For one of the first times ever in my blogging life, I’ve been dreading blogging and more over dreading blogging this post in particular. I’ve come to pride myself on reasonable amounts of transparency and I haven’t known what to say exactly.
It’s been a really difficult year, Charmers. Job changes for both Jow and me, a ramped up craft schedule both in the crafting and the shows themselves and a lot of death and sickness.
Yesterday was the first day in two or three months that I had a full day off and I was incredibly anxious about it. My weeks since September have looked like this:
Mon – Running errands with Jow so we have food to eat and toothpaste to brush our teeth with
Tues – Fri: Work at my day job, typically from 7:30a-6p twice a week and then shorter variable hours for the other two days. When I’m home, I’m usually prepping for a show, possibly working Friday night, trying to see friends and family for a couple hours in there.
Sat: Doing a craft show which usually means being up by 6a and sometimes not home until 8p. I may attempt to try to do something social in the evening.
Sun: Go to Long Island in NY which is a stressful drive that takes any where from 1.5 hours to 4 hours depending on traffic (and no way to tell which it will be) each way to spend time with my v. ill uncle with my mom. Come home either feeling hopeful that he’s doing slightly better or drained because he’s doing worse. He’s not going to get all that much better long term in all likelihood. And like all of these situations, there’s no “turkey timer” to stick in him to know how long we’ll have him. He almost died again two weeks ago, we may have him through the holidays, we may have him for another six months, maybe two years, he may leave us tomorrow. It’s a mystery. A very, very stressful mystery wrought with an incredible amount of family drama. It’s come to the point that every time my mom calls me, my blood pressure spikes because I don’t know what’s wrong or how wrong.
There have been good parts too in the last month or two; going out with E. and N. to a historical church to see a truly inspired performance of Edgar Allen Poe performed (as Poe) by a woman who is part of the National Museum for Poe with Surf Tacos afterwards and a trip to the ocean where the foam solidified and tumbled down the ocean, a haunted housewarming party where Jow dressed as the Devil and I dressed as Zoe from American Horror Story and we drank apple sangria on the fairy lit deck and sat around a firepit and watched the best parts of Beetlejuice with our friends, all dressed in their finest from G. and B. as Kali Ma and Captain ‘Murica to R. who was in full drag as a succubus and let us fuss with his hair, horns and bra. Yesterday I worked on what Jow and I still call “world building” from our gaming days for my novel at our favorite restaurant where we drank espresso and ate dark chocolate port wine figs and we went to Anthropologie and I got a new top to wear for the Crucible after party (I didn’t think I’d be showing off that much back any time soon again but here we are!) and I started making a pumpkin cordial for it along with absinthe made with Sarah’s less licorice absinthe spice kit. I still have my trusty absinthe spoon and I just ordered absinthe sugar cubes from New Orleans (individually wrapped and the cubes are looser to make the louche process easier). I finally paid off the sins of my twenties and got out of consolidated debt. I’m slowly buying Christmas presents and birthday presents in cash.
But mostly, I feel wrung out and burnt out. It’s been hard for me to have the energy to even blog let alone write my next book. My house is a complete wreck and I mostly just want to sleep. I’m exhausted. Trying to enjoy myself takes a lot of work for me right now. (And yes, I’m aware that part of this is depression which I am taking care of) I feel lackluster and experiences mostly feel that way for me right now too. I feel like I keep telling myself that I just have to get through X and then I can rest. I feel like I told myself that for all of 2013. I feel like I’ve been lacking wonder and I’ve become one of those horrible people that Ursula LeGuin describes in Gordon’s latest post. And that scares the crap out of me in ways I can’t even describe.
Generally, the people around me who love me best don’t like to see me suffer like this; constantly working, constantly completely stressed out and burnt out and the answer is usually, well just stopping doing something.
I mean, I can. I could stop working so hard as a crafter, I could stop writing, I could stop blogging. But that wouldn’t make me any happier. Quitting my day job would free up a marvelous amount of time but I am not at a point yet where I don’t need a steady paycheck. And if I stop crafting, blogging and writing, I lose all the momentum I’ve built up (which fellow freelancer friends have been very understanding about). I could stop visiting my dying uncle regularly, I suppose, but I don’t want to. I want to spend this time with him. And that’s sort of a no-win situation too; if I no longer need to visit him regularly it means he’s passed. Which will bring on a whole new world of terribleness to my little family.
But I’m trying to come back to center, as best as I can. And it may take a while. And it’s hard. It’s not the first year of marriage I had imaged. I thought we’d be cooking little dinners together more, lying around in bed having lazy mornings, going on little road trips, having parties, reading together. And I know in my heart that being together and loving each other more every day counts more than a picturesque Nora Ephron-appearing life but sometimes I wish it could be easier.
I wouldn’t chose another life. Working in corporate would definitely be easier. I don’t miss having a much larger house with closets always full of mystery garbage and other Wasband debris. I love making a difference in small children’s lives, I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished as a writer and a crafter. I love drinking wine with Jow in our messy house laughing at Lifetime movies.
But I wish I had more time to myself. I wish I had more time to craft for myself. I wish I had more time to write again. I wish I could feel that Manic Pixie Dream Girl sense of wonder about the world again because in some ways, it was easier to be a Muse than than deal with the flightiness of mine.
And I know I’ll get there again, because I Want things with a capital W as N. reminds me, it’s my Killing Moon. Fate/ Up against your will. It’s my nature. It’s why I have such a hard time finding peace or happiness for long. Writers have been prone to melancholy for about as long as anyone can remember anyway. And if I Want wonder again, by gods I’ll find it.
But sometimes, oh sometimes, I think it would be so much more peaceful just to be happy.