Dec 19, 2009


"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

- Mary Anne Radmacher

Dec 16, 2009

The weight of the world

I don't think the blues I've been experiencing on and off since August are going away. I want them to. I desperately want them to, but they're not. Over the past 24-hours I've been trying to think of how to describe it because I know I'm going to have to see the doctor to talk about things. The word "depressed" doesn't cut it. Neither does "overwhelmed," although I feel both. This morning, when my alarm went off in my ear, it hit me. Heaviness. Bogged down. I wake up every morning, sometimes to the alarm and sometimes to Griffin fussing to find a more comfortable position in his crib, and I want to cry (and sometimes I do as soon as my eyes open). Why? Because I feel the weight of the world on me. And you can all try to convince me that I'm just overreacting. On a cerebral level I know this, but my goodness, it sure feels that way...and that's what's important. I feel this heaviness pushing down on me every single day. Every single second. And as hard as I try, and believe me, I've tried, I can't get out from under it.

The heaviness is work and financial stress. It's taking care of people - Griffin and Duncan and even Patrick. It's feeling like I have nothing that's truly mine. Seriously, as hectic as NaNoWriMo was, it was so lovely because it was all mine. It was my challenge and my time to do something for me. I've lost myself somewhere along the way and what I'm left with is this weight that sits on me, pushing down harder and harder. It makes me feel trapped and sometimes I have these flashes of "this is my life now" and that makes me feel even more claustrophobic.

I worry all the time. About Griffin and finances and everyone's health. I used to love sleep, but now I find myself dreading going to sleep. As strange as it might sound, I'm worried that something bad will happen in the middle of the night. I think about Griffin's bout with pneumonia and how he just woke up and had this insanely high fever. I think about the phone call we got at 2:30 AM almost one year ago that Patrick's father had a heart attack and was on life support. I figure that if I stay up, nothing will startle me in the middle of the night. Stupid? Yes, but I don't know how to work through that. And when I do sleep, I wake up to the smallest sound and I stay awake.

I have an appointment with my regular doctor this afternoon to discuss antidepressants. I tried my hardest to avoid them, but right now, I don't see how I can. It makes me feel like a failure, like I couldn't do it on my own (even with seeing a psychologist). It makes me feel like I'm not strong enough when I always thought I was pretty tough.

I don't want people to think I'm relying on medication to make me better, but I think I need a jumpstart. The weight is so heavy that it clouds my view on everything. Going to work is frustrating. Cooking dinner is too much to handle. Griffin's recent meltdowns are driving me to tears. This isn't me normally. It's the weight. And right now, I don't see any other way to help lift it.

Dec 11, 2009

Something I hate, hate, hate

Let me preface this post by saying that I am in a pretty decent mood so far this holiday season. I'm enjoying the Christmas music, our decorated tree, and I've even thought about baking some holiday goodies. So this brief rant has nothing to do with me being in a bad mood.

I've been noticing a trend lately that really annoys me. Maybe I'm a little late on this one and it's been going on for a while, but I cannot stand when people say "love, love, love." As in, "I love, love, love Reese Witherspoon's style." Or, "I just love, love, love Christian Siriano" (and I really do love him, hence using him in that example). I've noticed this a lot while reading blogs - people tend to write that in their comments. It really gets under my skin. What's so wrong with saying that you "really love" something or even putting LOVE in all caps? Why the love, love, love? Who started that and why? When is it going to end? Ugh.

I'm seeing it everywhere and I can't tell you how much I hate, hate, hate it.

Dec 7, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

Oh, who am I kidding? It was the worst of times. This weekend. Last night. Awful. Plain and simple.

Patrick and I took Griffin to Chicago to go to the One of a Kind Show where my sister has been one of the artists for the past four years. We went in 2006, 2007, and we skipped 2008 because Griffin was just too little and we were just plain exhausted. He's 16-months old. We figured this would be a great age to take him downtown to see the show and maybe even the lights on Michigan Avenue.

To make that part of  the long story much shorter, I'm just going to say that about a month or so ago, we realized that Griffin had hit his Terrible Twos really, really early. We've nicknamed him Mr. Meltdown and Mr. Noodle (his whole body goes limp and he's suddenly about 40 pounds heavier than usual). That's what we dealt with all weekend. The poor kid was stuck in a carseat for three hours to get to Chicago and then we needed to get him in a stroller to look around the show. He wasn't having it. He also wasn't having someone carry him around. Those were our options. He struggled. I got frustrated. Patrick and I took turns. Thankfully my mom was there and gave us a break here and there (and of course, he wasn angel for her).

So two days of battling Mr. Noodle.

Then comes the drive home. Again, long story short, it took us 5 hours to get home. Coming straight from the Loop, it should only take about 2.5 hours. We hit some massive traffic and then Griffin screamed and screeched the whole way. In his defense, I think he was in a bit of pain (anyone with kids knows that sometimes eating a whole pile of grapes can wreak havoc on the tummy). So as not to bore anyone with this story in narrative form, let me just hit the highlights:

  • Screaming commences before we get out of Chicago

  • It continues until we pull over somewhere in Naperville (at this point, we could have been in freaking Alaska - I couldn't focus).

  • I change Griffin's diaper in the car in the parking lot of Macy's

  • We drive to Portillo's to get him out of the carseat for a while.

  • All is right in the world and we leave.

  • Screeching commences about 15 minutes into the drive.

  • I pray he falls asleep soon.

  • Griffin teases me with his fake snoring (and then a loud snort and a giggle).

  • He screams some more and finally falls asleep.

  • I fall asleep.

  • I awake, 20 minutes later, to more screaming.

  • This goes on for what seems like forever.

  • I announce to Patrick that if I had a gun, I'd freaking shoot myself (I think Patrick contemplates pulling over and dumping me and Griffin off on the side of the highway).

  • More screaming.

  • I ask Patrick to smother me and put me out of my misery.

  • Griffin finally falls asleep at Mile Marker 25 (yep, only 25 more miles until we hit the Iowa border).

  • I sit still and rigid in the front seat, hoping he stays asleep until we at least get to the single digit mile markers.

  • We pull into the driveway and relax.

  • Griffin starts screaming.

He seemed fine once we got inside. He was smiling and laughing. I think he was really tired of being in the car seat all weekend. The only running around he got to do was at my parents' house on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Not much.

Oh, and when we walked in the house, we were hit in the face by the overwhelming smell of natural gas. We had the gas company out at our house at 11 PM. They checked and said everything was OK, even though the guy said he could smell the gas.

So yesterday sucked big time. The only highlight was that we learned that if you ask Griffin what Santa says, he will say, "Ho Ho!" Definitely cute, but not enough to wipe away the memory of the crap day we had.

Dec 2, 2009


Now that NaNoWriMo is over (and I won!), I'm left with a half-finished first draft of a novel. It's a story that has been in my head for almost a year and I'm beyond thrilled to have gotten part of it down on paper (er, computer). Anyway, I've got too much invested in it to just let it go. Sure, NaNo was fun - and I'm definitely going to do it again next year - but for me the challenge didn't stop on December 1st. I really want to finish my story. So I've decided to give myself the goal of finishing by January 18th. I initially said I'd have it done by the end of December, but with the holidays thrown in there, I know things are going to be tight. I picked the 18th because the very next day will be my 37th birthday. {OK, I just looked at that and freaked out because I'm officially going to be in my late-30s - very weird because I still feel 27}. I thought that the best birthday present I could give myself would be to wake up on my birthday and have a completed first draft.

I'm excited about the new challenge.