Home On The Fringe

Fringe Art

Contact Us

Recent Ramblings

The Chronicles

Fringe Reads

  • Powered by Blogger
  • Weblog Commenting and 

Trackback by HaloScan.com
  • Get StatCounter!

Strife, Interrupted

Lately every time I try to leave a comment on a blogspot blog, Blogger forces me to sign in again, and then brings me to my dashboard and FORCES me at gunpoint to post something here. So here I am. I was trying to leave a comment for GCQ, but now she may never know. (GCQ, love your tree. That's what I was going to say. Unfortunately Blogger is holding me hostage. Sorry.)

It's funny that this is happening, because lately it seems like everything I set out to do gets hijacked out of nowhere and against my will by some completely random activity. The other night I innocently went to hang up a new suit I bought for work, but that five-second act turned into a four-hour project. Why, instead of wrapping all of the presents piling up in our pathetic excuse for a "walk-in" closet, I thought a better way to free up some space in there would be to examine / try on / categorize / re-organize every piece of clothing I own. Strangely, there is still no space to "walk" in the closet (it might be all those unwrapped presents on the floor), but there is a lot more space for the dozens of empty hangers on the rack now. And that's great, because the crowded clothing rack was really taking a lot away from my kids' holiday season, but those still unwrapped gifts, the ones they keep eagerly looking for under the tree? Obviously a lower a priority than the closet organization.

I was telling John a story the other day about how a friend I hadn't seen in a few months had told me I looked great during a conversation about diet and exercise, and that I'd responded with some or other complaint about body fat storage and what I need to work on, and John said, "You don't know how to accept a compliment." He's right, but I think it's less about not accepting compliments and more about how I tend to focus on Fixing What's Wrong. I've said before that it's not that I don't see and appreciate the positive, and that's true. But I might not always communicate that I see it, because what I do communicate is whatever I'm trying to work out in my mind at that time - whether it's how I need to increase my protein and stop drinking margaritas if I ever expect to see the changes I want to see in my body, or how I need to do a better job of addressing the kids' behaviors and not letting them pull a big reaction out of me, or how our entire household needs more structure and less chaos and it must be on my shoulders to identify exactly what that will look like.

I got an e-mail yesterday from a very nice reader that made me realize - or remember, since I'm sure I already knew this - that none of you can read my mind. You don't know about the recurring good, sweet, hilarious things that go on around here unless I actually mention them, which, many times, I don't. This is completely consistent with who I am. I focus intently on whatever difficulties I'm trying to overcome. It's why I don't want to give Hannah a pat on the back just for getting out of bed in the morning. It's why I don't tend to say "good job" to someone unless what they've done seems above and beyond what I would consider to be every day general life expectations (whether my expectations match others' or not). It's why what I talk about tends to be either serious and difficult or sarcastic and self-deprecating. The positive is there, but it's on the back burner for me, it's something I don't have to focus on so intently, it's something I don't have to overcome - and therefore I tend not to communicate about it. What results is a perception that all of my experiences are negative or difficult or extreme, that my kids are disrespectful of me 100% of the time, that I teeter on the edge of a breakdown every waking moment.

So, amidst my stream of intended horror stories, my attempts to mentally work through and thus solve every single large or small problem in my life and the life of my family, I'm interrupting myself to say something. It seems like a very basic experience to me (maybe even one most would consider "expected"), but it represents all of the good on the back burner: Every night after I pull into the driveway after work and struggle through the door with my handfuls of gym bag and purse and keys, those kids - the ones to whom I give hyperbolic nicknames like "demon" and "dark lord" when I'm in my "work it out mentally" phases - stop what they're doing, whatever it is, and run to me, smiling, calling my name, telling me they missed me and they need - NEED - a hug and a kiss. Last night after his bath, Quinn was watching a Christmas special on TV and I walked in prepared to argue with him about bedtime, but I said only, "Quinn, it's time to read a story and go to bed, buddy." He stood up in his chair to be eye-level with me, put his arms out for me to hold him, and said, "with YOU, mommy?" as if to say he was fine with bedtime, he was fine with anything, really, as long as I would hold him. As I carried him upstairs his head rested against my shoulder and his legs dangled around my waist; he sighed and closed his eyes and made the soft smack-smack-smack sleepy sound with his mouth, perfectly at peace, content, quiet, still. Trust me when I tell you that the miracle of that is not lost on me.

Labels: , , ,