After a particularly stupid incident that ended with me crying in a Target store over buying the wrong size jeans, I sent an email to a dear friend. She sent back the kindest reply, telling me to take it easy and cut corners today.
The problem is, cutting corners is already my status quo. I'm already running a bare bones operation here and I already feel like I am failing so hard.
I've had a few days where things weren't so bad and I felt alright, but waking up in my house and thinking of all that needs to get done is overwhelming. And so, I waste those opportune days scattered and flittering about, picking at my chores but achieving nothing tangible. Lately I've been managing to make dinner for the family more often, but that makes even more dishes and takes up time that maybe I should have spent cleaning or picking up. On the days that I am really feeling good, I feel especially guilty for all that the kids have had to endure and so I take them out to do fun things, leaving the chores and the mess to multiply in our absence.
Lately, nobody has been in a good mood. Oliver has been having a very hard time lately, maybe because he's been ignored and stuck living in this big mess. He's stopped taking naps. I'm still fighting him to take the last day of eye drops for his pink eye. Colin has been up all night and skipping his naps, too. He wanders around the house crying for Jared, and when Jared walks through the door Colin will have nothing to do with anything that isn't Jared. Colin, too, is getting over his pink eye but also has an ear infection on both sides. After catching the stomach flu this weekend, Jared is fine, but of course he has to work. By the time he gets home I am so done with everything that I just want to sit with him and ignore everything, so he gets nothing done either. Aside from a sinus infection and cough that refuses to leave, I'm really feeling okay. I'm still having problems with the dizziness that sent me to the ER last week, so I'm trying hard to walk the line between working hard to get things done and relaxing so I don't fall down and hit my head again.
If my children ever grow up to be hoarders, their therapists will trace the origin of their affliction to these months. And let me say, I'm sorry, kids.
My inspiration for getting through all of this is a strange fantasy scenario that I keep building up in my head. Some day it will be warm again, and I will throw open all of the windows and let the breeze suck out all of this sickly, toxic air we've been stewing in. I'm going to wash the windows and let the sunshine spill into this dark house. I'm going to send the kids outside to play. I'm going to sweep all of the sand and salt off the driveway and garage floor. I'm going to go outside and figure out how best to arrange three car seats in our car with the doors open and the radio on. Here is the best part: I will go through all of our clothes and cupboards and drawers and get rid of stuff.
In my ultimate fantasy scenario, I go to my ultrasound in three weeks and see that the baby is a girl. Which will complete my fantasy not because I really want a girl but because I am so tired of sorting and boxing and saving those stupid boy clothes. My biggest biggest fantasy is getting rid of those dumb baby clothes I've been saving for forever. Think how great it would feel to have that ultimate decluttering, including those boxes upon boxes of boy stuff.
Oh, the great joy I find in getting rid of things.
Just writing about all of that nice stuff I am going to do has given me my second wind this morning. I'm ready to get up and do all of those things. But since the forecast says that it's going to be freezing for the next foreseeable future, today I am going to pick a room and clean it. I am going to focus and work hard, but I am also going to take small breaks with the timer so I don't burn myself out. And then maybe tomorrow I can do the next room and then the day after that the next room, and I will dig myself out of this hole. I have to start sometime, so hopefully today will be my day.