Run Away

It’s late at night and I can’t sleep. I’m sitting in the living room, lights off and only my laptop to keep my company.

I should be tired. We didn’t sleep well last night and I had nightmares to boot so logically that would make me exhausted.

Except I’m not. I’m wide awake and when I lay down to try to sleep I just stare out into nothing, toss and turn, or just get all twisted and sweaty in my sheets trying to find a cool spot to rest on.

I want my brain just to stop. This is exactly what we’ve been teaching our son to do, to distract himself from the bad thoughts, from the scary ideas and his wild imagination when it threatens to keep him up all night. And he does it.

Yet here I am, not taking my own advice.

To be really honest what I want to do is go for a run. I’ve lately struggled with some stomach issues and haven’t been running. But now, at 11:45 pm, I really want to lace up my sneakers and take off on a jog. There is no difference between 11 at night and 5 in the morning, right? I used to do early morning jogs all the time…

I won’t go out, though. I’ll stay home where it is safe and sound. Where my husband snores lightly upstairs, our sweetheart pets run their nocturnal race, and where my son sleep soundly.

I’ll just stay right here trying to distract my mind and get some rest.

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Press Pause!

Stop! Everything just stop for one god damn minute!!!

I know this is a ridiculous request but I feel like my world is spinning out of control and I have no way of slowing things down so I can just make a quick list of what the hell is going on then put things into motion again.

Kinda like playing a game. When things get too much or you lose sight of your objective, you can press pause and make a note, check your positioning, then you hit play and the game goes on.

But this is life, it’s not a game. And I’m completely lost. There is so much going on I feel like I’m in the middle of a storm that has no end in sight.

First there is the loan process. We’re applying for a home loan and the steps taken just to get that started has been migraine inducing. Then there is the timing. We have a lease till June and we’d like to buy a house to move into so we can’t look too soon or too late. Too soon and we’ll be stuck with double payments or breaking a lease. Too late and we’ll have to find temporary living quarters. So when it the right time to look? I feel the strain of being stuck in limbo and the pressure is making the migraine in progress get worse.

Now for the kidlet. He’s been struggling and fighting against school work. So we’re changing things up. A sitter is going to come to our house and take care of him and help him with homework instead of him going to daycare. This will give him someone to work with in the comfort of his own home. We hope to see some positive outcomes from this. Although it’s a great move, it makes me nervous. We’re saying goodbye to a center that is always open and always there and relying just on one person to make sure she arrives on time to take care of him. I don’t feel that she wouldn’t, we’ve interviewed her and feel good with our choice, but I feel like my safety net has been removed beneath this tightrope I’ve been walking.

On top of that, the kidlet asked to be in baseball this season. A sport neither his dad nor I play. Well, we were very unprepared when we heard that we are committed to two practices a week and two games, one weekday and one weekend. Huh?! How in the hell are we supposed to fit this in?! So now we’re scrambling (at least it feels like we are) to figure this new twist into our already busy week.

I could cry… And I have. My emotions seem to be sitting on the surface and I get teary without much provocation. Watching a show, I cry. Reading a book, I tear up. Playing a video game, I choke back my sobs. The stress and swirling madness that is our life right now seems to be weighing on me heavily and I can’t find a calm place to rest my mind and detach from all the changes and the big life questions we have in front of us to just breathe and recenter myself.

And the worst part is that I don’t feel I have time or the availability to really get everything out. I don’t have an outlet. Even my running isn’t defusing the issue. I run and put all my hurt and sadness and frustrations and anger on the pavement. I’ll feel a little relief but it lasts a few hours then I’m back to square one feeling shitty and overwhelmed.

Deep breaths. Loud music. Quiet reading time. Lots of water and less junk food. I’m taking all these steps to alleviate my frustrations and sometimes it works. Most times it doesn’t.

I’d just like a break…

The Wall

I’ve never planned anything bigger than a birthday party for my son. When he turned 5 years old, we had a big shindig including uncles and aunts and cousins and friends and their kids. We had a man come out with reptiles and bugs. There were balloons and a cake decorated with creepy crawlies.

I even had plates and napkins to match the jungle theme.

So planning for 7 months a single day event is a big jump. Going from a simple birthday party for a kindergartener to a 150 person evening wedding is a bit overwhelming.

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Choices…choices…

Up till now, I had some concerns and things were a tad stressful but everything has worked out: our location was available and within budget, our photographer was open that day and had a package we could work with. The caterer we are using turned out to be better than we could have imagined for being a vendor we didn’t get to choose.

Even my dress practically fell into my hands.

All was going accordingly when suddenly we found ourselves at a stand still. No calls have been made, no quotes emailed and nothing is wrong. I think we just ran out of steam.

Planning such a big life moment is a lot of work. Maybe it’s my own fault for not considering that while things might go smoothly for a stretch, there will be moments when things slow down and seem to make little progression. Like being in the fast lane on a freeway when you suddenly find you are slowing down to a stop because you’ve run out of gas.

Yes, we are that annoying car clogging up the fast lane. I can see the open road ahead but in the rear-view mirror I can also see the cars piling up behind us. It’s a stressful feeling to know you still have so far to go and so many big decisions still to make but you are running on fumes.

For now we have our save-the-date cards and about half the addresses we need. We also have our hotel for our out-of-town wedding guests secured. We do have a cake in mind, flavor wise, but our menu is still pending.

But that’s about it.

A night-out may be necessary to revive our decision making process and get back out on the road again.

And soonish…

The List

The List it grows,
never stopping.
All these things
continually topping,
plopping on the top of

The List.

This List I make
to keep me sane,
invisible to others,
never ceases.

It only increases…

Have you not noticed,
this pile of To-Do?

Why isn’t this thing done?
It should have been cared for and
completed long, long ago!

What have you been doing
All. This. Time!?!

Yes, I have seen and know
my things To-Do continue to grow
and grow and soon will be
taller than me…

I can’t seem to find the Time
everyone so easily has
to complete the Everythings
and my To-Dos.

Don’t worry, I can see
with definite clarity
that I lack the ability
to finish what I is in front of me.

The List, my friend
and enemy.
The boulder on which I fall.

The whirling winds and
and hurling pages
of a List gone mad.

STOP! I scream…
I want none of this!

The tingling and fretting
and wringing of the fingers
around the wrists and snapping
of the joints as I fidget — so worried.

Please…

Make it stop…

Pressure Point

Tightly gripped,
pressing hard,
the tension feels ready to break.
Can it get much worse?

[Yes] But of course![Always]

Now that you mentioned it
here you go
a little more to strain
your mind
break your frame
severe your heart from your

Soul.

Steam begins to RISE
and the earth falls

a

w

a

y

but the pressure
(P R E S S U R E)
never fades.

Hold on,
it gets better!

[So I’m told]

But what if, just
maybe…
Instead I need to let go?
To release this burden,
pressing around my heart.

To free me…

Deep Breath…

In. And out…

A simple task that we do all the time, everyday, without thinking. We breathe in and then out, letting the air make its way into our lungs and then out with a simple exhale.

In. And out…

It is something we don’t have to think about. We do it naturally.

But there is merit in taking a conscious breath. About reminding ourselves to stop, draw in the air and then, after letting it cycle through our lungs, breathing it back out.

It’s soothing. Calming.

For the time being I have to remind myself to breathe. To stop for a moment, take in a deep breath, and then again remind myself to let it out. My mind betrays me and I lose my confident easily so I stop myself for a moment to take a deep breath.

It works…sorta. It takes a few deep breaths to get me past this dip in confidence but I still make sure I take the time to work through it. To slowly draw everything in and then release it all back out.

In. And out…

Stress Fracture

Stress:

  1. A physiologic reaction by an organism to an uncomfortable or unfamiliar physical or psychological stimulus. Biological changes result from stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system, including a heightened state of alertness, anxiety, increased heart rate, and sweating.
  2. The stimulus or circumstance causing such a reaction.

Stress, it is something we all deal with on a regular basis. There is eustress and distress. Life is balance of these two things, the good and bad, the positive and the negative.

But what happens when a sensitive system (like myself) has a heightened amount of both the positive and negative? Heightened so much that they practically cancel each other out and life is just a sea of constant change and heightened emotional static?

I’m unfortunately finding out what it means to be thrust into the cold waters of the unknown.

I’m under a lot of pressure, both for good changes that I can’t believe are happening and I’m super excited for but also for the bad things, the ones where I wake up and don’t want to leave my bed for fear of what lies ahead.

I can feel all of this noise and interference throughout my day, the static of my brain unable to stop processing both the positive and the negative that surrounds me constantly. It’s like walking around with headphones on; the left one is playing a steady stream of white noise while the right one plays a constant flow of exciting instrumental songs. There is no reprieve. It’s constant and suffocating.

Underneath the noise and the insistent interference is a steady foundation blossoming. I’m finding that I am a strong person and I’m learning how to build my life, my faith, my views based on what I believe. Not on what I was taught to believe and not on what I was lead to feel. But instead on what I know is true.

Sounds wonderfully existential and mature, right? Well I wouldn’t describe it as such. It’s more painful and unsettling. To find that everything you held dear is no longer something to trust is devastating. And even though I’ve chosen to wipe away all I know and rebuild based on what I want to believe, it’s bittersweet.

Growth is wonderful in hindsight but painful to go through. Pain doesn’t even begin to properly describe the feelings and thoughts swirling within me everyday. And when I say everyday, I’m not being melodramatic. It is constant and tiring.

I could be a bigger person and look at the bright side only. I could see all I’m learning and the tools I’m gaining in the wake of this storm. Instead I can’t help but cling to all I thought I knew as it dies within my arms.

Some days I am the bigger person and I readily take all that I’m learning and I’m happy for it. And thankfully I have someone to be happy with. And then there are other days when I’m not so strong and my frightened inner child is fearful and dreading the unknown. On these days I shut down and hold fast to that someone in hopes we survive the onslaught.

I’m tired. Tired beyond my bones and deeply saddened. I just want a break, a little reprieve from the waves crashing against me. I know I’ll survive because that’s what I am, a survivor. I just can’t help but wonder what the damage will cost. 

For now I can only take a step forward and hope there is solid ground beneath my outstretched foot and that a new fracture doesn’t appear as I rest my weary soles.