Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Circle 5 is not so bad..

So, as noted in the previous posts, I'm having a rough time of it. It doesn't help that every time I read my own blog, I audibly hear the word "sullen" followed by the word "wrathful", and then we all hold hands and skip on down, tra la la, in merry pomp to Circle 5*.

(Sigh)

I appreciate the support you guys have been giving me. Seriously. Sometimes I cling to words of encouragement like it's the last chocolate bar I can afford, hoping that this time the golden ticket is inside and when I slowly open the package I will find it, and all of my dreams will come true (read: the hardships will disappear), and I will humbly accept my fate as the newest owner of the greatest chocolate factory in the world! But, sadly, I'm not Charlie Bucket. I'll never have such luck.

To say that work is the instigator of all of this angst would partly be true. Back in the 90's, when my passion was "the children, our future," when unicorns and kittens jumped over rainbows, I was happy. I lived in an apartment that was flea infested. I slept on a mattress on the floor. Sometimes the apartment's car port would flood with sewage. And I was so freaking distracted by the "magic" of the future, that I didn't notice that my present was hard.

So now that I have a house, a viable job, a wonderful husband, and a happy, healthy baby boy, it makes no sense that I am sad. My brain constantly reminds my heart of the fact that I am truly, truly lucky. But that reminder becomes a source of guilt when I can't make myself enjoy life. I am stuck in the mire of "what I'm not." Somehow being a wife, mother, and teacher isn't enough. I'm lacking. And I can't figure out why.

I know that you are all thinking, "but look at what you've done! How amazing is it that you have come this far, that you have survived _____ (fill in the blank with baby having, mother boot camp, and/or a whole semester of Mean Girls, the reality version) _________. And I have. But I don't accept "surviving" as any great accomplishment. Cockroaches surviving a nuclear holocaust, now that's something. But pretty much, most of us survive. It isn’t such a big deal. You can tell on account of the fact that we're all breathing.

Surviving is not enough.

I want to do more than that. And in using the excuse that I just had a kid and should be forgiving of what I perceive as my limitations is somewhat of a cop out. What I mean is Rich also has a new baby. No one is telling him to be gentle to himself. No one expects him to be more relaxed about his responsibilities when his plate is equally full. In giving in to that limitation, I feel like I'm actually taking a step backwards.

As far as my job is concerned, there is no room for not giving 100 %. In fact, not giving that much affects others; it certainly shortchanges the kids. Also, I am graded on my teaching, especially in the International Baccalaureate class where literally, the IB gods (who happen to live in Cardiff) literally grade my grading. Literally. There isn't room for relaxation. And the magazine! Ugh! The magazine won't edit and print itself! The seniors need to be somewhat literate before my conscience can allow for them to go into the "big out there" carrying a diploma with my name on it. So, you see, there is no room for anything but 100% in each class. That's 300%, plus another 300 to my marriage and 600 to my kid. That's 1200%! And no one deserves less than that.

So knowing that I have what seems like too much on my plate and recognizing the things I want to be but am not leaves me shaking in a corner, rocking back and forth mumbling something like, "Tell me about the rabbits, George." And even though it might be cute on first sight, I'm pretty sure that for those who are close to me, the routine of this has to be a little disconcerting.

I want to give myself five more months before I make that doctor's appointment that will go something like:

Dr.: What exactly is the problem?
Me: Tell me about the rabbits, George.
Rich: She's gone crazy
Dr.: I see. Here are 25 little blue pills. Come back for the little red ones if she starts foaming at the mouth.
Me: Green parakeets on big soy mountain.
Rich: Um. Could you possibly give us both the blue and red pills...TODAY?

In five months Baby Jack will be one (read: my body will be one year away from giving birth to a bazillion hormones) and it will be summer. If I still can't erase or at least disguise this "Woe is me” chapter from my autobiography, then I'll have to try the doc. Then it's back down the rabbit hole for me.



* Circle 5 - Dante's Inferno - The Wrathful and Sullen - Their sin is that they refused divine illumination and the sullen are punished by being entombed in the slime by the shores of the River Styx. They sing grotesque parodies of hymns, bubbles rising from their mouths.

9 comments:

Amy said...

Oh may you sound just like I did a while back. I know things must be a little hard and different. When I had Alyce everything was great. I was happy and lala. Then it happened to me. I was lost and sad and not knowing what to do. I did not want to think anything was wrong so I just kept on going. I think things are fine but I still have my moments when I am lost. I think you will be fine it just takes time to adjust. If you really do not enjoy your job that much take this summer to find hope and a better job. I know you do not want to hear this because of your fill in the blank but I am going to say it any ways. You should be proud of yourself for the life you do have. It is a lot of work being a mom, wife, and working mom. You have done great so far. Yes you have Rich but I think men take it a different way then we do. I will be here for you if you need it. I am proud of you.

Jen said...

Hey Ging!! I agree with what Amy said!! I think it's very common to feel the way you do! It' hard being a new mom, trying to stay balanced while not losing yourself! I too am SO proud of you!

The things you mentioned of just surviving are all things that have huge rewards in the end. Hang in there sweet girl! I love you!!

tara said...

I certainly don't know you well enough to have an opinion, but the fact that you mentioned hormones and the amount of time it has been since the baby was born make me think that maybe you should go ahead and go to the doctor now. You say that it's not all about work. You compare how you are feeling to how everyone else is dealing. You are using the words sullen and sad, not stressed and tired.

It cannot hurt you to go in and see your ob-gyn and get your hormone levels tested. It cannot hurt you to tell someone that you might not be quite yourself still. There is nothing wrong with that. And five months is a long time to wait to feel better.

You deserve 300% too, you know.

Chelle said...

Make an appointment with the doctor. If nothing else, it will be someone to talk to.

Yes, Rich is a new parent too. However, his body wasn't stretched and cut open. That changes things. And, men compartmentalize better.

Take a day off, take Jack to Nanny, and write your purpose, what you want, how you will get it. If teaching isn't it, oh well, there are other opporunities. If teaching is it, then make the changes you need and keep moving forward.

the girls' moma said...

I can't imagine. We'll blow it all off this weekend. Deal???

I love you.

Staci said...

Hey Ginger, I agree with the previous posters. Preggo hormones are a force to be reckoned with and they last for a long time. I needed pharmaceutical intervention after both kiddos. Talk to the doc and know that even though you feel like caca, you are sincerely doing a fantastic job. The little blue ones will help you believe it.

Chelle said...

I was remembering your post, a while back, about catharsis. Hoping you have some wonderful, peaceful, life giving cathartic moments soon.

Long hot bath and a glass of wine maybe? A nice long talk, and that glass of wine with one of your closest friends?

Hope things turn around soon friend.

Christine said...

Sorry, dude. I stopped at the mention of a chocolate bar.

JUST FOCUS ON THE CHOCOLATE.

It's magic. It works for me. Oh... wait... maybe not.

Ginger said...

Thanks all. Am feeling a little better today - maybe because it's the end of the semester.. maybe because I'm eating chocolate..

I may go to the doc to get the ole hormones checked. I hadn't thought of that. So thanks, Tara.

Also, I am about to have a fun girls' week-end with two of my favorites on the planet! I promise to be more jovial soon!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Circle 5 is not so bad..

So, as noted in the previous posts, I'm having a rough time of it. It doesn't help that every time I read my own blog, I audibly hear the word "sullen" followed by the word "wrathful", and then we all hold hands and skip on down, tra la la, in merry pomp to Circle 5*.

(Sigh)

I appreciate the support you guys have been giving me. Seriously. Sometimes I cling to words of encouragement like it's the last chocolate bar I can afford, hoping that this time the golden ticket is inside and when I slowly open the package I will find it, and all of my dreams will come true (read: the hardships will disappear), and I will humbly accept my fate as the newest owner of the greatest chocolate factory in the world! But, sadly, I'm not Charlie Bucket. I'll never have such luck.

To say that work is the instigator of all of this angst would partly be true. Back in the 90's, when my passion was "the children, our future," when unicorns and kittens jumped over rainbows, I was happy. I lived in an apartment that was flea infested. I slept on a mattress on the floor. Sometimes the apartment's car port would flood with sewage. And I was so freaking distracted by the "magic" of the future, that I didn't notice that my present was hard.

So now that I have a house, a viable job, a wonderful husband, and a happy, healthy baby boy, it makes no sense that I am sad. My brain constantly reminds my heart of the fact that I am truly, truly lucky. But that reminder becomes a source of guilt when I can't make myself enjoy life. I am stuck in the mire of "what I'm not." Somehow being a wife, mother, and teacher isn't enough. I'm lacking. And I can't figure out why.

I know that you are all thinking, "but look at what you've done! How amazing is it that you have come this far, that you have survived _____ (fill in the blank with baby having, mother boot camp, and/or a whole semester of Mean Girls, the reality version) _________. And I have. But I don't accept "surviving" as any great accomplishment. Cockroaches surviving a nuclear holocaust, now that's something. But pretty much, most of us survive. It isn’t such a big deal. You can tell on account of the fact that we're all breathing.

Surviving is not enough.

I want to do more than that. And in using the excuse that I just had a kid and should be forgiving of what I perceive as my limitations is somewhat of a cop out. What I mean is Rich also has a new baby. No one is telling him to be gentle to himself. No one expects him to be more relaxed about his responsibilities when his plate is equally full. In giving in to that limitation, I feel like I'm actually taking a step backwards.

As far as my job is concerned, there is no room for not giving 100 %. In fact, not giving that much affects others; it certainly shortchanges the kids. Also, I am graded on my teaching, especially in the International Baccalaureate class where literally, the IB gods (who happen to live in Cardiff) literally grade my grading. Literally. There isn't room for relaxation. And the magazine! Ugh! The magazine won't edit and print itself! The seniors need to be somewhat literate before my conscience can allow for them to go into the "big out there" carrying a diploma with my name on it. So, you see, there is no room for anything but 100% in each class. That's 300%, plus another 300 to my marriage and 600 to my kid. That's 1200%! And no one deserves less than that.

So knowing that I have what seems like too much on my plate and recognizing the things I want to be but am not leaves me shaking in a corner, rocking back and forth mumbling something like, "Tell me about the rabbits, George." And even though it might be cute on first sight, I'm pretty sure that for those who are close to me, the routine of this has to be a little disconcerting.

I want to give myself five more months before I make that doctor's appointment that will go something like:

Dr.: What exactly is the problem?
Me: Tell me about the rabbits, George.
Rich: She's gone crazy
Dr.: I see. Here are 25 little blue pills. Come back for the little red ones if she starts foaming at the mouth.
Me: Green parakeets on big soy mountain.
Rich: Um. Could you possibly give us both the blue and red pills...TODAY?

In five months Baby Jack will be one (read: my body will be one year away from giving birth to a bazillion hormones) and it will be summer. If I still can't erase or at least disguise this "Woe is me” chapter from my autobiography, then I'll have to try the doc. Then it's back down the rabbit hole for me.



* Circle 5 - Dante's Inferno - The Wrathful and Sullen - Their sin is that they refused divine illumination and the sullen are punished by being entombed in the slime by the shores of the River Styx. They sing grotesque parodies of hymns, bubbles rising from their mouths.

9 comments:

Amy said...

Oh may you sound just like I did a while back. I know things must be a little hard and different. When I had Alyce everything was great. I was happy and lala. Then it happened to me. I was lost and sad and not knowing what to do. I did not want to think anything was wrong so I just kept on going. I think things are fine but I still have my moments when I am lost. I think you will be fine it just takes time to adjust. If you really do not enjoy your job that much take this summer to find hope and a better job. I know you do not want to hear this because of your fill in the blank but I am going to say it any ways. You should be proud of yourself for the life you do have. It is a lot of work being a mom, wife, and working mom. You have done great so far. Yes you have Rich but I think men take it a different way then we do. I will be here for you if you need it. I am proud of you.

Jen said...

Hey Ging!! I agree with what Amy said!! I think it's very common to feel the way you do! It' hard being a new mom, trying to stay balanced while not losing yourself! I too am SO proud of you!

The things you mentioned of just surviving are all things that have huge rewards in the end. Hang in there sweet girl! I love you!!

tara said...

I certainly don't know you well enough to have an opinion, but the fact that you mentioned hormones and the amount of time it has been since the baby was born make me think that maybe you should go ahead and go to the doctor now. You say that it's not all about work. You compare how you are feeling to how everyone else is dealing. You are using the words sullen and sad, not stressed and tired.

It cannot hurt you to go in and see your ob-gyn and get your hormone levels tested. It cannot hurt you to tell someone that you might not be quite yourself still. There is nothing wrong with that. And five months is a long time to wait to feel better.

You deserve 300% too, you know.

Chelle said...

Make an appointment with the doctor. If nothing else, it will be someone to talk to.

Yes, Rich is a new parent too. However, his body wasn't stretched and cut open. That changes things. And, men compartmentalize better.

Take a day off, take Jack to Nanny, and write your purpose, what you want, how you will get it. If teaching isn't it, oh well, there are other opporunities. If teaching is it, then make the changes you need and keep moving forward.

the girls' moma said...

I can't imagine. We'll blow it all off this weekend. Deal???

I love you.

Staci said...

Hey Ginger, I agree with the previous posters. Preggo hormones are a force to be reckoned with and they last for a long time. I needed pharmaceutical intervention after both kiddos. Talk to the doc and know that even though you feel like caca, you are sincerely doing a fantastic job. The little blue ones will help you believe it.

Chelle said...

I was remembering your post, a while back, about catharsis. Hoping you have some wonderful, peaceful, life giving cathartic moments soon.

Long hot bath and a glass of wine maybe? A nice long talk, and that glass of wine with one of your closest friends?

Hope things turn around soon friend.

Christine said...

Sorry, dude. I stopped at the mention of a chocolate bar.

JUST FOCUS ON THE CHOCOLATE.

It's magic. It works for me. Oh... wait... maybe not.

Ginger said...

Thanks all. Am feeling a little better today - maybe because it's the end of the semester.. maybe because I'm eating chocolate..

I may go to the doc to get the ole hormones checked. I hadn't thought of that. So thanks, Tara.

Also, I am about to have a fun girls' week-end with two of my favorites on the planet! I promise to be more jovial soon!!