There is a culture out there, a mindset, that whatever you put out into the Universe, the Universe will send you. If that were true, I'd have a million dollars, a giant property with plenty of gardens, a career I love, and world peace. But that being said, learning to ask for what you need in your life is essential. This took me a long time to learn.
A week after my last post I was fired from the new job I'd started. Two weeks after that I was hired on at a place in the mall selling jewelry. So that's what I do now; back to shift work with retail instead of steady days and weekends off with administrative things. I took a leap off of my pillar into the swamp and here I am, swimming with crocodiles again. It's Samhain season, the last harvest and the trees are weeping leaves over the dying God and frozen rain saturates the empty fields. The angle of the sun brings dark mornings and dark evenings and it's dark everywhere, everywhere but inside me.
Though I leapt into the swamp and I swim with ancient dread, I AM swimming. Not drowning, not being eaten, not treading water. Two things are helping keep me focused and moving forward; the first is asking Ryan and the kids for help and being gentle and understanding of myself when I *need* help. When I was working in the office I discovered quickly that, when the kids were home, I hated it. I would work 8-5, including bus times, come home, do the dinner and dishes and bedtime and bath time and all of that, every day. On weekends I was still doing it all, even making lunch for everyone, and me last. It was always me last. Even sex became a chore. The kids were gone most of the summer to the Soo so when they came back, ontop of the stress of a new job (and possibly moving!), there was a lot happening.
I had a day somewhere in there that I just mentally couldn't do anything at all; I snapped at everyone for everything. I couldn't stand being around the kids; no play time, no lunch time, not anything. Ryan leapt onto my last nerve and broke it with a comment about, of all the damn things, laundry. We've been having an ongoing argument about laundry for 13 years at this point and I was Not. Having. It. I wasn't having anything. At one point I knocked over Kat and I's Jenga tower, said "I'm not playing anymore" and went outside to dig in the gardens because I just couldn't be near them anymore. Looking back now I'm ashamed at my behaviour.
Finally I said "I'm having a bad day and everyone needs to leave me alone. It's not you, it's me." And they did. I didn't have to cook dinner by myself. I didn't have to tidy up the livingroom alone. Bath time and bed time went smoothly.
Why did it take me 11 years to figure out that I don't have to do everything by myself? That if I just ASK for help, if I admit I'm having a bad day, or week, I don't have to plow through, keep calm and carry on? That kind of thinking nearly killed me when Gabe was an infant. It isolates me from my family today. Enough is enough.
Ryan cooks more and tidies more and enlists the kids to help, which they do with varying degrees of enthusiasm. It's wonderful to come home a couple of times a week to a home cooked meal and not take-out, or have to scramble around an hour before bed time and try and make something myself. I have to practise what I preach as a feminist so if I want an equally shared home, I need to make one through asking for it. When your family is just used to you doing everything, they stop seeing what needs to be done because hey, it's already done. To them, there isn't anything to do. That stopped this summer and I haven't looked back.
The second thing I have keeping me swimming amongst the crocs here in the swamp is having a goal; despite my MOUNTAINS of student debt I've decided to go back to school for the 4 year midwifery course. I have 0 funding at this point but I do have a sort-of plan that doesn't involve robbing a bank or winning the lottery. More as that develops. If you want to help with that goal, or just my life in general (being off for 2 weeks and having to wait 2 weeks more for my 1st paycheque really put a dent in our budget), there's a paypal button under the pic of me on the page. You never know; some kind, random stranger may read this and decide to help me out in a big way! If I don't ask, I'll never know how often I could hear 'yes'.
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