Siiiiiigggghhhhh….. Okay, fair warning: this blog post will be one long whining rant, ’cause that’s just how I feel. So if you don’t want to be subjected to my negativity tonight, then just skip to the next feed on your Bloglines, ‘kay? 🙂
So it’s my birthday. I’m 36 today. Finally completely out of that 25-35 age bracket, though I was kind of borderline for the last year, where some people cut it off at 34 and others at 35. Guess I’m officially in middle age now, though according to my spiritual director, I’ve been doing the work of midlife for over ten years. It’s gotten old, but I will say I’m not ready for the work of old age, so I guess that’s something.
But today was the worst birthday I’ve had since… well, since last year. Last year, I spent the weekend on a silent retreat, and I returned home Sunday around 11am on my birthday. Shortly after I dropped my bags in the foyer, the kids snuck up behind me and set off crackers. Needless to say, this did not make me happy, after two and a half days of silence. We went out for lunch (after the typical debate about crowdedness, prices, and looking up menus online so everyone would know what they were going to order before we went out the front door), and then came back home. I don’t know exactly why, but just a couple hours later, I was in tears of frustration and impotent rage (though I didn’t recognize that component until much later).
This year, I’ve been suffering mightily with the tree pollens that are spiking our pollen counts through the roof here in southeastern Virginia. Last night, I woke up three times with sneezes and runny nose from the hay fever, so once my doctor’s office was open this morning, I called for an appointment. That’s how I spent the middle part of the day. My first “happy birthday” of the day came not from my daughter, who was here with me this morning, but came on my voice mail this afternoon from the general manager of the dealership where I bought my car last fall. I did get a gift in the mail from my fiancé, but the only card I’ve received came from the grandmother I’m mostly estranged from.
My apartment is in complete disarray right now, because I move to the new house on Friday. My fiancé flies in Thursday night to help with the move, so really, I have tonight and tomorrow night to get everything packed, before the movers come at 7am Friday morning. I miss my beautiful pictures from my walls, my soothing surroundings, the books from my bookshelf, and the little mementos I have here and there. And I’m tired – I’m not sleeping well, what with my nerves being jangled from the disorder around me, and with my brain going a mile a minute reminding me of everything I need to remember and do and keep track of this week… and oh yeah, the allergies.
I haven’t eaten a home-cooked meal since before I left for my Canada trip, which would be eighteen days ago. Before that, I’d been trying to use up things so I wouldn’t have to throw them away, and since then, I’ve been packing. Everything has been take-out or eat-out since then, and it’s getting old. (Not to mention costing me on the waistline – I’m not looking forward to my next weighing at Weight Watchers.) Of course, it’s not like I have the energy to fix anything anyway. But I miss the comfort of my favorite meals, made the way I like them.
And then there have been the little frustrations. I had a buy-one-get-one-free coupon at Bennigan’s for my birthday, but I forgot to say something to my daughter before she warmed up some leftovers for her supper. So my birthday dinner is on its way from Domino’s now. Also, my ex doesn’t remember it, but our separation agreement says that each of us is supposed to have the children on our birthday and on Mother’s/Father’s Day. But I didn’t even get to see our son today at all. He rode the bus straight home to his dad’s house – when he usually rides the bus here to hang out and do homework until his dad gets off from work – because his dad was home sick from work today. I didn’t remind him of it, and I know I should have, but it really sucks that he couldn’t remember that, or even suggest it for himself. And I’m not going into any of the other little inconsiderations and ways that he’s not living up to his end of our agreement. No, I’ll take another deep breath (or ten), and I’ll remind myself to keep on trying to be the bigger person.
I’ve had to take a break from the church choir, because I’ve had conflicts on rehearsal nights for the last month. I didn’t think it would be fair to the choir to show up on Sundays to sing anthems that I don’t know, so I emailed our organist a few times to let him know. Some of the other choir members have told me they miss me and stuff, and I got a really sweet email from the real “Mom” of the choir this morning – she had no idea why I haven’t been participating the last month, had no idea that it was temporary and not health-related, told me that the organist hadn’t shared with the choir what was going on. Of course, I know he had been dealing with his own health crisis this winter, but now I don’t even know for sure that he’d gotten my emails. So I’m torn between feeling bad for the other choir members and feeling frustrated with our director.
And, worst of all perhaps… My ex called our daughter and had a long talk at her, the kind she hates. And even after she’d told me a couple months ago that she didn’t want to live with him any more, now she has decided and is sticking to her decision that she doesn’t want to live with me any more once I’m remarried. She’ll still spend every other weekend with us, but doesn’t want to have alternate months with us. And I don’t know how to respond to this. He is a classic emotional abuser (and quite the misogynist, too), and he’s dumping his emotional baggage on our daughter now that I’m not there to dump on any more. I so badly want to protect her from that, to help her learn how to deal with it, but now I’m not going to be able to any more. And she’s thirteen – she’s old enough to make this kind of decision for herself. I just feel so rejected, like she wants me to choose between her and my fiancé, and as awful as it sounds, I don’t know how to make that choice.
So for now, I really want to go curl up in my bed, cry until I’m cried out, roll up in a fetal ball and suck my thumb, and sleep for about a decade. And when I wake up, I want it to be in my new house, all unpacked and decorated and peaceful and beautiful. Instead, I have more boxes to pack. More things to hand-carry to the house. Just more work… and I am seriously lacking in the resources to handle it.
So please, if you can spare a moment, can you send up a prayer for me? In the meantime, I’ll be packing and packing and packing. Thanks!