This Habit is Bullshit

I sit at the computer and nothing comes. I stare. I eat more chips. I call it a night.

I sit at the computer and nothing comes. I stare. I eat more chips. I have a drink. I call it a night.

I sit at the computer and nothing comes. I stare. I eat more chips and avocado. I have four drinks. I call it a night after waking up from falling asleep before I had a chance to officially call it a night.

I sit by the computer but don’t open it. I sigh and call it a night.

I sit at the computer and nothing comes. I reread something I wrote that I liked, that others seemed to have liked, and sigh. I eat more chips, avocado, and grapes, have five drinks and call it a night.

I sit on the sofa and fall asleep.

I come in blazing with an idea I typed into my phone and I am going to get started immediately, as soon as I make dinner and answer homework questions, and use the bathroom, and play Ruzzle, and play Trivia Crack, and have a drink JUST TO UNWIND, and watch an episode of Luther because now I’m kind of tired, this book is due back to the library tomorrow; I’ll just finish it up instead of renewing. Look at all this laundry. I’m going to bed. Both the laundry and writing can suck it.

That idea from yesterday is like a jellyfish inside my head, stinging, prodding, but then I imagine Squidward getting incessantly stung and now I’m laughing, thinking I should totally watch Spongebob because escalators, escalators, escalators, eels.

It could be worse, I suppose. I could come here and complain about myself and type nothingness about sitting on the sofa. Wouldn’t that be horrible? (With grapes. Tonight there are grapes.)

Suffering Silently

My friend A’Driane invited me to write about my experiences with postpartum depression at PostPartum Progress. I said sure, no problem. And then I started to write and the words were all whoa, hey, no, we ain’t tellin’ nobody THIS PART.

Read the post, here.

If my experience (each time postpartum. Each. Time.) can help just one woman not feel embarrassed or afraid to talk openly to her doctor, her friends, her family, her spouse, the words deserve to be written. What I had no idea about, though, was how I would feel writing them. At first I was afraid of potential backlash (Addye gets it allthetime for her honesty, her bravery, her truth). I asked her for more time. I was sure I would write it, but I was refusing to allow myself to delve as deep as I felt like I needed to. I had to wait for that to pass. I knew it would. It did.

I’m used to sharing. I’m used to not caring if anyone is offended by or disagrees with what I share. And let’s make it plain: there is NOTHING to be ashamed about for a common post-delivery occurrence.

While writing, I started to relive some of the intrusive thoughts I had when my kids were infants. I wrote through it, though, and relinquished any amount of control they had over how I remember my life then, myself. (How interesting is it that the depression after our second child is the one I think was worst. My husband, however, disagrees, says it was the third. Huh. Different perspectives.)

I will always remember what I went through and I will tell my children about it so they’re aware, so they know it’s ok to ask for help, to tell someone how you’re feeling.  Postpartum depression is temporary and treatable with professional assistance. I said nothing, each time, even as I envisioned forgetting the baby in the car, purposely leaving the baby in the grocery store’s shopping cart and going back home. I will always regret that I didn’t trust my doctor enough, that I allowed society to tell me that what I was going through was shameful.

Say something.

Also, ask your friends and family how they’re doing. Really ask. And look at their behavior. It’s OK to ask a second time if you aren’t convinced the first time. It’s easier to say I got this than it is to admit not having a damn thing.

Again, the post is here. Thank you, A’Driane, for thinking of me, for wanting my words.

Joyfulness, and the Happy Mama Movement for 2015

Meet Amanda, Krystyn, Sharon, Me, Elaine, Galit, Nicole, Anne, Jen, Mindi, Amiyrah, and Andrea
Meet Amanda, Krystyn, Sharon, Me, Elaine, Galit, Nicole, Anne, Jennifer, Mindi, Amiyrah, and Andrea

The Happy Mama Movement is about finding joy, about purposefully being joyful as often as possible. It’s not going to happen every day (damn you, Mercury and your retrograding nonsense. Also, PMS), nor does it have to.  It’s not about being bubbly daily. Rather, it’s about wanting to be happier, wanting to enjoy more — ourselves, our families, life in general — and finding happiness because we deserve to, it feels good, and frowns kill. It’s hard work sometimes because right now there’s less sun, right now there’s seemingly more mayhem and devastation in the world. The idea, though, is to seek out things that give us joy and be unapologetically willing to bask in the goodness.

This happened the day after Christmas. And I let it.

I love imaginative play. Not many of these toys were new. He added them to the ones he already had. While they were discarded and he was off playing elsewhere, I did get aggravated because of the mess but it was short lived.

mess
We rang in the new year with a pillow fight.

pillow1

 

pillow2

 

The post holiday sadness was creeping in, the return to work and school, the completion of science projects and reading logs that we’d forgotten to fill out. The deChristmasing is always taxing on my psyche. Another year gone. Another holiday done. But by purposefully finding snatches of happiness here and there — a snuggle, a whisper of thanks for that unexpected and thoughtful gift, good pie, warmer than usual days — I am actively (and you can too) combating pervasive sadness.

I do wish someone would find my slippers, though. They disappeared and I’m kind of disgruntled with whatever ghost is in here with warm feet.

What makes you happy? Do you find it, do it, rely on it constantly? When I’m feeling down, for whatever reason, and I’m not in the mood to wallow in that downness, music is what will save me (the sun, the library, and listening to my son tell me about his day and how he didn’t say any bad words I didn’t know he knew help too).

This song is one of my first go-tos. Because duh.

Join Team #HappyMamas monthly as we write about finding and maintaining joy. We’ll help each other. It’s worth.

And then everything was the same

I’ve never been a fan of the new year, new me that overcomes folks every 366 days. I’ve fallen for the hype of declaring resolutions, sharing them, riding the high of making it through another year and everything I’m going to do to make this year! this year! this year! better than last. But I stopped years ago, realizing that I proclaim then do nothing.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t begrudge anyone who has resolutions or dedicates a word for the year. It just doesn’t work for me. My word won’t likely ever change from maintain. I’m a constant work in progress so while January may rekindle the urge to start or finish projects or better myself, these aren’t things that are new to any given year for me. I’m trying to be healthier in 2015 and beyond. I was trying in 2014 and 2010 and 2006 too. I’m trying to be nicer and more patient and less drunk in 2015 and all the sets of 365 days I’m given henceforth.

So, here it is this first Monday of 2015 when I declare my mundaneness: ain’t nothin’ new. It’s all about maintaining the good from 2014 and casting aside the bad. That’s just natural and has nothing to do with the new year. January is nothing more than a continuation from December, previous year for me.

I have no grand pronouncements, no wide cast nets of what I’ma dos. I’m just going to stay me, keep up the yoga, try to keep the house cleaner (hard because we fucking LIVE HERE), drink a little less, save a bit more, get a firmer footing professionally, dance like ain’t no tomorrow (which, if you’ve ever been to the party with me, you know I do like a boss).

I’m kind of enjoying where I am right now, personally. Professionally is a different story, but it’s one that also doesn’t need discussion right now. We’re excited about 2015, about its newness, its possibilities, and we’re gonna ride the wave wherever it takes us.

I’m still here. I’m glad you’re still here. We’ll get through everything together. You, me, and the stinkbug that thinks I don’t see it trying to blend in on the plant. I see you, bug. But like everyone and everything else, I’ll let you sit there if you don’t hinder me. Fly your ass off that leaf and I’ll smack you down with the mph of 1,000 Serena serves. Sit there and just be, patiently waiting for spring when you can get the hell out of Herndon House of Crazy? You’ll be fine.

Stay fine with me, even if you’re not a stinkbug.