I think I should start tracking how my sleep changes during the year. Because I think it’s on a big cycle and I am just too myopic to see it. I’m back to falling asleep around 7pm and waking up absurdly early to use the toilet. This morning I’m also feeling a strong need to stretch and do a little exercising before climbing back in bed. My body hurts.
I think that I finished lay out yesterday. That’s pretty exciting. I’ve been working on lay out intermittently for a year now. I finished. Squee.
Now I get to start trying to get rid of the darn tiles. I sent out messages to tile artists in the bay area before I started looking into recycling locations. Because wouldn’t it be lovely to donate to other artists? I’ve sent out emails and now I’m waiting on response.
I need to schedule a pick up for the other parts I need to get rid of. The skylight that is the wrong size and can’t be returned. The faucets were the wrong kind of installation and can’t be returned. (Slight discounts on the internet aren’t really worth it in the long run. I’m sticking with Home Depot in the future so that if I don’t use something I’m not stuck with it.)
I’ve learned a lot from this project. Now I hope I never have to use any of this frustrating knowledge again.
I’m still seriously on edge. I’m brittle and shaky. Anxiety hurts now in a way it didn’t used to. I spend a fair bit of time feeling ok these days. Contrasting that with a full on high anxiety day..
I have come so far. I used to feel like that on a regular basis. On some level, having a day of that is a fantastic shell to remind me how different my life is now. I’m so very lucky that I don’t live in that state of anxiety full time any more.
I am so very blessed.
I am lucky and privileged and blessed because these days… I very rarely have anxiety so bad it impacts my body for a week. I can’t recall the last time I had a hangover this bad. It’s kind of funny, I want alcohol but I know it would make me throw up like there is no tomorrow. Noah used just a little bit of rum as a step of making soup and I gagged. I can’t handle alcohol even though I feel like I want it in the tiny little cells in my body.
Is this what alcoholism feels like? I don’t usually want alcohol like this. I want that feeling of slightly distant and cheerful and I don’t know how to get there. Pot is different. But I just can’t drink right now or I’ll pay. The last two or three times I had wine I threw up. Whiskey is slightly better but it burns so…
I have such a fascinating body. I’m layers of sensitivity and fuss on top of sturdy. I may be in a lot of god damn pain and I may get sick and I may have to twist in odd directions to get things done… but I just keep on working.
Workaholic. That may be the best word. I don’t need to be obsessed with video games or drugs. I can lose myself in work.
If you do something long past the point when it is hurting you…. you may have a problem.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I need a break so bad. I am so exhausted it is bone deep. But what do I long for in my exhaustion?
Time to go pull weeds. The garden is calling to my soul.
There is something fucking wrong with me. I just can’t stop working.
I have this weird little thing in my head with this work: I’m not going to be able to work like this forever. I’m going to collapse into infirmity and disability. It’s incredibly likely given all the signs and all the congenital stuff. My family doesn’t live long, healthy lives. We die young and in pain.
I’m paying future me dividends. I’m building this art and this garden so that when I am literally incapable of doing anything but sitting and looking around me… I will feel lucky for what I get to look at. I will feel blessed. I will feel inspired to think about fanciful stories. I will feel encouraged to grow and change and try even though all of us will end in death.
When I was a kid living with Auntie in the canyon I had to walk a mile to the bus stop. I walked past this lovely garden that this elderly woman made over many many years. Really I would walk through the garden because she didn’t mind if I detoured off the road and went a spell through her yard enjoying the plants. I think she was glad that she wasn’t the only one to love her garden. I was so sad when she died.
When I was in high school a different family moved in. They wrecked the garden to make more room for parking cars.
Now I’m making my own garden. It takes years and years and years of effort. I didn’t understand that when I was younger. Gardening is a passion that takes root in your soul and demands years of dedicated service. Sometimes I feel like gardening is part of how I practice whatever religion it is that I have.
Oh religion. This one is near the surface and so painful lately. My therapist’s position can be summarized by her statement, “Spirituality is for everyone. No one gets to tell you that you don’t belong.”
But the thing is, my spirituality is very wrapped up in the communion of community. Even with people who really don’t want to be part of a community with me. You are my religion. Even when I quite frankly don’t like you very much. Even all you white men I spend so much time bitching about.
You are my religion.
That doesn’t mean I will try to conform to being like you. That doesn’t mean I will blindly support you. It means I will try to think about you. It means I think you are important and I struggle to reflect that in my behavior all the time. I’m so sorry when I fuck up.
It doesn’t actually matter if you are a stranger. You are a person. I believe in you. I believe you can do more than you ever dreamed you could. I believe you are going to fuck up and make bad choices and sometimes I will want to lecture you about those but mostly I’ll keep it to myself. Even with your fuck ups I still believe in you. I believe you can overcome difficulty even as you say can’t. You did. You will.
I believe that I should do something to help you in this life. Maybe not a lot, but something. Even if that something is choosing to walk instead of drive when I’m not going far because we all need to breathe in 50 years.
We are all connected through our choices and our experiences. I can find connection with anyone. We won’t be “the same” because I’m not the same as anyone. I’m weird. But I can connect on some axis.
I believe that Gods are the inventions of human beings because human beings need ways to understand and influence behavior. I believe humans invent Gods because they need to externalize the sense of connection they feel.
I wouldn’t say you are my God. I would just say you are my religion. Religion can mean a few different things, like: “a pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance” or “a particular system of faith and worship”. It can be about superhumans but it doesn’t have to be.
I have faith in you. Even if you feel valueless. You haven’t learned how to look at yourself how I look at you. You have value. You have strengths. I can tell you all about them after I get to know you a bit. There are ways and skills you possess that make you talented. No matter how stupid you feel.
Do you know what I completely suck at? Repetitive work. I go bonkers. I can’t pay attention to detail and do the same damn thing thousands of times. I can’t. I’ll break something. There are lots of people in the world who can though.
It’s a good thing that we are different. We can all do different work. I’m real serious about the idea that work doesn’t have to be for pay. I do a lot of work. I haven’t been paid except for what I get as my “legal share” of Noah’s money in a long time. I’m not doing the work in exchange for pay.
Hell, I think that’s one of the most fucked up thing we’ve done in this country. Why do we say that work must be compensated or it isn’t worth doing? I pick up garbage because my neighborhood is nicer if I do. Not because I’m getting paid. For goodness sake.
I wish my stomach would stop hurting. I wish I could get more than six hours of sleep in a row.
At least I’m done laying out tile! Now I get to transition back to painting. I need to fix the hallway because it looks pretty scuffed up and bad after this process. I don’t think I’m going to bother fixing the garage spots. They had to cut through the drywall to install some stuff. So there is a white patch in the middle of my brown background and brightly colored stripes. I don’t even care at this point. I’m so fucking exhausted.
But I will fix the hallway because vanity.
Tile guy was complaining yesterday that we have made so many mistakes in this project. He feels bad and would kind of like me to go buy some new tile and we can rip out the funky bits and redo it.
Uhhhh…. no. It’s ok. There are mistakes. It is true. That is a sentiment that fits neatly with my life and attitude. We learned a lot. This was a learning experience and yes we made mistakes. I will live with them and use them as focus points for thinking about mistakes I am making later in other life situations. I’m going to keep learning how to talk to people and how to grow up. I’m going to fuck up. I can think about whether I’m making the kind of mistake where I went too fast and was sloppy so everything came out uneven or if I wasn’t seriously looking at what I was doing so I grabbed something that was totally out of place for an area.
This shit’ll come up again as themes. Trust me.
I find it funny how often people tell me I’m a perfectionist. Sort of. Kind of. Maybe. But I accept an awful lot of imperfection and I just roll with it. I don’t sit and labor over something a long time trying to perfect it. I do what I do and I set it down and I move on.
So maybe kinda a perfectionist… but not entirely. Only sorta in some ways.
I’m also sloppy as shit and I can’t be bothered to care. People have been trying to get me to be less sloppy all my damn life. I sometimes think I prefer things to be scuffed up and kind of shitty so people don’t have the expectation that I’ll be able to put everything into proper place.
I ain’t proper and I ain’t never gonna be so go bark up some other tree.
I sort of wonder how much my difficulty identifying as an artist or a dancer or a writer or whatever is less about perfectionism and more about wanting to set expectations. I’m not interested in being critiqued as an artist or a dancer or a writer. I don’t put myself out there to be judged. I mean, I’ve been blogging forever but that isn’t the same thing as submitting a novel to publishing houses or entering contests or some shit. I don’t put myself in positions to be judged. I know I’m shitty and that’s fine leave me the fuck alone. I don’t need to participate in your contest so I can lose so I can know I’m shitty. I already know. I’m good.
Is that perfectionism? Really?
The trouble with dancing was I kept being told that I have to work on my footwork so I can be a better stage performer, so I can join a contest.
Fuck you and your judgment. I’m not here for your entertainment.
And I sure as mother fuck don’t want a participant trophy. Shove it in your fucking ear.
I love to dance. I can semi-competently dance: waltz, tango, fox trot, salsa, merengue, swing (east and west coast but I strongly prefer east),… I could go on for a while. I know a lot of different kinds of dances. I could easily come up with a dozen and maybe two dozen specific dances I know.
But I’m not interested in being evaluated for how “good” I am and as a result I do not identify as a dancer.
This is all weirdly tied in with the religion stuff.
I’m not worthy to be part of anything. I will never be judged and found acceptable. I will always be told I’m doing it wrong and I’m not very good.
So I just can’t risk judgment at all. It takes all I have to get out of bed and go about my shitty little mistake filled life. I’m doing the best I can. I know it isn’t as good as other people. Leave me alone.
I mean, I want feedback on some aspects of my life. It is important that I be a less shitty parent with every year. I want feedback on my behavior and choices because the impact of me making bad choices is huge and I’m not the one who pays the price. So in that area I want and need to be judged and I seek out sources of judgment.
But not as a dancer or a writer or an artist. Not when it comes to my California Woo religion either. I’m not part of your community, not really. I don’t conform to being what you want from a human being. But I drop in now and then because you are part of my community. Because I don’t need to judge you and decide you are good enough to be whatever it is. I don’t need to decide if you are good enough to be on stage. I just want to know you.
The fun thing about the painting is I told Noah I would let him get rid of my paint by his birthday. I’m not allowed to keep any after this project to tempt me towards more painting in the next few years. I need a break. Which means that I have a trailing deadline on a lot of the painting. I don’t have to get it done super fast. The tile laying had to happen with a fire under my butt because other folks need the results of my work. This is slower paced.
Because I have to go back to hanging out with the kids more. They need me. So I’m probably not going to be painting 40-60 hours/week.
Oh I’m so relieved.
I’m getting to the end of this horrible remodel and looking around my life. I am lucky. I am blessed. An awful lot of friends have shown up for me. They kept in contact. They came over, semi-regularly of their own volition because they missed me. I have friends who are happy to come over and walk with me. My kids are fantastic life companions. Noah works from home now and when I stop ignoring him all the time I think his depression funk will go away. I’m not ignoring him out of malice or spite. I’m fucking working. I’m exhausted and I have nothing more to give. This is not personal.
Things are going to be very different in June than they are now.
I didn’t get my shit together enough to add more classes at the next round of kid classes starting. I’m not yet back in the zone of being on-duty for them all day every day. Classes start this week at a neat home school program in San Jose. Ok. We’ll have to start next school year then because this remodel ate my life.
I have nothing more to give. Eldest Child is making steady academic progress because she’s self directed and feisty. Youngest Child decided that since academics do not currently involve a bunch of mom time that shit can wait until they turn seven. Seems legit.
I have been very impressed with how well they have handled all this. Ok, they bicker a fair bit lately and there have been a couple of screaming matches… but that happens anyway. We have not had a descent into Lord of the Flies and they still by and large like each other and get along most of the time. Schweet.
It is almost over. It took too damn long. Almost to fourteen months of fuss in the house with another year of mental planning before that. I worry that I lack follow through. You know what? I am awesome at follow through. Sticktoittivity.
I’ve been awake for two hours. I think I can go back to sleep now.