My Before Picture

I woke up yesterday a touch hungover, but nonetheless ready to start 2018 right. I had prepared for this. I stocked up on healthy food last week. I woke up and started writing down goals in my new journal, drank some fiber, filled in the new family calendar, read some inspirational shit on Pinterest, and resolved to transform from an obese rage monster into a still probably slightly overweight monster with an appropriate amount of rage.

Any parent trying to raise humans in this world has to have a healthy amount of rage, lest we crumble beneath the weight of fear. I just can’t seem to stop at the healthy amount of anything… rage, chocolate, wine. I digress. Rage. So many harsh realities push me to outrage these days. I read something once, more likely online than in an actual book, that I think of often. “Aim to live in this world without the world living in you. A boat on water sails perfectly, but when the water gets inside, it sinks.”

I try to remind myself of that every time my worries start to creep into my daily interactions. Too often, I let the horror of current events, the stress of our schedule, or the clutter in our home affect me. My children may wake up and only get to see me for 30 minutes before school. What am I making that 30 minutes into? How will it influence their own day? Over the years I have learned that everyone in our home feeds off my energy. Each day I have to decide whether to let that thought drain me or fuel me. I’m ashamed to admit how many times it absolutely drains me, how many times my empty shell is guiding them through their morning routine, how many times I’m absent from the stories I’m nodding along to.

How does one take a “before” picture of anxiety and depression? What does one use to measure a total lack of ambition and energy? How does one suddenly wake up with a sense of purpose?

The first entry in my new journal is a list of my bad habits. I have a lot of them. I never shut cabinet doors. I burn dinner. I forget to turn off lights. I let 5-6 baskets of clean laundry pile up before I get pissed off and fold it all. I’m on my phone too much. I speak before I think. I leave or hang up without saying goodbye, because I’m already thinking about what I’m doing next. I’m distracted. I lie to my children a lot, mostly with threats I never intend to follow through with. No, children, I won’t actually throw your new tablet out the window if you don’t quit arguing. That’s not the point. I’m just trying to demonstrate how annoyed I am right now, almost to the point of total disregard for your valuables. Of course I’m not going to get rid of the only things that have ever been able to keep all three of you quiet for an entire hour so I can blog about you.

I digress, which is another bad habit. So I’m working on the rage thing, the absent minded thing, and the can’t fit in any of my jeans thing. I also decided to work on the clutter thing. I may have bitten off more than I can chew, and I can chew an awful lot. I don’t have an actual plan of attack yet, but I feel like self-awareness is a decent first step. I’ve been treating a migraine since yesterday afternoon, so my inflated sense of optimism is probably mostly chemical. As with every new year, making lists from the couch is the easy part.

2 thoughts on “My Before Picture

  1. Jessie, I love reading your post you are a wonderful mother you need to give your self more credit I admire you for lots of things that I didn’t do has a mother so don’t be so hard on yourself your kids are going to grow up happy and healthy, when you get my age you will look back and look at your grown children and say wow I did this I have wonderful grown kids I am blessed ♥️Love ya lots Aunt Belinda

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  2. Jessie, I love reading your blog, every single one of them! I want to tell you that sometimes it’s exactly how I feel, only without the humor. I envy your humor! I also envy at how wonderful your children truly are and very well rounded. You are doing a great job, despite the anxiety and depression. I know all too well how those buggers can make you have so much self doubt! Hang in there, there’s always enough wine! 🙂 ~Manda

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