It’s November 5th. Today I’m supposed to be running the NYC marathon. Instead I’m sitting my my dining room, typing away, listening to the boys argue passive aggressively while playing with the iPad and simultaneously praying that Charlie stays asleep just long enough for me to finish my coffee. (side note: she didn’t)
I could sit there and simply say “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.” but that would be an understatement. Of course it wasn’t. No one ever plans to get separated. Or plans to move into a new house consequently cutting their time with their children to half. Or wakes up one day thinking “I’m going to go ahead and gain back all of the weight I lost.”
While I know that life very rarely turns out the way we want, I still have a hard time accepting it.
For the longest time I felt lost. Lost in my relationships. Lost in motherhood. Lost in work. Lost in debt. And while every year (every month, every day) I decided that I am going to make these changes, this is the year I have actually started accomplishing it. I left my very unhappy marriage after years of contemplation and accepting hurtful situations. I cut unhealthy people out of my life and have tried my hardest to spend more time and love on the friends that have always been there for me. I left my old school in order to find one where I felt I could do my job to the best of my ability. I started paying down my debt and have come up with ways to get it gone forever (except for you, student loans. We will never be apart.)
And you know what? I still feel lost.
I see glimmers of ways to get myself out of the fog. I see someone running down the street and my heart leaps a little at the nostalgia of how I felt when I was “really” a runner. I watch the children have a cordial exchange and I feel content in my ability to be a mother for a moment. I spend my planning time at work actually planning so that I feel caught up for a small period of time.
But then the alarm goes off and I say “fuck running” and go back to sleep. Or Max and Oliver start screaming at each other because Oliver is one centimeter too close to Max (and we all know Oliver is doing it on purpose because…Oliver). Or I remember the 287623 things I am supposed to be doing at work and get so overwhelmed that I just want to quit.
Last weekend I snapped. As in SNAPPED. I have the kids all weekend every weekend and they were just so extra. And it was raining. And I just don’t have enough toys for them here. There was yelling. And screaming. And crying. And for the first time in months I just could not WAIT to send them back to their dad. Through the whole entire ordeal that was Sunday I felt so much guilt. Guilt that I yelled. Guilt that I couldn’t handle the mom stress better. Guilt that I was ruining the small amount of time I seem to get with them these days. And while this weekend is ultimately better and I haven’t lost my shit (yet) on this rainy Sunday, the cloud from last weekend hangs over me threatening to reappear if I don’t get myself together.
Overwhelmed. Lost. Scattered. That’s all I seem to feel these days.
So I make plans upon plans upon plans. Meal prep. Make a gym schedule. Make a kid schedule. Color code calendars.
But then I don’t. No reason. I. JUST. DON’T.
I used to be so good at holding myself accountable and I’m not anymore. I’ve gotten lazy and tired.
Sometimes Charlie walks around the house and picks up my phone. Whenever she does this she ALWAYS opens my Nike Run Club app. Always. And then hands me my phone. I know she doesn’t really know what she’s doing, but it’s like she’s trying to tell me something. “Go run. I believe in you.”
Maybe one day I’ll actually listen.