Changing the Things I Can...
Seems like every year when I take a vacation I spend time thinking about what is working in my life and what is not. I marvel at all the things that have changed and all the things that have not. And that leaves me feeling a bit disappointed...every year.
I seem to retreat on vacation and re-evaluate what I like about my life and what I do not. This year is no different except there is more that I do not like. If I am honest, I feel very stuck. I work. I parent. I try to take care of myself but work and parenting really get in my way. Or maybe those are just convenient excuses for my apathy.
What I can see is a legitimate reason for my lack of progress for myself is that both my job and parenting are disruptive to routine. I cannot do the same thing every day in the same order because work and kids interrupt my schedule. And that would be relatively easy to fix except that they are not really the problem. I am.
I am supposed to get up at 4 am every day. But even at that early hour, there isn’t really time to do it all. Write, meditate, yoga, workout, get ready for work, take care of the pets, house and kids. It is a lot and I have been woefully not good at maintaining any kind of commitment. Lately, I have been so tired that I have not been able to get up a 4 am, which further truncates my morning time. I have tried to make changes, I have renewed my commitment to myself but I still have a mostly sporadic trajectory and do not feel like I am really present for my own life. My life feels like it is squished around others and the bigger their lives get, the smaller mine has to.
Welcome to middle aged single parenting. There are no real breaks except for a week in the summer and one at the holidays. Parenting two teens is hard and exhausting. And I will fully admit here that I feel absolutely defeated. My best efforts, thwarted and my ability to call up the stamina flagging.
Dating is something else that I have added to the mix. But I really don’t have time. I can’t even imagine what falling in love and spending time with someone would actually look like in my life. I feel guilty about even trying. And who would want to date me? I work all the time and when I get home I have teenagers who are causing all sorts of trouble, drama and issues of their own. If I were a man and dated me, I would run. I would run so fucking fast in the opposite direction! Like there would be skid marks...
If I am honest, I would love some help. I would love a partner who was there for me. But looking at my own trajectory on that front, it is not littered with people who showed up to be there for me. It is instead littered with people that I supported and cared for and were just another drain on my life and energy. I was not a victim, to be clear, I signed up for it and crafted it to look that way so I could have control. And I am not really sure that I can do it differently...so why am I even trying? I feel defeated here as well.
When I look at my life it is depressing. I am just going to say it. I work really hard to be positive but I guess I have to admit that all that positivity is really to try to make me feel better about this life that is great in so many respects, but feels like it is sucking the life out of me on so many others. I feel like by the time I get my kids to adulthood, there will be nothing left of me...except a job that will take every waking hour of my time.
I am not sure how I ended up here and I do not know how to change it. I am tired. I am worn out and I am tired of pretending it is something other than what it is...a fucking grind. And I am finally at the place where I can admit it. My life is hard and wonderful and shitty and depressing and amazing and feels like I am barely surviving a great deal of the time.
I said it. It is out there now. I am struggling with all the demands on me and I am praying for some change. And I know that change is coming no matter what, and it is not always what I want. In fact, I can be absolutely sure that it will come in the form of that which I do not want and didn’t ask for. Because that is life.
I have no solutions today. Today I am just admitting where I am and how I feel. I am not going to happy it up. I am just going to admit that I feel like I am being buried alive with responsibility and I am not sure how to change it and I am not sure that I can believe that anyone other than me can handle it. I am in that place where no help is available because I still feel like I must dictate the terms. And so long as I am there, help isn’t something that is available to me.
Today, I am going to do all the stuff I know makes me feel better. Hit a meeting. Yoga. Meditation. Writing. Get some exercise. I am going to take care of myself as best I can today and I am not going to let anyone take the mental stability I find in those activities. I will retreat into myself where I know there is solace in there somewhere.
I will start with the things I can change, me. And pray to the powers that be to help me release all the shit I can’t change and find some acceptance with whatever is left.