Monday, February 27, 2012

blog jam

Ugh. I have all these posts I want to write, all these thoughts I want to explore and connect, and they're all jumbled and jammed up in my throat. Or somewhere. Every night after the kids are in bed, I *could* write a post, but by that time the words or the thoughts or the urgency or the coherence have all disappeared.

I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately. Mostly related to homeschooling and self-sufficiency, and I'd love to blog about it. But these changes that I'm trying to nurture... I don't know. It feels like a single wee seedling and I need to keep it under glass until it gets a bit stronger. Although I'm comfortable with our decision to start by trying homeschooling, this whole giving-myself-permission-to-make-a-mistake-so-I-can-dive-into-the-unknown thing is pretty new territory for me, and it feels like one bitter gust could destroy it.

And there are other things piling up too. My photography is at a total standstill. The last several shoots I've tried to schedule have had to be cancelled mostly due to the baby's illness, but sometimes to the subject's illness. I haven't even been going out for walks, because the baby doesn't much care for the stroller, I worry about falling with him in the sling, and I wouldn't want to carry my heavy camera AND the baby anyways.

I'm on an elimination diet that means not only do I have to make everything I eat from scratch (which I've been pretty much doing for the last two months anyways because I was off dairy and soy) but even a lot of my recipes I can't eat because they involve eggs, wheat, gluten, refined sugar, chocolate, corn or tomatoes. So I've had to spend time researching new recipes and trying them. And I can't even have a glass of wine with dinner or a handful of dairy-free chocolate chips after it to ease my pain.

It's day 10 now, and I'm not sure what to think about the baby's reaction. He IS interested in food way more than he ever was before and he's coughing less. And he hasn't pooped in two days now but his poops haven't really changed. He still has a rash, and he's actually grumpier. He's gone back to hating the car like he did when he was 2 and 3 months old. A fact that has likely contributed to my recent isolation, since I've only been leaving the house to take Eldest to school and pick him up or buy more food.

Last night I asked my husband if maybe we could watch a movie together or something, but it was already 9 pm and he was really into a new e-book. And I was find with that, even though I was feeling kind of jangly and anxious and in need of grown-up conversation and company. Today Eldest is at school, and I could easily get together with a friend, but I can't really think of anyone to ask at such short notice. I could probably even get by with a conversation with my mom but she's in China for another few weeks so a phone call is not an option. Never mind the 14-hour time difference. Our real-life community, if you can even call it that, is so tiny it's almost like it doesn't exist. These moments when I feel vulnerable and overwhelmed are when I really notice. If the chicken I roasted last night felled us with salmonella, there is nobody I could call for help with even the smallest task. Talk about vulnerable.

One of the reasons I want to make a bunch of changes is to have time for community, to nurture friendships. But just having time isn't the only ingredient you need for good friendships. Neither is common values or liking each other. I'm realizing you also need a vacancy, and that's really a matter of luck. Or fate. I've got several people in town I'd like to develop friendships with, people I think like me too, but I'm pretty sure they're full up with friends.

Ugh. This has totally become a woe is me post, which is not what I was intending. Life really isn't that bad at all. It's just been a rough morning. We've been late for school every school day this year, and I really really hate being late. It makes me feel all squidgy and uncomfortable inside. Usually, I deal with this by never being late. Until recently I was able to manage things enough to be punctual for the stuff that matters to me. (And although school doesn't exactly matter to me, I hate signing in every day at the office. And I hate disrupting the class. I'm sure it's hard enough to get 20 four, five and six-year-olds to pay attention at the same time without someone else suddenly walking into class with a baby to boot.) But since we all started getting sick the mornings are just shot.

Things have been improving, but this morning we were all grumpy, especially the baby who was coughing and gagging more than in several days and pretty much didn't want to be put down. And me, whose tea brewed too long and nearly sent me into a panic attack. And Eldest, who was probably mostly responding to my grumpiness and a little bit of his own worries about jumping into the unknown of homeschooling (today is his second last day at school. Note to self: remember to read hims Scaredy Squirrel tonight). And my husband, who was out of coffee. By the time we got to school, I was nearly in tears feeling all incompetent and evil. And poor Eldest nearly was too.

So it's been a rough morning, and that can really mess with my perspective. So far I've found 2012 hard. But I've also had many moments of pure contentedness. Of rightness. I will feel those again, I am sure.

I don't know whether to hit publish on this post, because it feels awfully irrelevant, but maybe by publishing I can start to ease the blog jam and in a few posts be coherent again.

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