Holy busy-ness Batman!

I’ve been getting stuff done, like whoa. I’m proud of myself. The site redesign is nothing resembling “professional” but it is moving in the direction I want and that is pleasing. I now have a kids-only blog section. I haven’t started updating it with fury yet. I’ll get there.

I want to have a blog that people can share with their kids. That means not juxtaposing the crazy with the kid shit. And the kid-friendly area will be no swearing. To this I say: fuck fuck fuck fuck. I will maintain a sandbox where I can be as crazy and grown up as I need and any motherfucker who doesn’t like it can stay in the kid section. (I love you. That was hyperbole for fun. I don’t think you are a motherfucker if you dislike swearing. I just really like saying motherfucker. It’s an awesome word.

There will be an RSS feed that filters out all the swearing and sex. But I’m not done yet. Give me time.

Especially when we are traveling, we will want to keep in touch with a lot of local kids. I’m hoping the blog will kind of work out. We’ll see.

The toilet the handyman fixed will not flush poop. Fuck my life. I’m feeling so much rage in his general direction. Oh. My. God.

The last few days with the kids have been really great. It is like we hit an oasis of less defiant. Oh thank goodness. I needed a couple days in a row of them acting like they like me.

Hilariously–I’m reminded that it isn’t all about me. Yesterday I was snuggling youngest child and she leaned her head back to look up at me and she said, “Mom, you know what?”


“I really like me.”

I grinned and said, “Good! I like you too. You are super spiffy.”

And holy crap Shanna has been impressing me with her competence lately. She can do more work than many full grown adults I have had the misfortune to work with. I have no doubt that she is going to be a rather intimidating adult to know. I look forward to the honor.

I have a basically finished letter to my mother and an in progress letter to Noah’s mother sitting here. Both feel oppressive and horrible. It’s like carrying the One Ring around. Oh fuck.

Oh, speaking of Noah… today is our eighth wedding anniversary. These have been by far the best years of my life. I’m glad he asked. I’m glad I impulsively said yes. We have been so happy. It is so nice having an in house best friend who never ever calls me names in anger. (He only calls me mean names during sex and I’m ok with that–I got to pick the names. Uhm, and it is super hot.)

I am sorta keeping up with fitness stuff. I am maintaining enough training that the 10k won’t be a problem at all. I am going to have to get more serious during the half marathon training if I want to make a serious go at the marathon in March. Right now I would be walking the whole damn thing and I’d be lucky if I hit 16 minute miles. Running blows. Why do I do this? Oh yeah. I like how I feel in between running sessions.

It seriously makes my back hurt less. Fitness makes my body easier to live in. I don’t have to love it. I just have to be around for my kids for decades to come. If I’m in constant pain I won’t be much fun.

I feel like it is pretty ridiculous that I bounce the way I do emotionally. When I’m up, I can so clearly see that I am loved and supported and valued far beyond what someone like me could expect. I have a lot of good friends. I have a tremendous number of people who show up year after year after year. Yeah, I’m intense and people can’t really handle being my bestie–I wear people down. But even my burned out besties usually stay in my life, just with slightly more remove. They protect themselves (which is right) while letting me know that they do love me.

No one can ask for more than this.

I suppose this is why it is “mental illness”. I’m not capable of controlling my emotional state. Oh–I’m on birth control. I am heading into the period of time where I have been dropping like a stone into suicidal ideation. Let’s see if a week of pills is enough to deal with that or if next month will be better or the month after that or never.

You keep trying, even when things often don’t work out. Because there is nothing else to do but admit defeat. I don’t fucking like defeat.

I was looking at Mint yesterday and beating myself up for overspending my set budget this year. We have only saved $7,198. I had this moment of cognitive dissonance. Wait… is that a lot or a little? OH MY GOD.

And that money we only managed to save, that I don’t count or consider enough? That’s not including the approximately $19,000 earned from not-Noah’s-primary-job I don’t count in the budget and I treat like bonus money–all of which I saved.

I waver between feeling rage at my incompetence at saving more and delight that I’m doing so well. I can’t tell which side is right.

I feel like I’m not actually doing so well. If Noah weren’t capable of earning buckets of money I couldn’t keep the fucking ship afloat. Only some people can take whatever amount of money, blow it all, and end up in massive debt. I don’t do that.

Well, I’m about to take on a bunch of debt. Probably nearly $60,000. I want the bathroom I want. I will be happy with it for the rest of my life. It’s worth the money. Imagine how much nicer it will be to come to parties at my house if there were two toilets. Whoa. Big awesome improvement.

A long time ago a friend was studying Ayurvedic medicine and he asked to do my birth chart. I gave him the data. He came back and told me with eyes wide that I would never ever need to worry about money. He told me that if anyone ever came against me in court over money they would lose.

He didn’t know about the dog bite settlement that set me up for life.

The thing about fate or destiny or whatever you call it–is you can make just about any life seem “inevitable”. You can find ways to explain a life that make you “destined” for the specific person you are talking about. But what if you had been born a state over? Would you still have been destined?

Depending on how you tell it, my life can seem like a series of ridiculously lucky breaks or a series of tragic incidences where I am a complete victim. It is all in what you choose to believe is inevitable.

Sometimes I think that going to twenty five schools was one of the best things that could have happened to me. I learned, intimately, that schooling is an artificially constructed concept that has little consistency from location to location. Learning is completely separate from “schooling”.

When I worked in the scene shop in college, my technical director asked me every fucking day if I knew how to use x power tool for the project we were about to embark on. Three years in, “Do you know how to use a power drill?”

“I know how to hold it to your head to prevent you ever asking me a stupid question again.”

I had built this man complex sets. It was a really annoying daily question. But he had that pattern for the same reason my massage therapist is COMPLETELY FIRM about nudity rules no matter the comfort levels of his clients.

The consequence of not following the pattern with a new person is so dire that you are not allowed to drop the habit even if it would be convenient for someone else. I get it.

So I worry and worry and worry about money and yet… there is a part of me that sits back kind of smugly and goes, “I’ve got this. No sweat.” I didn’t only save $7k. I saved over $26k. But man I don’t want to give me credit. Maybe I would feel better if I did.

I’m super excited about the bathroom, actually. This is going to be the most intensive for-me thing I’ve ever built. Ok, I won’t be building it. But I will be heavily involved in design. I am probably going to drive several people crazy. Sorry. At least I pay well for my exacting standards.

The Wonderland we come home to at the end of the road trip is going to be pretty much my dream house. Which is kind of funny given how hostile I have been to this house over the years. It didn’t start out being what I wanted. To be truthful, probably no place would be. I am grateful that I have had the privilege to change my home into what I want it to be.

People keep commenting that it feels kind of like a school. I know. I want that feeling. When I was a child school was safer than home and some of my happiest moments were with good teachers. I am doing everything in my (considerable) power to take the best of the things I saw and share them with my children.

I got to see so many places.

I have been in this house for eight years. My child was born in the kitchen. I have trees and good fruit in the yard. I have swings. I have hoards of screaming children careening around the place. (They aren’t screaming because they are upset. They are just Fully Engaged.) Soon I will have a bathtub big enough for two grown ups and two toilets. Yup, that is pretty much my dream house.

If I wanted to, I could tell you a story about how this is all inevitable. This was just Meant To Be.

But I know I was frequently voted as “The Most Likely to Become a Drug Addicted Prostitute” by class mates from school to school, year after horrible year. So let’s not kid ourselves and say it was inevitable.

But it was possible.

Now my brain is going straight into the Lego Movie theme song: Everything is Awesome.

Did things go better because I managed to find the right time and place for me? If I had been born in Indiana and I had similar life experiences there… I don’t think I would have turned out as well. I wouldn’t have had the resources. Living in California, often in high affluence areas means I had access to support that just doesn’t exist in other places.

You never know what is “inevitable”.

I feel more interest in what is possible.

I have really good people in my life. I went to a party recently that is more like the parties I used to go to and not much like most of the parties I go to these days. It was intense. I was grateful to be there for a variety of reasons. Even though I don’t feel like I am currently “at the level” of most of the people in the room, they see no reason to exclude me for a blip. I had been really nervous about the party because I thought I wouldn’t know a high percentage of the people. Ha. I hadn’t previously known exactly one person there and he was new to everyone in the room from a foreign country.

Holy shit. I am part of the in-crowd. Not every in-crowd–there are lots I am not part of and I honestly don’t aspire to them. The group of people I picked when I was young and I have continued to chase long after it has been practical… they want me and love me and see me as an equal.

Recently I told a friend, “You may feel like you are a complete fuck up. You may feel like you never do anything wrong, but there is factual evidence to the contrary. So you can have your feelings. I’m sorry you feel that way. It isn’t fun. But I get to hold on to the fact that it isn’t factually true that you are a complete fuck up and you never do anything right. You have done things very right with me the vast majority of the time.”

It’s true of me too. I fuck up sometimes. Mostly I do pretty well. Some days I’m proud of my record. It isn’t that I hold on to every person I have ever known. I cull out the people who are most important to me. And year after year after year they return my affection. They tell me to knock it off when I’m out of line. And they continue to love me. Because I don’t do everything wrong.

I saw a neat Pinterest quote and I’m going to butcher it so I’m sorry oh gods of I could look it up but I’m too lazy.

If someone struggled with MS or (other horrible disease) for 63 years you would say they were inspiring and a fighter. When someone dies at that age of severe mental illness you call it a tragedy and they “should have gotten help”. Robin Williams did everything you are supposed to do. He saw psychiatrists. He got sober. He checked himself back into rehab to support sobriety. He jumped the hoops. He still died.

That is a rough paraphrase so I’m not even putting it in quotes. But, for the record, I did not come up with the idea in the previous paragraph.

That has been sitting heavily on me for a few days. I’ve been thinking very hard about that. Shanna is starting to specifically challenge me on, “You are going to stay with me as long as physically possible, right? You don’t have to be with me every minute. But you have to stay here in Wonderland so I can come back to you.”

I don’t think this is motivated by my suicidal ideation. I don’t talk to the kids about it *at all*. I get the impression that kids just go through these phases. But it is especially poignant for me.

I brought you into this world. It is a harsh and cold place. Yes, I will stay with you as long as I can so I can make your burden easier to bear. Yes. You are worth that. Even though there are going to be some very bad days I won’t want to get through.

It feels so tragically unfair that I can’t just give this promise to Noah, but I can’t. Luckily he is an opportunist and he’ll take whatever hook he can get. If I don’t die for the kids, at least he gets to enjoy me.

But mental illness is a (whole bunch of) serious disease(s). I have been dealing with it for multiple decades so far. 63 is kinda old for someone like me. So I watch the news coverage of Robin Williams (well, I read it) and I feel sad but like it is ok that he got his kids to adulthood and then took care of what he needed to take care of. Maybe he wasn’t able to promise his kids the way I am able to promise mine. I get the impression that sometimes dads don’t feel the kind of connection I feel. (Clearly many do.)

I don’t feel like he was selfish. He did raise his kids. He took care of his real responsibilities. Then he was done. I can’t be mad at anyone for that. I hope no one would be mad at me.

Well, Shanna could be mad because I broke a promise. No one else is entitled. I didn’t promise you shit. I bet Calli will climb on that bandwagon before too long. She will be worth a promise too.

I like Calli so much and I can’t wait to see what kind of grown up she will be. Intense and passionate and driven. We will get through the stickier parts of being helpless and our relationship will  change a lot. I’m looking forward to it.

But the girls are going to be intense and passionate and thankfully, not screaming in my face all day some year soon. I’ll be left in a lot of quiet with Noah. That sounds so nice. He can bore the shit out of me with comic books and I can bore him to tears with constant talking about plants. It’ll be awesome.

H’okay. Those back spasms that just happened aren’t awesome though. Crap crap crap. I get them periodically. I have since I was a kid. But it has been a while and I hoped I was doing stuff to make them not happen. Fucktastic.

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