life anyway. It allowed for a neat and tidy dovetailing of all these roles. I could be there with and for my kids and husband 24/7, and they for me. There was time to pursue my own desires, and personal stimulation and joy in the sailing and navigation of our small home with the man.

Oh how I loved it, and sometimes miss it achingly. There are times when I cannot really think about it too too much.

Here it is trickier.

GEE WHIZ, what a surprise.

I am more compartmentalised. This is me at work. This is me at home with the kids. This is me in the few moments when I have time to do as I wish. Plus the demands on my time are infinitely larger. I.N.F.I.N.I.T.E.L.Y. More housework, more bureaucratic hassles, more grappling with issues, then there are the languages to learn, I work outside of my home, and I have to sleep darn it. How I wish I could be a nice and patient person on four hours sleep, but you know what? When I have slept that little I pretty much roll out of bed directly onto my broomstick, feet still virgin of contact with the floor, slap that pointy black witch hat on my head and start soaring around the house. Look out Sally.


Here I am at 11:22, with Catalan homework I don't have time for and which I am having trouble understanding, painting I am dying to do, a book I am desperate to read, and chores I should do. Instead I am reflecting out here on my own little soap box/community bulletin board and thinking about how to handle these conflicting, stretching, seemingly impossible to hold together needs, loves and desires.


Some of it will be solved by simple scheduling changes, some will improve when the Catalan class ends. It is eating my life. By the same token, my Catalan learning curve will slump at the same moment, which I am not happy about.

Some will involve the devolution of some work to younger hands, who need to lift some of their own weight, however reluctantly. Some will come from my acceptance of the current limitations, which will be easier once I have a look at the reason and comparative importance of various options. (Don't look at my kitchen floor. It doesn't rank high let me tell you. The bathroom sink is pretty good though, and the dishes! Man, you could eat off them!)

It is a struggle.

By the same token, a good deal of what I loved about being on the boat, and here as well, is the challenge. I've got that in spades anyway.

People think I'm nuts when I say that, but it's true, I love the challenge. Really and truly. I also really enjoy the reflection on how to manage the challenge. Which brings the snakes mouth neatly around to his own tail of the aspects that the film about happiness brought up today as vital for happiness is time and tranquility for reflection.

It may be 11:29 at night, but it is quiet and calm (eldest, the ever-ready bunny has FINALLY gone to bed, for maybe the last time) and I am getting a vital chance to evaluate why I have been frustrated lately, and what I need to do to bring all of our competing needs back into balance.

So thanks for being out there and hearing this. I am sure many of you have struggled with similar challenges. It's been nice (sort of) chatting. Thanks again for lending me your time.


dawn said...

I can so relate to these feelings. I have not been feeling well this last week, which has largely translated to feelings of sadness, and being overwhelmed. I struggle every November, then again in the spring with over booking. I know the months when it will happen, and I know when I will have down times, so that helps. I have some areas that are not high priority right now, for instance, don't go to deep in the pantry, you may get lost in the mess (but you wouldn't starve to death).

I know I bring on a lot of the stuff myself, with scheduling things, but often I have it scheduled when there is nothing, and other things come up and it seem so busy. Even the the things I want to do, can become a burden if there are too many things to do. I have been wanting to do some painting and scrap booking, but it seems like an impossibility at this point in my life. There will be a time in not too long, where my kids will be driving themselves places, and the older driving the younger, but right now, I live in my vehicle. Today was lovely, I didn't need to leave the house once. I did have to do my Avon order, so spent a bunch of time on the computer doing that. Now of course, it is after midnight, and I am trying to catch up on some blogs. I will go to bed soon.

This was a good post and I must say, I could relate to much of what you said.

Beth said...

You remind me of myself at that stage in life (the increased freedom to be "me"). I took on so much - more writing projects, university courses, volunteer work, etc.). I eventually went crazy and became a frazzled w*tch/b*tch. I wanted it all - too quickly. The kids were still demanding, just in different ways. I had to prioritize and accept the fact that it would be a few more years until that greater freedom actually existed. And it does come!
Best of luck - and don't be hard on yourself. You've got more on your plate than I ever did. I think it's amazing that you accomplish what you do.

oreneta said...

Dawn: Thank you so very much for your comment, this has been an even more difficult day than the last, and it meant a lot.

Beth: It is so true, the kids are still demanding and in a different way....and thank you, sometimes it does feel like a lot on the plate....*sigh*