self-doubt

My Intentions Are Always Good

My follow-through is bad.

I’ve never been quite able to figure out why.  I’m suspecting it’s because I’m an ambivert. I just discovered that term this year in an article about introverts and extroverts and new research about them. I was most definitely an introvert when I was younger – or at least I was when I began school. I morphed somewhat into an extrovert later after getting some life experiences under my belt.

 
Perhaps this is where I should insert a link to my favorite Courtney Barnett song, “Nobody Really Cares if You Don’t Go to the Party”,  but instead I’ll just skip to the resonant chorus for me:

“I wanna go out, but I wanna stay home”

And how apropos that song is, indeed, for today.

You see, right about now my daughter and I should be heading out to a wedding across town. Way across town. Normally it would take us about one to one and a half hours to get there (Texas and its’ major cities are big and sprawling, y’all). However, our city happens to have, or rather always seems to have, freeways under construction.  I’d forgotten about that. Until I called my sister-in-law a little bit ago and she said that they were just about to leave because of all the road closures. A little trill of panic fluttered in my chest.

We were going to carpool with them, because my husband, who is the one related to the person getting married, refused to go.  It followed that if my husband was going to stay home, then my son, who has ADHD, was going to stay home as well. Neither of them are particularly social; it’s downright tortuous for them. My husband wasn’t always this bad about it, but he’s still trying to crawl out of the Depression Pit.

I’d already RSVPd for all four of us to attend.  In light of the heel-digging, however, I figured that we’d just say my husband and son were under the weather and my daughter and I would do our best to enjoy ourselves there. The truth is that I did not particularly want to go either.

No. Wait. That’s not entirely true. When we got the invite in the mail, I remember thinking, “Oh! N. is getting married! How nice! Of course we will attend. We haven’t seen them for a long time now”.   I operated with that intention for a couple of months.

No, wait. I’m going to back up again.

I did indeed intend for us to go when we got the “save the date” notice in the mail. Then came the invite to a wedding shower for the bride. About 3 days before the actual event. With no email to respond to. And the wrong phone number.

The bride is on my husband’s side of a very large family. She is the daughter of my husband’s cousin (I can never remember if that makes her his second cousin or his 1st cousin once removed. I forget how that works). She is someone I think of fondly because I remember how cute she was at our wedding and she always sought me out at the infrequent family get-togethers in the past. But since my mother-in-law passed away, those get-togethers where her family’s children and grandchildren are invited are much fewer and farther between.

My husband and his brother have always maintained that they’re never quite sure who is who at these gatherings, aside from the cousins, aunts and uncles that they grew up with. Like I said, it’s a pretty big family and it takes awhile at these reunions to figure out which kid belongs to which person and how they are all related. In other words, we aren’t all that close.  But I give them an A for trying, because they are a lot closer than my dad’s family of seven siblings and all their children who never really even bothered to get together at holidays. My dad says it’s because none of them could last very long in one room without getting into an argument. So, we mostly see them at funerals.

My mother, one of two children, finds this terribly tragic and just plain wrong. She was raised with strict focus on etiquette and the importance of milestones such as birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc. It doesn’t matter what your relationship is with your family members, no matter how you really feel about them, you GO. So, at least my husband’s family makes an attempt.

But when I reached the automated message informing me that the phone number of the family member throwing the shower, the only contact I had for her, was disconnected or no-longer-in-use, I found myself a bit indignant. WHO the hell puts only a phone number on an invite, and a wrong one at that?!?  Since we don’t keep in close contact, it wasn’t like I had any of their information.

Ahhhhhh. But there is Facebook, I have to remind myself. And Facebook is also the reason that I initially suspected that the wrong information was deliberate.

Because, here is the other wrinkle: I am actually “friends” with many of his family members on FB and that is the only way we seem to keep in contact, through “likes” and smiley faces and general posts; much like I do with my dad’s side of the family.  Facebook is actually how our families got to know each other better.  I’m sure that since most people are by this time familiar with, and users of, social media, you can sense how that has gone.  Yeah. Not too pretty!

I never realized how many closeted racists I was related to and how deeply that racism ran. I never realized how fanatical some of my relations were. I didn’t know that they were practically ALL zealous, right-wing, conservatives.  For their part, they never realized I am a liberal die-hard Democrat, a feminist, and embracer of all races.  And they didn’t know how “yappity” I am about it.
I’ve been blocked by, and have blocked, many family members.  On both sides.  You might as well disown someone if you do that because it is basically the internet equivalent.

But back to the wedding issue…

I got over my indignation about the invite because it didn’t really make much sense.  We were set again to attend. I bought the gift and it will be delivered soon. My daughter and I chose what we were going to wear. I was going to run out this morning and get a nice card to leave at the reception. We were going to carpool, as I mentioned.  I had good intentions.  Firm intentions.

Until I woke up quite groggily at eleven a.m. this morning and my daughter woke up even later. You’d think I would have planned better, set my alarm for earlier, right? I did, though. Snooze buttons are a useless invention. My daughter is even worse. She sets her alarm and then sleeps on, oblivious to it for up to hours.  She doesn’t even manage to wake up to hit it!  We are terrible night-owls. I exit sleep at a turtle’s pace. My children are following in my footsteps. (God only knows how we are going to handle it when school starts back soon!!)  I’ve been wondering if I need to get my Adderall refilled.

However,  I still, unrealistically, thought we had time to get ready. And then I called my sister-in-law. And I hadn’t yet had my second, most necessary, cup of coffee; and my teen-age daughter was still in her pajamas; and so was I; and we both needed to take showers; and we both needed to get dressed; and we both needed to put on make-up; and I still hadn’t run out to get that card; and there were so many things that still needed doing while we were gone which I knew my husband wouldn’t do because he was still in bed. I didn’t want to embarrass ourselves by walking into the ceremony half-way. I didn’t want us to show up just to the reception because that seemed too awkward and a little rude somehow.  “Hi!! We only showed up for the chow!!”.  Uh, no.

My husband mumbled from his pillow, “Don’t go. It doesn’t matter. You won’t make it in time anyway. They really won’t notice. You sent a gift and that’s all what it’s about anyway.”  Did I mention yet that my husband is a pretty cynical guy?

My mother will most likely call me tomorrow and ask how the wedding was. I might have to lie to her, because she is the original fount of my sense of guilt and shame. I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m feeling like a horrible, no good, terrible, no-class and very bad person right now.

I said we would go, and we didn’t. My intention was good, but it failed.

I wanted to go, but I ended up staying home.

Am I awful? Am I rude? Am I lame? Am I overthinking this?

Am I the only one who does this? Please tell me no.

It’s really hard being an ambivert.

 

 

 

 

I Often Worry

I often worry. No surprise there to anyone who knows me. I worry about all sorts of things, as all people do. I fall into the category of people, though, who worry too much. Way too much. I know this about myself. I try to deal with it.

I know that parents always worry how well a job they are doing raising their children. They worry if they are screwing their kids up somehow. After all, parents have pretty vivid images of how their own parents raised them and it most definitely affects the kind of parent that they want to be. But, often, there is a huge gap between the parent you want to be and the parent you actually are. And that is, of course, because no two people are ever exactly the same; no two children, no two adults, no two families. That whole “Life is a box of chocolates” thing.  The wishing that kids came with individual instruction manuals thing. Hell, the wish that you had come with an instruction manual!

This piece touched me just now because I often worry as well. I think my husband does too. I wonder how my children are going to remember me, my husband, us.  I wonder how our depression will affect them; has affected them. Because it’s certainly affected everything that he and I have done and do. (Damn you, Depression!!)

I’m curious and anxious about what things look like to them, how things feel to them. Very anxious. Very worried.

Anyway, I enjoyed this piece by Lisa Lim about how things seemed to her.

My Mother Would Walk Miles Upon Miles

By Lisa Lim on Mutha Magazine

“I’d ask, “Mommy, why don’t you have any wrinkles?” “Because I don’t think that hard about things,” she’d answer.” Memories of a mother — and her struggles with homelessness, depression, and varicose veins — in comic form.

via My Mother Would Walk Miles Upon Miles — Discover

Never Say Never

I consider this my Life Lesson #1:  Never say never.

My mind flashes back to so many moments in my life in which I uttered sentences that began with “I will never…..”  Oh, the many blog posts I could write on all the examples of when I so confidently announced what I would never do!  

(There’s a thought!:  A blog devoted to all the the things I said I would never do and how it all came back to bite me in the butt. Because there’s nothing more that Karma loves than the meaty challenge of a fool proclaiming “Never!!”)  

(I never thought I would actually start a blog for one, but I digress…)

I never wanted, nor planned, to be a Housewife. A Hausfrau. Oh, you should have heard me as a teenager! “Never!”  Yet, here I am.

If I had known that that is indeed what I would end up doing, perhaps I would have elected to partake in those Home Economics classes in high school. Do they still teach those classes? Are they still called “Home Economics?” I didn’t take them because running a household and cooking and cleaning and budgeting and sewing and mending clothes were things I was not interested in. Certainly not things that I imagined at the time were going to factor greatly in my future. I apparently did not go so far as to wonder who was going to be responsible for those things in my adult life. That was a bit fuzzier. All I knew is that it wasn’t going to be all up to me.

When I got married I still didn’t picture it all being up to me. I was working (in the “outside world”) at the time and I had these strange visions in my head of my husband and I making the bed together, doing the laundry together, cooking together, washing the dishes together, one of us dusting while the other one vacuumed. A day or two a week set aside in which both of us cleaned house as a team and then in the evening afterwards relaxing together. I don’t think we actually ever discussed this wonderful, romantic, plan of mine in the mandatory, but very brief, “couples counseling” sessions requested by the pastor who married us.  In fact, I think the session involved us turning in questionnaires that were given to us to fill out at home and then listening as the pastor tallied up the score and said that though it looked like there were “things we probably needed to work on”, in general, it seemed we were compatible. No. We didn’t really delve into how we planned on managing our household “together”.  I think we just figured it would evolve organically. Do couples ever plan out these things? Looking back, I probably should have mentioned to my bridegroom that I really didn’t love to clean (are there really people who do?) despite the fact that in our very first long distance conversation over the phone, that first call after I’d given him my number, he caught me meticulously dusting and Lysol-ing my parents’ books and bookcase. What can I say? I don’t love to clean, but when I do, I want it really, really, clean.

I don’t enjoy cooking either. I wish I did. But, in truth, I don’t.

When I found out I was pregnant, there was never a doubt that I wanted to stay at home with our baby. I had been a latch-key kid from the time I was 11 and for me it wasn’t such a great thing. I knew that I didn’t want that for my own child.  Not particularly enjoying my job history, and the costs of daycare and commuting, certainly factored into the decision to stay home as well. We weren’t sure how long I would do it, but we were willing to try.  Again, I had very romantic, hazy, sorts of ideas about how this plan would go.

Excuse me while I take a moment to laugh somewhat hysterically to myself.  Oooooo, hoooo….yeah.

Again, there was that whole not really thinking through who would be “responsible” for this or that or the other. It just wasn’t going to be all on my shoulders. Because, after all, especially as a child of the “Free to Be, You and Me” era, this (cleaning), that (cooking) and the other (everything else involved in maintaining a house) was never anything I had seriously considered as a “vocation”. As a life’s “work”. As “my job”.  As an identity.

And here I am. 

The thing is, as a somewhat introverted person, I love being at home. I love being able to operate on my own schedule. I love not having to answer to a boss. I love not having to deal with the general public and the lousy days that they may be having. I love not being chained to a desk in an office. I love being here 24-7 for my kids (I really do!).

I just really don’t like the whole “housekeeping” bit. It is, and has been, a huge struggle for me. I guess because I still don’t see myself as a Housewife. I was never going to be a Housewife. A wife – yes. A mom – yes. An artist who worked from home? – a dream, but yes, please!! A Housewife?

Never.

Karmic lesson gained: I realize now just how judgmental, how snobbish, how ignorant I was about housewives.

 

 

Second Thoughts

The drudgery of a new day. Gray, cold, wet, muddy, mucky day. Facing the knowledge that I’ve set myself up again with my wine-fueled, manic, grand, intentions to write everyday. One more lurking thing to hang over my head, ready to vomit guilt all over me the minute it goes unattended.
I woke up to the blather of the television set, checked in on the blather of the internet, and asked myself if I really thought any good would come of adding more blather to it all. The answer was an ego-deflating “Absolutely not”. (Not that my ego was huge enough to emit much air as it decreased, mind you…)
And yet, here I am.
Right.
Waiting for the other unattended, too long neglected, things I have hanging over my head to spew their bile over me for ignoring them to do this.
And what, exactly, IS this that I’m doing?
Just thinking out loud at the moment. Listening to one of my cats snore contentedly behind the computer screen and becoming envious of him. Wishing (my sincere apologies!) that I had not drunkenly mentioned to a few dear friends of mine that I’d started this thing that will, most likely, go absolutely nowhere and provide absolutely nothing interesting or enlightening to anyone’s day.
And yet, here I still sit.
Right.
Snippets are all I can handle right now.
I’m off in an attempt to wash away some of the spewage (that’s right, auto-correct; it’s my blog and I’ll make up words if I want to) that’s dripping down on me.