Well I’ve Had A Week. What About You Guys?

Well I’ve had a week. And by that, I mean a pretty awful one.

It isn’t one particular thing, it’s just thing after thing after thing that’ve gone wrong. Extra appointments. A lot of driving. And a frustrating series of phone calls with AT&T to resolve something that they did wrong.

There was also a terrible scene in the doctor with my dad, who was forced to undergo a strep test. He mentioned that his throat was a little sore (turns out he has bad allergies), but they took one look at my 2 year old and jumped to conclusions, assuming my dad must have strep (didn’t you guys know toddlers are disease bags?). A ton of gagging and awful sounds later, and we learned that my dad has a terrible gag reflex, and he in fact does not have strep throat (his throat wasn’t even sore anymore at that point).

To be honest with you guys, I can’t even believe it’s still January. Like there’s still another day this month. For people in the Midwest, where it’s snowy and cold and miserable, this never ending January thing is pretty status quo. But I live in California, and there is literally no reason for it to be dragging on like this, save for all these pain in the ass problems rearing their heads, what seems like every single day since January 1st.

Here’s what I think is the hardest thing about having a bad day or week or month, or even year, though: people always say shit that makes me feel like I am not supposed to feel bad about a rough time.

They say things like “oh just be happy you aren’t dealing with …..” or “just be grateful you aren’t…”

Or they turn it into all of their problems and why there’s are invariably a million times worse than mine. And you are right, Janet, I just will never understand how hard you have it.

It’s always so shocking to me that people (in general) don’t seem to be able to accept that you can be capable of both 1. lamenting a shitty situation, and 2. also be totally grateful for your situation on the whole at the same time.

It may come as a surprise to some people. But I can be super grateful that I have a roof over my head and food on my plate, and also still be pissed that AT&T keeps screwing up our plan and sending me a bill for double what it should be.

Here’s another one: I can have gratitude for my opportunity to stay at home with my kids, and also feel like I’m isolated from the world and doing the work of twenty people for – essentially – basic room and board and absolutely no breaks.

I can be stressed out and burned out about my toddler’s daily meltdowns, and also enjoy my kids on the good days.

[Screams in absolute shock and awe.]

I think that the worst I have ever felt is when I’m trying to pretend like everything is perfect. To be honest, it’s even harder to acknowledge what is great when I can’t even allow myself to accept what is bad.

And the people I despise the most are those that have to shove their nonstop positivism down my throat. I don’t mean that they are nice and positive and whatever; I mean that the de facto response to me having a bad day or a pejorative tone to my voice is to lecture me for twenty five minutes about how wonderful life could be if I would just remove the rain cloud from over my head.

Why does this upset me? Because it makes me feel like my totally human and totally normal emotions, some of which are not perfect and positive and oozing with gratitude, are abnormal. And moreover, that I’m some heinous, ungrateful monster for having a shitty day, week, or month.

Being human is such a weird thing because we have all these complex emotions and there is so much in popular culture telling us to stop having so many of them.

Well I’ve had a bad week. And last week was pretty terrible too. To be honest, 2018 and 2017 were both kind of a disaster; and 2016 wasn’t too much of a peach either (more of a rotten orange, if you know what I mean). What’s great, though, is that in that time I’ve learned to accept and acknowledge the bad with the good; to be OK with not being OK, and also to enjoy the moments in between when everything really is nice.

So are you guys having a bad week too? Or month? 2019 getting off to a rough start?

I’m right there with ya.

My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures

hF09BF178

Do you like setting yourself up for failure? I sure know I do. I used to think that if I never tried at anything, then I would never fail. Then I realized that never trying was in a sense failing too, so I started trying but realized that if I were to succeed then I would never know what to do with myself. So I try but set myself up to fail so that I don’t run the risk of not knowing just what in the hell I do once I do succeed. And then I still never have to fail because by setting myself up to fail, I in a way actually do succeed at something, but not something so terribly successful that I am lost once it’s all over. Technically.

Follow my logic? I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

So 2012 may or may not have been a major year of failures for me. It depends on how you look at it. I published a book, that was pretty rad. But it wasn’t the book I wanted it to be – it was a memoir, geared towards the readers of this blog; rather than the Great American Novel (or whatever you want to call it). I really wanted it to be that big novel deal. I planned on reading 50 books, since I had completed my goal of 40 in 2011. That was a big whopper, because I fell into a funk around the spring and read a total of 5 for the year. I tried knitting scarves for all of my family as well. I knitted two.

I know. I’m a total loser.

Moving along to the New Year coming up. I’m not too into New Year’s resolutions – the concept is just so stupid to me. I think that is because the majority of people who make these life-changing “resolutions” are resolving to do things they (a) know they will never do; and (b) should be doing anyway. And the concept reeks of always thinking there is something inherently wrong with ourselves. “I’m going to lose weight.” “I’m going to drink less.” “I’m going to be nicer to my husband.” All those resolutions are nice, sure – but we are who we are, and even if there is something about ourselves that we’d like to change, to call it a “resolution” is like saying we are lesser people because of whatever the circumstance is that we want to change. I really think that we should be comfortable with the life we’ve chosen. Even if we want to change it, we should first make the resolution to accept where we have come from.

As I said: I know, it’s hard being inside my brain sometimes.

Now just because I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, per se (or at least calling them New Year’s resolutions); and even though I do like setting myself up for failure, I still know that it’s important to make a plan for the year to come as the old ball begins to drop towards midnight on December 31st. Without plans and objectives and things to look forward to, what do we have other than a vacuous day-to-day existence?

Thus, I give you: My Complete List of (Planned) 2013 Failures.

1.  Read 40 books. I think I can do this. Maybe. I may cheat and finish the 20 or so books I started and failed to finish in 2012 to get the ball rolling.

2.  Move to Chicago. I’m sure that I will fail miserably on this one, even though everyone seems to be on board with our plan to finally make this happen. After 12 years of trying and failing, I just remain a little skeptical.

282887_649925093293_198650517_n3.  Knit blankets for my cousins Linsay and Clayton to go along with both of their wedding gifts (they are both getting married in the summer); as well as a baby blanket for each of the 11 friends having babies this next year.

4.  Have a baby. Yeah right, like that’s going to happen. Motherhood has already driven me to the nuthouse enough as it is; and that would require my husband and I to come within 5 feet of each other. Still, though, the thought crosses my mind more frequently as my clock ticks, and more friends show up pregnant.

5.  Cook and clean like a slave less.

6.  Take an art class. There was a time when I was an art major; and despite all the times I’ve committed to get back into it over the years, I have still not picked up a drawing pencil or paint brush in over a decade.

7.  Use the Internet less. In fact, Sundays are now going to be Internet-free in our house (let’s see how long that lasts).

8.  Talk on the phone more.

9.  Watch even more of The Simpsons. This is kind of weird. I have a pretty serious obsession with The Simpsons. I have the seasons on DVD and watch them every night before I go to bed. Sometimes I have day-long marathons of the show too – I just think it is one of the wittiest and realistic betrayals of American life. And I always get it when they take jabs at our contemporary American culture.

10.  Let myself go. I don’t mean gain 200 pounds, or let my hair get all gross and stringy. I mean be more comfortable. Wear jeans and sweatshirts more. Take more makeup-free days.

11.  Publish my compilation of short stories. It’s no Great American Novel, but it’ll do for now.

12.  Get a new dog.

13.  Learn to play the ukelele.

14.  Correct the current Pookies idea that babies get into a mother’s stomach by virtue of “the mom eating the baby, where it stays in her colon until the doctor cuts it out.”

15.  Take a mental health trip to a spa or a plateau or somewhere alone. An insane asylum for electroshock therapy will do.

If I don’t get a chance to say it between now and then, I suppose a happy new year to all of you faithful blog followers is in order. To peace. To prosperity. To failing miserably in all our life’s ventures in the year to come.