It’s Friday night, and if I had the wherewithal to put some real pants on and meet a girlfriend for a drink, I WOULD. Unfortunately, I’ve had the same toothpaste on my zits since this morning and the mere thought of brushing my hair makes me exhausted.
It’s been that kinda week.
If we were to meet for drinks, I’d have a lot to say. First of all, this week of motherhood sucked. If you were silly enough to ask, “How come?” I wouldn’t even feel like rehashing it all. I would just silently pour myself another glass of wine. I would then mention the fact that there is only one of me and there needs to be like, three.
I’m potty-training my middle child again. Hopefully it will stick for real this time, cross your fingers, girlfriend. NOW. Cross them.
The potty trainee gets M&M’s every time he uses the toilet, which is working out well except for the fact that I hand him one or two, and then immediately eat a fistful because potty-training is hell and I loathe it with every fiber of my being.
Then there is the matter of my writing. Excuse me while I pour myself another glass.
This week I hit a low point and found myself wondering if writing is a stupid waste of time. I could spend my time doing a million other, more constructive, things that would better my family … like cooking organically, clipping coupons, or remembering to pay the water bill. I don’t know. Shit like that.
If I didn’t write, I would actually have time to be a decent Room Mom, instead of a total slacker who throws random baked goods and hastily-written checks at the school and swears to herself she will do better next time.
I’m not even making any real money.
I already have so much on my plate.
My extended family is mortified by some of the things that I write. My use of profanity embarrasses them.
I AM AN EMBARRASSMENT TO MY FAMILY.
That’s a hard thing to know. I never set out to be an embarrassment. If I didn’t have this compulsive need to write words and share them with people, maybe everything would be easier. No one would know that I do things like eat my kid’s candy and then lie about it, or drink and swear on occasion. They wouldn’t know how much I struggle to parent my children.
No one would know anything about me at all.
But the problem is, my life would be impossible for me to live healthfully if I couldn’t write about it. I’m not writing for my family. I’m writing for me.
For my sanity.
So I can breathe.
As scary as it can be to put myself out there, I continue to show up and write words because I don’t want to cut my own ear off or whatever happens when a creative person isn’t allowed to create. And honestly, I feel it is my duty to announce to women everywhere that sometimes being a wife and a mother is so hard and insanely frustrating that you just want to take the damn hand mixer and throw it through a window.
You aren’t a failure for feeling that way. You’re normal. That’s my message.
And then two nights ago, as I was dumping the third basket of clean clothes on my bed to fold while I waited for Robbie to come home from work and rescue me from our terrible children, my phone beeped.
I had an e-mail.
I’m going to be in another book.
A friend shared this in a writing group I’m in today, and I love it. “A blessed unrest.” That is what it’s like to constantly want to write and share your thoughts, profane as they may be.
There is a vitality,
a life force,
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.
And If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.
The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine
how good it is
nor how valuable it is
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly
to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate YOU.
Keep the channel open…
No artist is pleased…
There is no satisfaction whatever at anytime
There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes “us” MORE alive than the others.
( – a letter to Agnes De Mille-)