swear that's the name of a Calvin and Hobbes collection we own. Somewhere.
yes. This phrase describes our lives right now.
days are something we've chosen. Our days were full before we left home, but
they've been even more full in the last three months.
I guess this is a good thing. We're experiencing so much. We're really
embracing this life learning/the whole world is our school ideal.
while our days may be full, I find that I'm feeling drained almost to the point
of being empty. I've long had a difficult time asking for and taking time for
myself, but I need it.
had a good rhythm going as far as me-time went last summer and into last
autumn. What happened? Stuff. Life. Doesn't matter. What does matter is that
I've not allowed myself that time recently.
I kind of stop and think, "What difference is one day of taking some time
at a local library going to make? Tomorrow, my day will be full again, like my
day of rest never happened." Why would I even allow myself to think like
week, I did
take a few hours for myself. My family would gladly have allowed me more, but I
was antsy and asked too soon to be picked up again.
tomorrow I'll try again. I need time to myself. I need time to read. Time to
catch up on blogs and to maybe read an article or two (of the fifty gazillion I
have saved). Time to pin more books on my Pinterest to-read list.
I need to
admit more often that I just simply cannot handle being "on"/social/whatever
so many hours of every day. For whatever reason, I feel rude in admitting that.
I feel selfish and, I don't know, curmudgeonly in telling others that I just
need space and peace.
I need to
start with a personal library day tomorrow and work from there. I need to be where I am tomorrow, instead of thinking
about where I’m not, instead of thinking about all I’ve currently got in my
mental worries file.
I need to
recognize that I’m worth a few hours’ time. I owe myself that time. In taking
it, and refueling myself, I’ll be a better person, spouse, mamma.
So, it's a few minutes past one in the morning. I'm just falling asleep and kind of excited that I'm getting to sleep so early. About half and hour later, the cat jumps out of bed and I think he's off getting a drink of water. He seems to be lapping the water up rather quickly. "Geez, he must be really thirsty," I groggily think to myself.
Then I realize that he's still standing by my head and something is dripping.
I get up and find out that the ceiling is leaking from the air conditioning unit. It's been an off-and-on rainy day.
I turn the light on and figure out that the bed and blankets are a little bit wet. I'm sleeping at one end and Pic is sleeping at the other, but her feet are near the drip. I move everything over (child's legs, blankets, mattress) and put a bowl on the floor to catch the water.
I think about that scene in Overboard.
I sit in bed a few minutes, listening to a podcast, thinking about whether I need to get up on the roof to see what's what.
A few minutes later, I'm shoving my feet into my tennis shoes and putting on a jacket. I got outside and grab a broom and climb up the back ladder to the roof. I spend about ten or fifteen minutes sweeping rainwater from the roof, thinking how nice it would be to have one of those long-handled squeegies I used at work so many years ago.
I'm sending water flying everywhere. No one is parked next to us, so I don't have to worry about throwing water on anyone else's RV.
I hear the door open and Cardo comes out. He adjusts the leveling of the RV, hoping the water will drain off a different way.
We both come back inside and discuss what we need to do for the night. We take the casing off the a/c vent inside and put the trash can under the leak which is really a drip (thanks be).
We go back to bed, but both lie awake, trying not to worry about the roof.
Cardo goes back to sleep; he has to be up in a few hours.
At four-thirty, I go back to sleep.
I wake briefly at six, again for a while at 6:45, again for a while at nine, and again for over an hour at ten.
I want to sleep, but Pic is up by this time, full of loud questions about what's dripping and why the trash can is in the middle of the floor and do I want to hear a song or a story or play a game with her and why is that dripping sound so annoying, why is it so very annoying.
I sleep for a half hour more and then have to get up.
Someone stop by to check the leak and says we can fix it by tightening the bolts. Easy-peasy.
Life goes on and we send out thanks to the universe that this was the extent of this adventure.
I'll get to the book love below. I could go on for ages about book love.
Oh, though, those Disney books that are composed by the semi-anonymous Disney Storybook Artists. Oh, those books get to me every time. They make me question myself.
Let me step back, just in case you haven't had the cringeworthy experience of reading one. Basically, in all of the different versions I've read with Pic (who is drawn to them) you get a brief retelling of the events of whatever movie the book is based on. Sometimes this is written decently, but this is definitely not stellar writing here. And then there's always the part about how in the very instant the lead female and the lead male see one another and fall instantly in love.
That doesn't happen, right? Maybe it does. I mean, it's a major component of all of these stories, so the point is repeatedly repeated (at least for us as I continue to read the books my kid asks me to).
But it is regarding this issue that I begin to question myself. I want to say that, okay, sure, maybe these characters are immediately attracted to one another, but they're not yet in love. They're in lust and that's as much as I'm willing to admit.
Is that wrong? Am I just being stubborn? Do people really fall in love at first freaking sight?
I want to say no, to say that love has a stronger foundation than, "Hey, s/he's hot!" (And how truly disturbing is it that sometimes, as in the cases of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, the female lead isn't even conscious when this "love" is first acted on?*)
So, anyhow, why don't I just stop reading this stuff to Pic?
Well, first, because she asks me to read these books to her. I'm hesitant to say no to her requests for me to read to her.
Second, and probably more prominently, I read these to her because then we discuss (every single time) what is really going on in these stories and how they relate (or don't) to real life. I tell her that it might be the case that these people are attracted to one another but that it takes more than a first glimpse to people to truly grow to romantically love one another. Sure, they might love another as we in our family really try to love every human, but that's definitely not what's being conveyed in these stories.
* Okay, yes, Disney gives us the scene with Princess-Aurora-as-Briar-Rose dances with Phillip, but he does still first kiss her when she's unconscious.
Okay, deep breath.
On to the kind of writing that fills me with a nerdy joy.
Right now, Pic and I are slowly making our way through a few books, one of which is Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.
I got our edition, illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, at a library for twenty-five cents.
(I seem to have some mighty shaky picture-capturing hands.)
In the first chapter, "The River Bank," Grahame writes of Mole's happiness to have left his spring cleaning behind to enjoy the beauty and life of the season. Mole revels in being outside and then Grahame writes that Mole:
thought his happiness was complete when, as he meandered aimlessly along, suddenly he stood by the edge of a full-fed river. Never in his life had he seen a river before--this sleek, sinuous, full-bodied animal, chasing and chuckling, gripping things with a gurgle and leaving them with a laugh, to fling itself on fresh playmates that shook themselves free, and were caught and held again. All was a-shake and a-shiver--glints and gleams and sparkles, rustle and swirl, chatter and bubble. The Mole was bewitched, entranced, fascinated. By the side of the river he trotted as one trots, when very small, by the side of a man who holds one spellbound by exciting stories; and when tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea. (3-4)
I've been in a very quiet place lately. I've needed a lot of quiet downtime and haven't exactly gotten it. I've looked for and found both the beauty and good in the life we are currently living, but I've also found that it can be (and often is) draining.
Part of this is not knowing just what my place is. I am incredibly thankful that Cardo's place for now is figured out. Pic has her own little world going on and I'm partly leaving her to it and partly helping her find her way within it.
During the rest of my time, though, I'm not exactly sure where I belong. I've gone through this kind of uncertainty before, but I'm just feeling stubborn right now, I guess. I'm kind of tired of so many people telling me what I should do. I seem to be good at this thing, so I should be spending my time doing it, right?
And I totally see how that makes sense, but I'm feeling completely resistant because I've got my own ideas regarding what I want to do with my life. It's just this freaking fear. This doubt and insecurity. And a bit this feeling alone.
So, I've felt quiet lately. It's probably a funk. I'm prone to those. But it's partly also the lack of regular rhythm in my life. I need that.
I'm trying to embrace what my life is right now, but I might be finding that difficult.
In the meantime, I've been looking for online photo editing programs. Part of my funk is a result of my current disconnect from two of my greatest loves: reading and writing. I've been blog-reading, but I'm not currently engrossed in a book for myself. I've barely been writing. This is not good for me.