I went out to dinner in celebration of the holiday with my co-workers/friends last night. We tried very hard not to talk about school and the kids we teach. So naturally there were lulls in our conversation in which no one could think of something interesting, funny or chat inspiring to say. This morning I was thinking about those quiet moments that seemed to last forever at the moment but in reality were only a few seconds here and there. Is it that we just don’t have much in common other than the fact we work together? Or is it that we all have kids and all the intellectual thoughts have drained out of brains from the chaos, noise and why questions our children inundate us with, so when we are in a room with adults we just are so surprised by the peace and quiet we have nothing to fill it up with?
I got to school with Wonder Boy this morning, everyone dressed and fed, and with all the necessary parts involved in going to kindergarten. Clothes? Check! Backpack? Check! Folder? Check! Warm coat? Check! Shoes? Check! Snack? Check! Hair brushed? Oh well, he’s a boy. Boys don’t care about that stuff anyway! One of the mothers (a mother of one) asked me “how I do it?” Saying, “I only one and I struggle keeping everything organized and on time.” Which made me think. Why is she complaining about not keeping things straight when someone else cleans her house and someone else mows her lawn and someone else remodels her house and someone else does whatever else she needs to hire someone to do. Yes, I manage three kids, two dogs (one in potty training), a husband and a house by myself while teaching preschool part time and volunteering as a kindergarten room mom and scholastic book club book orderer as I shuffle kids from tae kwon do practice and dance classes and doctor appointments. All the while I squeeze in grocery shopping and toilet paper buying in as I get my oil changed in the car and take the animals to the vet. Really? Phew! How do I do it? However, we aren’t that much different, she and I . . . . . she manages a full time job, one child, no animals, a husband, dinner out every Wednesday (I know, I know too much!), and all the workers she employs to do her odd jobs. Wow! She must be exhausted!!
I’ve had to battle a lot of battles along the way. The journey that is such my life has been an uphill struggle. Sometimes when I reflect on myself, I think how it’s felt to always be sort of fighting everything, everyone just to get ahead a few steps. One of the last weight watchers meetings I attended, the leader said something I took to heart. She said when we have a job we don’t like, or a child who has to go to school, or a sick baby who is up all night we might not like it, but we “just do it!” We put on our work clothes and go to work. We get our child ready in the morning and step out into the cold and rain to get them to school on time. We stay up all night cuddling a sick wee one, cleaning up puke and smelling like spoiled milk. Weight loss is the same thing. We don’t really want to fight the fight, but need to get over the struggle and “just do it!” I’ve always been the kind of person, even as a child, to just put my head down and plow through. To get through. To carry on. To just do it! So in retrospect, I feel like I’ve always been fighting a fight. I keep things to myself. I put on the happy smile and say “I’m fine. How are you?”
No wonder my weight is up; that’s how I deal. I read lots of mommy blogs and often relate to the struggles other women feel. I find myself laughing or saying “Yes!!” to myself sharing feelings of frustration and not feeling so alone. I sometimes read the comments other readers’ post of support and understanding and love and kinship. Instead I get how disturbing my recent steam blowing was. Because, after all, I’m the only person in the universe who isn’t allowed to have a bad week. No wonder I turn to M&Ms. They are quick and little and taste oh so good. They give me a little burst of happiness with every handful. Not to mention the crunchiness of their hard candy shell helps relieve a little stress. I now understand how I’ve drowned my feelings with food and hid my sensitive soul with excess weight. At least, I’m not drinking myself to sleep every night. I’m not abusing prescription drugs. I’m not hunting down the 17 year old, shaggy haired, pimple bearing boy selling speed at the local Safeway. No! I put my head down and carry on just like I always do popping M&Ms and swigging a nonfat latte, coming up to take a breath and vent here and there along the way.
I’m working on myself; trying to be a good parent, a good wife, a good life manager. Concentrating on the good in my life more often instead of heartaches and disappointments. I’ve lost a solid 16 pounds since February and I’m trying to hit that 20 pound mark before my one year anniversary. I try to take a little more time away from the chaos, and I work on feeding myself good food and getting exercise.
Now at the end of my tirade . . . . . . I don’t have a cute, funny way to wrap these ramblings up with. I hope with the holiday quickly staring us down and with only 11 shopping days left, you can all reflect on the things that make you happy and joyful. A dear friend recently told me “it doesn’t have to be perfect”. How true that is because after all, it’s the imperfect-ness that makes for happy memories in the end.