Last year when New Year’s Eve fell on a Friday, and most businesses were closed that day, our furnace crapped out on us Thursday night around dinner time. We were left with no heat in our home over a long holiday weekend, which also happened to be the coldest weekend of the winter that year.
This year on Thursday night Bryan overshot a parking curb in the church parking lot and punctured a hole in the oil pan, which drained all the oil from the car. And, in keeping with tradition, by the time we had the car towed to a mechanic they were too busy to get to it before Monday.
And much like the coincidence of having no heat on the coldest day of the year, I was left with no car during a weekend in which Bryan attended a conference from 9am until after 10pm each night, leaving me alone with two small children and the voices in my head.
I often go days without leaving the house, but there is something about knowing I CAN’T leave the house EVEN IF I WANTED TO that makes me crazy. By the time Sunday rolled around and my kids were still hanging on to their pink-eye contagions, I voted myself Most Likely to Go Insane and went to church alone while Bryan stayed home with the kids.
However, aside from the morning I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and dropped the F-Bomb when Ruthie woke up at the same time I did (leaving me with no alone time for the coffee and Zoloft to kick in), I think I fared on the side of having a better attitude than in the past.
I think expensive therapy and reality checks from friends go a long way to put my life into perspective, and I take them both very seriously.
When a therapist informs you that you have a tendency to fall into Victim mode when things don’t go your way, and when a friend reminds you she NEVER has a car and she lives across the hall from drug dealers who run a meth lab out of their apartment, you could either become pissy and bitter, or you could pull your head out of your ass and recognize there is more to this universe than yourself.
I am learning to embrace Option B.
Options B doesn’t come easily to me. It’s much easier for me to complain about how bad I’ve got it and how unfair my life is. Sometimes I wonder why my friends even keep me around, I get so bitchy. They say it’s because I make them laugh, but I think it’s because I have cable t.v.
I read this great post by Finslippy over the weekend. It was a very well written post about the frustration of trying to get anything done while raising a preschooler, about how everything about you seems to get sucked into the vortex of toddler land, and about how easy it is to become bitter and resentful under those circumstances.
I could have written that post, yet in reading those words as expressed by someone outside of myself, I felt icky that I could have written that post.
At any rate, as I felt the stress coming on this weekend and was on the edge of grouching out at my kids, I did that praying thing Christians are supposed to do, and I tried to take myself less seriously. In this way I feel as if I’ve turned over a new leaf. Not like a new year’s resolution, but more like a shift in perspective.
The other day I woke up feeling different, less overwhelmed, more in control of my emotions. I weaned Thomas over our vacation, which came with a dose of regret and sadness, but I wonder if it ushered in a change in hormonal balance. I feel as if new and wonderful things are in store for me this year. I feel hope that my old self is still in here somewhere. I feel strong for the battle to attack my demons.
Happy New Year, friend and stranger. I wish you hope and peace.