On certain occasions in my life things have sucked. Usually (adding insult to injury), it was my own fault. I used to live under the assumption that the next drama filled issue was just around the corner and there would be only a small reprieve before (as my boss likes to put it) the defecation hit the ventilation. I lived under this assumption because it was generally correct.
However, I seem to have turned a corner.
No longer am I dealing with drama in my life. Things are blissfully copacetic. I love it. I see others dealing with craziness and it just hit me – I am not. For once I can say that I am good.
There are no fights at home with an angry pain-in-the-ass husband or free-loading boyfriend (I suppose I finally reached my quota on them. Whew). Just the occasional issue with the ex here and there, but I have discovered that there is a little red button on my phone I can hit when he is getting his asshole on and his calls go directly to voicemail. The wonders of technology!
Money, while not exactly growing from the trees in the backyard, is not causing an undue amount of stress. I am not robbing Peter to pay Paul or deciding between car insurance and groceries (a choice that has presented itself more than once). And, while I am not planning that European vacation anytime soon, I am enjoying the freedom of living within my means and not beyond them (and, yes, I did say the freedom of living within my means – it is actually kind of cool. Everyone should try it – including the bleeping government. Ah, but that is another post altogether).
No one is sick. Everyone around me has their health. I am pregnant, but I understand that to be more of a condition than an illness, although it has some of the same features. I am also unmedicated and holding it together fairly well, which has not historically been true of me.
I worry about my kids. That is one thing that will never change.
I am worried Greta has not found a direction for her life and does not recognize the importance of self-sufficiency. I worry that she still has the teenage “it won’t happen to me” mindset which can lead to all sorts of either downright bad or just unconsidered decisions. Leading to a myriad of unforseen consequences.
I worry that I will not deal with issues with Ezra properly and exacerbate things like his temper or not push him to reach his full potential. I also think about the days ahead when he will pull farther and farther away from me (as he should) and that it will break my heart.
And, of course, there is always The Fear (The Fear: irrational, all-consuming anxiety that something awful may happen to the little terror suspects [kids] (or their father). Sex offenders, drunk drivers, and enemy combatants are among those who inspire The Fear. Results in statements like: “No you may NOT walk to the mailbox without a grown-up. I don’t care if you are in High School.” The Fear strikes Daddies and Mommies in equal measure. ~RFML). This is a constant looming dread in the back of my mind that rears its ugly head at strange times for the sole purpose of throwing me off balance and scaring the shit out of me. Now, add the unborn child to the mix. Yeah.
I work so there is always Mommy Guilt. But over the years I have kind of gotten used to the idea that I am screwing up in some way without realizing it and, generally speaking, it is not that big a deal. We all screw up our kids. Our parents screwed us up. It happens. We deal with it and move on. There is no such thing as a perfect parent, no matter how hard you may try, so you do your best and deal with the consequences. That is a really liberating fact, actually. It can save your sanity and help you be better all around. Some times your best is only just good enough and good enough is fine. The trick, though, is to do your BEST every single day – half-ass parenting sucks for all involved.
So, now that I have gotten over my man issues and money problems and managed to come to terms with the trials and tribulations of parenting, what next?
Well, I will tell you, it is not what I thought it would be. The fact of the matter is that as long as there was external drama, there was a ready-made excuse for me. If I had all these things going on outside me I did not have to focus too much on what was going on inside of me. I didn’t have to think about the things I personally lacked, much less focus on fixing those issues because I had all this other shit going on that obviously needed my attention (yes, I realize that is an excuse, but it is an effective one and has worked for me for years).
Now all that is gone. I am left with just me and my flaws. And I am not getting any younger, so the days when I can put off things have either come to an end completely or are numbered (with very small numbers). I spent the first half of my life thinking “one of these days I will…” and guess what? It is now that day. The day when the excuses don’t fly and the procrastination tactics fail. I have to walk the walk.
And it scares the hell out of me.