Pardon the casserole-esque composition of this post, but I’m not feeling like I have a cohesive narrative in me at the moment, so here it all goes into a sort of bloggy dutch oven:
• Last week I had a little breakdown, meltdown, whatever that down thing is where you find yourself at the very bottom of your own emotional well, unable to muster anything but a feeble I…can’t while you squinch your eyes a little more tightly and moan in despair and resent everybody in the world and how they’ve had a hand in buggering your life straight into abject misery. I hate when I get to that place, which isn’t too often but even once is really too often considering that the health and welfare of two small beings depend entirely on me almost all of the time. I especially hate myself when I even start resenting them and their needs, you know for really burdensome things like food and hugs and shoelace-tying. Anyway I think in the interests of maintaining escape velocity and staying out of that dark dark place, I’m not going to write about it here, not now anyway. I was there, I’m mostly back, it’s a struggle, but at least I’m fighting the good fight, as they say.
• One precipitating factor of my well-dwelling was the construction work on our home. It isn’t minor, it’s a nightmare, both in the sense of what it is costing and what’s involved to get it done. Were talking whole walls and windows being ripped apart. Gone. Noise, dust, power tools, polite yet essentially strange men traipsing through the house all day. It just… it overwhelms. Particularly for an introvert like me: my home is my sanctuary, my refuge from a world I find mostly abrasive and stressful. I know: first world problems. It’s true. I try to remain grateful for the fact that I have a home. I’m realizing my gratitude muscle is a tad out of shape, though. Gotta work on that.
• I don’t get too excited about Valentine’s Day much anymore, it’s become more of a fun family thing where we do and say nice things for each other rather than a holiday filled to the gills with overt romance and sexaciousness. At most, Monsieur Shriek and I exchange cards with handwritten, thoughtful sentiments about our partnership and sometimes splurge on good chocolate. Which is fine by me, usually. However, I was secretly hoping this year that he’d say, Hey honey, you had a hard couple days and then next week is going to be literally 24/7 of you plus kids plus loud and invasive construction, why don’t you take a day to yourself and go read a whole book or something. However, as he busied himself doing yardwork and garage puttering and car washing, I engaged in a robust fantasy — as I spent three hours preparing supper with various children clamoring for snacks/attention and hanging like disgruntled three-toed sloths from my apron ties — of lounging remorselessly in a seaside hotel hammock with a gentle breeze turning the pages of my virgin copy of Joyce’s Ulysses, a vodka tonic murmuring fizzy nothings in my ear.
• Speaking of supper, I made the Pioneer Woman’s crash potatoes but sadly they turned out more like disaster potatoes. On the highly suspect advice of my husband (oh hindsight, your 20/20 I-told-you-so goggles are useless under the tent of holy matrimony), I pulled them out of the water too soon, and when I showed them the potato masher they scoffed and disintegrated into little spud crumbles.
Witness hot mess Exhibit A: