Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My own thoughts

OK, baby is down, that only took like an hour. And her dad had to do it in the end. He pretty much always has to put her down for's not until he takes her that she knows it's business time. (of course, not in the Flight of the Conchords way)

So I realized that what I'm really missing is having my own thoughts and the time to think them. My brain is usually consumed with staying one step ahead of Maggie so that she isn't hungry, bored, poopy, or overtired, and if I get her actually happily playing alone (which is really rare because she bores easily and she wants someone to play with her all the time, little social creature), then it's time to do chores while thinking about what to make for dinner. I'm actually starting to somewhat enjoy cooking (good thing for a foodie, huh), though I wish my knife skills were sharper (ha ha). I have learned that I'm way better at improvising than at following recipes, pretty much the opposite of J, so that makes for some interesting debates in the kitchen (plus his OCD tendencies make him really crazed when I'm not following something to the letter and substituting this and that).

But happily, I got an offer today to start doing book reviews for theooze, which is a site I respect and I'd enjoy the writing, I think. I also just signed my contract for the Jesus Girls book, and I'm trying to figure out if there's a parenting magazine that might like my story about choosing the baby over the PhD (for now). All this to say that I have outlets for my thoughts, if I could only find the time to think them.

Life is a strange rollercoaster (mine is way too crazy to be something so prosaic as a "journey"). I should probably be grateful that I don't have time to think. When I catch myself with a moment, I'm usually discovering there is nothing but bad news to ponder. J probably isn't getting a job this cycle, which means it's almost another year before he can look again (and he wouldn't be starting anything until Fall 2010...ay). We have the dreadful decision ahead of us of where to live while we're putzing around waiting for work...both sets of in-laws have the veto from the respective child, and it seems dumb to move back to LA for merely sentimental reasons when that would cost a small fortune and we could probably never find a place like we have here for comparable rent. So I face the prospect of living someplace I'm not very happy with no reason to be here. And yes, I am making the best of it - I love working at the food pantry, I have a few friends, and I try to see my family as much as possible. But it is strange to be stuck here.

You know how you're supposed to live your life so as not to have any regrets? Well I try to, I really do. But when you live that way, you're almost destined to have regrets! Why? Because you're going to take big risks! Or you'll take none, but then it seems that you'd regret never trying anything. No, I think when people say that they mean that you're supposed to get out there and live. But what they don't tell you is that sometimes that means you're going to make a giant leap and fall flat on your face.

Like when I completely screwed up my ordination process, twice. Dumb dumb dumb.

And when I moved my family up here for something I already sensed my heart wasn't in. Idiocy.

I have three friends from seminary who weren't even Episcopalian when I met them (all less than four years ago). I was already ostensibly in the ordination track when I met them. I did my degree and my internships first. I had been Episcopalian for longer. I'd had three freaking committees. Oh, and did I mention that none of them had ever really considered the priesthood as a vocation?

And these three friends are all in the final stages of their parish discernment and about to become postulants. I mean, how does that happen?? Yes, partly it is that they magically chose the right churches to be at and I did not. And partly it is that I did stupid things that messed up my process.

But there's a little part of me that feels like they must somehow be far worthier than me, far more priestly, far more deserving. And they probably don't feel that way, which just confirms their superiority - they're humble servants, and I'm just a whiney baby who is pissed that I haven't gotten my way and that nobody's recognizing the gifts I so obviously possess. Geezu. I'm such a freak.

One day this will all be an anecdote, right?

(that's what my cousin told me about the sleep training we're trying...which I also failed at miserably, btw)

Nobody warned me that if you live life to the fullest you have the chance of falling flat. The party line is that you'll be happy no matter what because you'll be living so well. Yeah, well, I'm in the moment constantly now - and don't get me wrong, it's nice not to think about how crappy, for instance, my financial situation is - but it is tiring. Because there's something in me that always looks ahead to the next thing (it's why I never held jobs or apartments for long); and there's something in me that's always evaluating the past to see how it's led to where I am, and how I can improve. I've always been so driven (my elementary school teachers used to scold my parents not to push me so hard, and they would have to tell them it was all me - they tried to hold back my relentless pursuit of perfection). It's weird to put on the brakes and suddenly not be pushing for a goal - except the goal of raising a human being, forming her perceptions of the world and her language and creativity and empathy. Yeah, that stuff.

I did have a great moment today. I was trying to get her to nap and was frustrated at the endless rocking I was doing (because I would have rather been reading blogs about American Idol, if you must know). And I suddenly realized that my only job in that moment was to love this child, and to make sure she knew that she was absolutely loved and safe and that her mommy would rather be doing nothing else than hold her. And I looked in her eyes and I could see her shift - like she realized she suddenly had my full attention, and she gave it back. It only lasted a few moments, and it didn't help with getting her down for her nap. But it was a helpful momentary reprieve from my racing thoughts and my yearning to be doing something else all the time.

Anyway I'm sure I haven't destroyed my life or anything, that's not what I mean. I just kind of feel like I'm swimming in a sea of, I don't know, peanut butter or something. Life's gotten all sticky and viscous. And sloooooow. And opaque.

And...ha ha...nutty.

1 comment:

JTB said...

I know that "shift". It still makes a world of difference at bedtime.

Hmmm...I wonder if this is what's screwing up the potty training...??? Must make use of this epiphany...

my thanks!