Yesterday I was on the phone with my dad (HI DAD!) and he asked me when I was going to write again. When this much time lapses between posts – and for the record this is the longest break I’ve taken – it is a little daunting when I think of trying to catch up on the events of an entire month.
I needed a break from everything, even the things that give me pleasure like writing.
I’m not going to lie, the last four months with my MIL kicked my ass. Not because it was hard work – she’s pretty low maintenance – but psychologically. This isn’t news and to spare you the repetition I wrote about it here. It’s more of the same and you don’t actually need to see it, as if you need to see any of my bullshit. Anyway, the password is whining.
Since the new year I’ve stopped overeating, I’ve stopped drinking (after a disastrous – and not even in a remotely funny kind of way – New Year’s Eve), I am spending time with my kids again and taking care of my body. I’ve already lost five pounds and feel much more on top of my emotions.
I can get through dinner without a half a bottle of wine and I’m enjoying feeling very little pressure to perform. It’s glorious.
I discovered a new guilty pleasure.
I’m all about soothing and comfort. When I want to step up the arousal level I’ll watch tiny home and van conversion videos on Youtube. All I want is smaller and simpler.
Loony’s family visited us over the holidays. I really like his family, especially the way they have of being together. They make cookies, do puzzles, play games, read and knit. My family did exactly none of these things as a group activity. I’m not from a large family so I enjoy being a part of it.
Yes, I was stressed during their stay. Not because of them or the work of having extra mouths to feed. Cooking in bulk is my wheelhouse. It was more the pressure I put on myself to be perfect which inevitably leads to me turning into a dumpster fire.
I really respect Loony’s family and I want them all to like me. Naturally the wheels immediately came off.
I was relieved that Chief was finally potty trained so I could shampoo the carpet and not be the person with the un-potty trained kids/pets. Despite Chief being pretty solid, he was so excited when new family members arrived that he immediately peed on the floor. He’s never done that before and hasn’t done it since.
And because it was friggin’ freezing, Scheissehund wouldn’t go outside.
To be fair, he is hairless and weighs 4 1/2 pounds which gives him no body mass to stay warm in 10 degree weather, sweater or no. On those days I put him in the shower stall for a few minutes several times a day to give him a chance to relieve himself.
This was considered disgusting which I don’t get. If your dog had no choice but to go inside (because he’s a ridiculous creature that can’t survive in the cold), wouldn’t you want it to be in a shower where you can thoroughly clean and rinse the area?
I mean come on, everyone pees in the shower. You may not talk about it but you totally do.
To make matters worse, Scheissehund got sick. Like really sick. Also like Minx, he just had to do it when the vet was closed, on New Year’s Eve. I had to wait until the day after New Year’s for them to open because the last 30 days have crushed me with vet bills. I kid you not, I spent $1200 between Bates, Scheissehund and Chief.
The upshot was that he was vomiting and had uncontrollable diarrhea. The silver lining is that he’s tiny, therefore his effluvia is also tiny but it didn’t stop the, “This is Vivienne’s house so you have watch your step or else you’ll step in poop,” comments.
IT’S NOT ALWAYS LIKE THIS, I SWEAR!
I took to wearing him around all day in the carrier because I could at least get him to the shower once he started squirming. That didn’t do much for making me look like a sane person.
The vet gave him a ton of meds and administered subcutaneous fluids which gave him this funny hump/linebacker shoulders/thankles look as the fluids migrated down.
He got better fast, just in time for Chief to get the same thing. Ugh. My vet gave me a hug when she saw me come in with YET ANOTHER sick pet.
So that was stressful.
What bums me out the most about the visit was not that I was stressed out but that Loony’s family thought it was because of them. Okay, having people around when the shit is hitting the fan doesn’t help, but I was happy they were here. Like I said, I really like them.
But the more stuff fell apart, the more I felt like I was failing, and add some drinks and the stuff that stresses me out about Loony that I can usually ignore suddenly seems so pressing, and I go sideways and things feel awkward and … well … I don’t know. I wish I could be relaxed around them.
The “kids” in the family who are now all grown adults … I love them so much. I’ve known them since they were little kids and I am in awe of them and I hope my kids turn out as great as they have. Enter all my parenting insecurities and here we go again.
I had a full-on panic attack one night. I was in bed and it felt like my chest was flooded with acid. Panic attacks don’t feel hyperventilate-y, OH MY GOD I’M FREAKING OUT-ey. No, I am usually relaxed and suddenly I am in incredible pain. Having been through it a few times I know it’s not a heart attack, but I would imagine that’s what a heart attack feels like.
It doesn’t help.
What I worry about is that people won’t want to come visit because they think they aren’t welcome or that it’s too much for me to handle. I regularly have a house full of people and major chaos and it doesn’t throw me so it’s not like I can’t handle the work. Working is what I do. I worked hard to make this house what it is and I’m proud of it. I want to extend hospitality to Loony’s family as they have extended it to us over the years. And I feel like I blew it. Again.
It’s all the bullshit self-doubt, self-imposed unrealistic expectations, and relationship drama with Loony. Sprinkle in some diarrhea and a kitten in heat and creeping dread about how best to care for a beloved elder and oh shit.
So there you have it.
Hey, if any family is reading this, I love you. I really do. I’m sorry I get so uptight at these things. I swear it isn’t you and I’m always happy to see you. Maybe I do better in smaller gatherings but I cherish our reunions even if it might not seem that way.
And now it is just me and the family again. And Tabby.
It was snowing so hard today but I really wanted to take the dogs on a big hike. Tabby dusted off her truck and we went to a spot where the dogs could run free. It was miserable yet I was so happy to be around my cranky, misanthropic friend who lovingly ridicules me, my dog, herself, and everyone.
I also got to see My Parasitic Twin and unburden myself about New Year’s Eve and in her usual fashion, she was the most well-reasoned, soothing, and calming voice in my life. She is an enigma wrapped in a mystery.
Sideboob and I went almost two weeks without seeing each other which is weird in that we are usually so connected. Heck, just today she was driving on a busy road where a woman ran the red and smacked into her car.
The woman was Asian and her name was Vivienne, although I bet she spelled it Vivian. Boom.
So even though it is the 21st and not exactly the new year anymore, I have some resolutions. They are easy ones.
Do more of this …
I’ve been watching what I eat and exercising again but I’m trying really hard to come from a place of self-love and not punishment because …
And I’m spending lots of time cuddling my animals because they are keeping me sane, when they aren’t driving me nuts.
Stitch taught me and Scratchy how to knit. I’ve tried my hand at it before but this time around I have no goals except to make the thing longer.
Ok. I’m caught up now.