November 20, 2012 by Julia
This weekend was hard. Dennis was at a conference benefiting his work for four days.
Before he left I was all, “I’ve totes done this before on my own, back when Jack wasn’t even sleeping through the night! We survived, and even thrived at moments! …And Dennis needs to go because it will be super-inspiring for him, and a good getaway with work friends! …Also, I’ve been feeling the need for a little solitude, now that Fiona no longer naps, and I am hardly ever alone anymore. After the kids’ bedtime I can watch a little Real Housewives with no comments from the husband peanut gallery, write to my heart’s content, have cereal for dinner, etc. So it’s all good, for everyone!”
Heh. And then I got the head cold from hell. And Fiona decided that she’s too scared to stay in bed by herself anymore. And Jack is teething. And I actually felt isolated dealing with all this at home, rather than pleasantly on my own. Gone were my idealized evenings of wine and Housewives and writing; hello, daughter who runs out of bed every two minutes while I try to stay awake enough to finish reading one paragraph out of my book. The other thing that bothered me all weekend was my blog post from Friday night, which I’d written at a low point after putting Fiona back to bed 15 times (literally). I still agree with the sentiment of it (that kids don’t really listen to their mother’s advice because they want to figure things out on their own, just like we wanted to as kids), but I was afraid to go back and read it after posting, out of this nagging fear that it was a piece of meandering crap full of pompous language, which I totally hate. And this crap post pops out right after I create a Facebook page for friends to follow me. Of course. How humiliating.
Also, my sister said on Saturday, in reference to my blog, “Sounds like you’re stressed out…all the time.” I immediately jumped to the conclusion that everyone sees me as melodramatic and overly stressed by life, which I assume would be tiresome to read in a blog. (Actually, if your blog were like that, I’d probably follow you, ha.) I shared these insecurities with her, and she denied that it was true, but still. I am sensitive lately to being called anxious. I go around assuming everyone else in the world feels just as stressed out as I do – isn’t it human nature, to some degree? – and when it’s implied that I’m the only one who falls apart at the seams once a week on average, I get paranoid that it might be one of my defining personality traits to the people around me. Like, “Ugh, here comes Julia to complain about how hard her life is because she couldn’t get her laundry done.”
I usually like it when other people complain. One of my favorite things in the world is commiseration. But I know not everyone feels that way. They might not want to hear it, especially considering how good I actually have it, in all the ways that really matter.
That’s the other thing. I have it so good. Surely that means tragedy will befall me soon, right?
And that’s what I call finding “the joy underneath!”
P.S. While I was writing this, Fiona got out of her bed 35 times.