The new ergonomic keyboard doesn’t have all the parts necessary to work. This is annoying. That is going to be the low point of my day. Which is really cool. I can exchange my biggest problem of the day.
Every single day I wake up grateful for Noah. He is so nice to me. He is so kind. I have received more love and caring in the past seven years than in the previous twenty-five years put together. I am so lucky.
Many people have childhoods as bad as mine. Most of them don’t go on to have happy adult lives. At this point in time my strife feels like stuff I’m opting into or it is so structurally vast that it isn’t really a day-to-day problem for me. I have conflicts with my friends because I pick intelligent, opinionated, fierce people for my life. I go out and hand select them out of the bunch of quieter and more complaisant people. I can’t bitch that we have conflict. I can learn how to manage it without having a heart attack–damnit. Or I’m fighting things like rape culture and whereas it is a problem every day it isn’t a Daily Problem if you know what I mean.
If I was hungry that would be a Daily Problem. If I didn’t know how I was going to pay rent that would be a Daily Problem. I don’t have those kinds of problems anymore. My big problems are that sometimes my kids scream more than I like or I am inconvenienced by a major electronics retailer.
I just can’t bitch too loud, you know?
My garden is so beautiful lately that it takes my breath away. I MADE THAT MOTHERFUCKER!!! WHOO HOO!!!!!!!!! *happy dance*
I no longer feel like everything I touch turns to shit. Some stuff doesn’t work out. It isn’t all my fault and I am not poison. I can do things. My corn is popping up. Clearly I can do something.
I see so much green. I have more plans. It’s going to take years and every day of work will be a joy. I get to stay here long enough to make long-term plans. I get to dream about the future. Shanna likes to talk about building one of the houses next door so we can tear down the fence between the yards and build a second story walkway between the houses. (Technically she just wanted to fully connect the houses. I voted for the second floor walkway so we could still have the side yards in between for plants. She decided that I am smarter than I look. She is my kid.)
I think that sounds pretty magical and wonderful. When I remodel my house I am getting a sound proof room so my husband can beat me and no one will hear. I want to have that privacy in the future (I’m kind of sick of not being able to play at home) but I also want to have the connection with my kids. I like them as people. It’s not about having control over them forever. I enjoy their company. If they enjoy mine I’d be thrilled to keep hanging out with them. I genuinely like them.
I feel so lucky.
When you decide at seventeen that what you want is to be a home schooling parent there is a lot of room for things to not work out. I feel blessed that not only did I find a partner who is supportive but my children and I happen to have compatible temperaments. They have a lot of freedom to do things that bug me without penalty. Frequently I will acknowledge, “This is not my favorite thing. But I don’t get to control everything you do. I hope it goes well. I can’t watch.”
I feel incredibly lucky that my dreams are coming true and it’s actually a pleasant process. That is a rare dichotomy. Usually if you get what you want you find out it isn’t that great.
Noah is that great. The joy I feel spending all day with my kids is that great.
This weekend was basically perfect. I ran 12 miles. Socialized with a very old friend (16 years and counting–more than half my life now) for three hours; rocky stuff happening in her life but I’m glad she has the fortitude to take the steps she needs to take. It is kind of amazing the way her life is 100% different than it was three years ago. She has a new job in an entirely new field (she left theatre) she has a kid and she’s about to be single for the first time in a very long time. That’s a lot of big changes. Got an ergonomic keyboard and new running shoes. Otherwise we hid in the house. That’s a very slow weekend for us. Eight hours of bustle for me and no one else.
Of course because I was in the house and only busy for eight hours out of forty-eight I did a bunch of yardwork. Grow wildflowers, grow. Damn you. I hung up the hanging pots! I’ve had them for over a year and I haven’t gotten around to it. I’m getting all my residual chores done that I’ve been procrastinating on now that I’m procrastinating on editing. Doo de doo. I’ll get it done.
And the petition. I’m going for upbeat, friendly, everyone should get to live here without pain.
I’m really grateful that my neighbors are becoming so much more friendly over time. I will know everyone on the block some day. We have a new family! With kids! They are visibly Islamic so I will cross my fingers that I can behave in a socially appropriate enough way to manage to not offend the parents so our kids can be friends. My lifestyle is different. I won’t corrupt your young children.
I will wait until they are teenagers.
I will corrupt them with ideas like, “No one gets to touch any part of your body unless you actively want it to happen. If someone does so, find other adults who can help you deal with the situation.”
And, “Sex is awesome and if you want to have it then that is between you and your conscious. If you are going to have heterosexual sex, use two forms of birth control every single time you have sex. Always a condom no matter what. Always another form of birth control for the woman. If you are going to have homosexual sex then one barrier is fine. Use barriers. Every time. Even for oral.”
When you are young you don’t know what is going to happen to you 50 years from now. You won’t know you want to do until you get there. Leave as many options open as possible. Protect your body and your sexual health. There are no take backs once you contract a disease and you can’t tell by looking at people who has what. Even medical testing is iffy for a lot of diseases. Protect yourself until you are ready to have children. Or you get married and are on permanent birth control because you have ruled out kids. I don’t care what married people do. When you are a kid and you can’t take care of a kid, USE BIRTH CONTROL.
I support you having one kid, two kids, twelve kids, twenty kids (though I will instinctively wince just because oh man I can’t imagine that) or no kids at all because oh man kids are icki.
Maybe I will corrupt your kids. I want to introduce them to the concept of plurality. There can be more than one right answer. Your way isn’t the only way. My way isn’t the only way.
I admire many of the tenants of faith from all of the major religions. I think religion is mostly a set of written down rules on how to be good. Every one has their own idea of what “good” means. I think there need to be many sets of rules because we need many kinds of people.
All progress depends on the unreasonable (wo)man. If no one has a belief that is unreasonable to you then progress won’t be made. We have to stretch the borders of acceptable parameters.
Yes, autistic ways of being should be better understood and supported from earlier in life so that folks have an easier adulthood. I struggle with how to deal the bitterness from the current adults who didn’t get any help.
I understand what it feels like to desperately need help during your childhood and to not get it. I have more options for help now that I’m an adult. Autistic adults… not so much. The vast majority of all people with mental illness do not have the resources I have.
I am one of the lucky ones. How much of that is privilege granted to me by the color of my skin? How much of that has been my ability to meet the right people so I can get help? How much of that is that I first had access to state funded therapy and then I had good health insurance and then I had a rich husband?
If you prosecute your rapist then you get state funded therapy. You will be part of the victim-witness support network. That shit is worth its weight in gold. My PTSD has been classified as severe for more than half my life. The state has a vested interest in keeping me off of a bell tower with an Uzi. The state also wants me to not kill myself. The state put a lot of money into educating me and the state wants a productive citizen out of the deal, damnit.
“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” JFK was a guilt trippin’ motherfucker. But he’s right.
My autistic friends teach me over and over and over and over that it really doesn’t matter what you “mean” when you say something. It matters what other people see, hear, and feel as a result of you saying something. If you play it right then you get the reaction and relationship you want. If you play it wrong then you alienate people and they hate you and blame their feelings of discomfort on you.
I’m such an asshole. I totally treat other people the way I am treated. Them’s just the rules of the jungle.
But if you consciously believe with your whole heart that it takes all kinds and there is value to every life then you ought not to be that kind of asshole. This is troubling. This is where my ethics and morals and behavior don’t line up. This is not so cool. Ok. When your behavior doesn’t match your ethics you have a few choices.
A) Ignore the mismatch and be a flaming hypocrite.
B) Acknowledge the mismatch and say, “But I have REASONS” and be a flaming hypocrite.
C) Acknowledge the mismatch and decide whether to change your ethics/morals or your behavior. This has mandatory follow up steps if the goal is to change your behavior. If you have no later checks then you will resort to “easier” instead of doing what is right.
Well, as much as I believe that it takes all kinds and everyone is valuable and shit I think that people have the right to reject me. I believe that people have the right to not want to know me. I believe that people have the right to not invite me to their parties and not invite me to their homes because I am rude and offensive. They don’t even need a reason. They can just be not that interested in me.
They have the right to not want to be my friend. I don’t get to take that away from them just because I long for community.
Like my neighbors. Some engage with me more than others. Even the ones who are clearly uninterested in a relationship they have gotten to the point of obvious recognition and acknowledgment of humanity.
My monkey sphere is pretty fucking full. It’s ok that not everyone in the whole world wants to be my best friend. I am incredibly overwhelmingly lucky to have the diverse relationships I have.
Not all of my friends are “nice people”. Some of them are canonical “nice people”. I like variety. I have something to learn from everyone. I am imperfect but striving. That is all I can do.
I’m glad when the anger passes. When the sudden rage dissipates. I don’t really “know” what causes it. It’s about a lot of different factors all exploding at once. It’s different every time.
In the wake of it I feel gratitude for the absence. I’m glad I didn’t fuck up a relationship. I didn’t scream. (One yell. But it was of the “I WOULD LIKE TO FINISH A SENTENCE WITHOUT BEING INTERRUPTED” variety and there are much worse things I could have done. Not great but I call it a win anyway.)
Children are supposed to test boundaries. That is the whole point of childhood. You learn what happens when you do things.
Shanna tries to be a joker. She likes to lighten the mood. She wants to make a face and make me laugh and have everything be all better now. It’s honestly kind of weird to me. Some of her “joking” faces have all the markers of “I want to start a fist fight”. I have taken to asking, “Is that a silly face or an angry face?” The answer is almost always, “Silly!” (She does get mad too–but that’s usually more clear and related to a situation I can understand.)
When my kids ask me to lighten up I either do so or leave the room until I can calm down because I’m flooding. They have a right to not be around a stress-tastic person. I want them to learn how to have boundaries too.
The thing about our relationship is that we always come back and snuggle after tense moments. We are incredibly physically affectionate. If my kids rejected my affection I would stop but they beg for more. I hug, cuddle, and kiss them hundreds or thousands of times a day. Maybe we have the odd day when I only kiss the top of their heads like ten times.
We check in and then we run off to do our thing again.
Are you still there? I still love you and want to be around you. Ok, I’m going to do my thing again.
I have wanted this my whole life.
I feel horrible guilt but at this point I can have two to three hours by myself on many days. My kids can be told to go in the back yard with snacks and they don’t come back for hours. I feel like I shouldn’t be abandoning them for those periods. But it’s good for all of us so I do it. Other parents don’t force their kids to be alone so they can get alone time. They put their kids in daycare so they can play with other kids instead of being forced into solitude. I don’t feel like a nice mom.
I would feel differently if Shanna were less social. I think Calli loves it. She checks in when she needs to for her hug and kiss and then she goes back to playing.
I spend my days making up songs about how much and why I love my kids. My children will not be the type to grow up and wonder if their parents loved them. My kids are more on the smothered end. Only I take them to the park and classes and parties and turn them loose. They are very engaged with the world and they do not allow me to mediate any more. Shanna flat tells me to leave her alone at parties. She knows that my anxiety cramps her style. It’s… a little weird. But she seems to be working with what she has so we’ll see where it takes her.
I’m not the boss of her life. I mean, I sort of am for a little while. But not for forever. It is my job to teach her the rote body memory necessary for caring for yourself with ease an adult. You will just be used to “This is what we do all day to take care of our bodies.” It won’t be this weird thing that involves transactions with other people all day long to get your basic needs met.
The thing I hate the most about all the American bastards who wrote about “self sufficiency” and “self reliance” and living out in the woods by themselves WOULD HAVE STARVED if not for the generosity of women in their communities.
Fuck your self reliance.
And yet! There is a basic level of self care that I believe that every human being should have. I feel rather disturbed by the number of adults I know who say, “I can barely boil water”. What the hell. That shows a dramatic and disturbing hole in your education. Your parents failed you. I’m sorry for that.
See, I’m a judgmental bastard all over the place.
And if you catch me on the wrong day I may rant at you about how debt (in particular consumer debt and school loans) is the boogeyman. It will eat your soul. It will force you into a crappy and terrible life where you have no ability to change the system. Debt will make you a slave.
Ugh and ick. I’m looking forward to the days of not having a mortgage. I feel grateful for this fact. I’m scared I won’t manage it in the five years I was hoping to do it. I’m afraid it may take six or seven because then we will have to come up with mortgage payments during the WWOOF year and that will be kind of annoying.
But it wouldn’t be the end of the year. And maybe if we rented out our house for pretty much the mortgage we could make it work.
“I will find a way or make one.”
Roman Carthaginian general Hannibal didn’t fuck around.
The number of opportunities in your life increase as you build skills. I feel increasingly confident that I can meet the challenges that come my way. I may not get rich–but I think I will manage our resources well enough to not eat cat food in my old age. At that point my supposed food ethics may go to hell. I will eat what I can afford. I had better never develop actual gluten issues or I’m fucked. Giving up ramen would be traumatic.
I don’t have a lot of answers. I think I am ready to set some boundaries in a nice voice without being an asshole. I feel more relaxed after the weekend. I feel grateful that my problems are this small.
Six days till my next race. I’m ready but I may be slow. That will be ok too. I hope to best three hours. We’ll see.
My life is pretty cool.