Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Perfectly Packaged Life

We all want our lives to fit neatly into one of those boxes we see in store windows at Christmas time.  You know  the boxes.  The ones that are gold and red with big, beautiful bows on the top.  The boxes where the lids seem to lift off and no wrapping paper needs to be torn?

Actually, our lives look like they've been wrapped by a 3 year old.  There is too much tape because the first piece was too short and didn't connect anything.  Other pieces are too long like a run-on sentence.  The package is covered in band aids and duct tape because we know they stick, heal, and cover imperfections.

We'd like to see these perfectly packaged lives play out like a movie, where the not-so-great things that happened are resolved in an hour and a half.

Some of us are a drama, others a comedy or a family movie of the week.

I have been fooling my self that I was one of those perfectly unfeeling, movie mom's who bake cookies, attend the kid's events, go on field trips, host sleep overs for tween girls . . .you know, an after school special.  The mom that says, "Oh well" when a lamp breaks.  The mom that does laundry and cleans bathrooms with an apron and a smile.  The one that stays up all night making posters and helping with school projects.

Well, great.  I mean GREAT!  I can do that.  I have done that . . . especially the "unfeeling" part.  Was I being fake?  Was it all a show for the cameras?  No.  It isn't.  But it isn't everything.

Recently, I had a tantrum.  What fueled the tantrum?  Gosh, everything and nothing, like a child.  I wanted my way and didn't care who I hurt.  I broke down and wrote some nasty things on my blog that I've since deleted.   I want to talk about it, but I want to put it behind me.  I want to scream and cry, but I want to say, "Oh, can't change what has been done."  I want to make it all go away and pretend I wasn't that stupid . . . but I was.

My husband says, "It's nice to see your human side."
My sister says I'll figure it out.

Did I mean the things I said?  No.  Does that matter?  No.  The written word lasts forever . . .

John Donne's poem The Canonization taught me that when I was 19.  I was amazed and taken by that poem.  When you write about someone, it is forever, whether it is true or not.

I was frustrated at a ton of things and took it out on one person.  And it had nothing to do with her . . . but I didn't take the time to figure out what was really bothering me until it was too late and the damage was done.

My doctor once told me I should stop trying to be what everyone expects of me.   Whether or not I realize it, it has made me depressed.
 I know that I, like many others, want to be everything to everyone.  I want to be wife, mother, daughter, sibling, friend, thin, pretty, organized, smart, blaaahhhhh blahhhh blahhhhh.  It is hard to accept that I can't do it all at once, or even in a timely manner.

Then I wonder, what am I teaching my daughter?  I have been stressing only the positive side of everything to her for a year now.  Broken light bulbs only leave space for new light bulbs.  A bad haircut only makes room for a good one.  Everything bad can be turned good.  I have been teaching her to smile through things and have not express her opinion.  Seriously, I have said that to her.  What kind of craziness is that?  It isn't that I think she should be rude to people, but I have been telling her not to confront her friends when they hurt her feelings.  WHAT?!

What does that have to do with what I did?  Nothing.  Because at my age, you don't go around willy nilly hurting people.  And don't say things you don't mean.  I have used this blog as an online journal for many years.  I have always written things down to work out issues I'm having. Usually, when I write, I write through things.  I have a beginning, middle, and end like a movie.  I have conclusions and answers.  Lately, though, I haven't been working anything out.  I have had this jumble of stuff going on and not been able to figure out how to do it all better.

When I wrote that post, I didn't work anything out.  I got angry at something that has been bothering me since my mom died 6 years ago.   I've said it a million times, I did not want to grow up to work for the family business.  When mom died, its exactly what I got.  I shed full of old paperwork I didn't understand.  A computer full of things I didn't understand.  I got a new facet to my personality.  I fell into a roll of having to do all of this work that I didn't want, but was afraid to let it go because I didn't want to disappoint anyone.  I didn't want to let anyone down.  As the years went on, I failed at that job.  I hated it so much, it was harder and harder to do it and I would fall farther and farther behind.  Once a year, I was forced to play catch up. That is tax time.  But for me, I wouldn't catch up.  Which made me feel like a failure.  Which made me want to get it right . . . and so on.  Could I admit I was failing?  No.  Could I fix it?  No.  Could I take responsibility?  No.  Could I let go?  No.

Instead of writing this out a week ago, I had a tantrum.  As my husband would call it, a human moment.
I can not fix what I've done or take away my tantrum.  I can only try and explain myself without excuses, because there is never an excuse for being hurtful.

My tantrum lasted as long as it took to type . . . but I didn't delete it like I should have.
Again, highly disappointed in myself as I'm sure my mom is and my dad.  Its devastating and heart wrenching. Maybe I can finally finish up the business and let go.  Hopefully I can do it all this month and feel the release - I hope to actually, physically feel lighter and happier and more open for new things in my life.

Please wish me luck . . .  I've got a lot of time this weekend to do it with Jay and Jason being gone and the only commitment this weekend is to get my little ones back on a school schedule.

I'm going to feel better, let go of some of the disappointment I have in myself, and do this for me and my family.  I have apologized to my dad, but I don't think he knows what I am really sorry for is for not being a great of person as he thought I was.

So, I'm off to dry my tears and put some yoga pants on.  I will transform my bedroom into an office for one last time.  I will pull myself together and do this.  I can.

2 comments:

Share said...

I sincerely wish I could have been there for you for the last 6 years. It was a job I always wanted, but was never trusted enough to do. If I can help at all let me know.
It'll all work out.

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