for now

I have this little thing that is known, affectionately, as “roller coaster emotions.” You know when you’re on a roller coaster, tick-tick-ticking up to the highest point? And once you reach the peak, you pause for a second before plummeting down? That’s a pretty solid metaphor for my feels. Life is ticking along, getting more and more exciting by the day. Then, suddenly — the top! Everything’s amazing! I can conquer the world, the laundry, the social outings, all of it! That three second pause at the top of the hill is what I live for. And every single time I reach it, I forget that the ride doesn’t stop there. Once I’m comfortable, once I’m convinced nothing will ever, ever knock me off my top spot, we start to fall. We don’t tick-tick down, like we did on the way up. We just drop. And sometimes the fast descent feels impossibly longer than the slow climb.

My loving husband often tries to remind me about these swings when I’m on the good side of things. When I’ve got a little mania glittering in my eyeballs and I’m cheerfully on my tenth load of laundry for the day. Hey! Thanks for the heads up, man! Is that the thing I say?

No. No, it is not.

I say/scream/wail/sob/dramatically whisper “WHY DON’T YOU WANT ME TO BE HAPPY?”

I’m a delight. I promise.

J&J 2019
These two put up with a lot.

Here’s the thing. I love feeling great. Who doesn’t? I don’t want to lose the great. I know I will, but why would I want to be reminded that it’s coming? When I’m in the thralls of the not-so-great, it already feels like it will¬†never end. Why can’t I just enjoy the goodness while it’s around?

Do you want to know a secret, though? (Of course you do. That’s why you’re here.) I think I know why Jason loves reminding me that my high mountaintop moments don’t last forever. Because the lows don’t last forever, either.

The lows don’t last forever either.

Most of my major life lessons come from musicals, so before I leave, I’m going to quote one of my (raunchy but amazing) favorites:¬†Avenue Q.

Nothing lasts, life goes on
Full of surprises
You’ll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes
You’re going to have to make a few compromises
For now…

For now we’re healthy
For now we’re employed
For now we’re happy — if not overjoyed
And we’ll accept the things we cannot avoid
For now…

The high-highs don’t last, but the low-lows don’t either. To me, that’s more than comforting. An event, a day, a mood does not define us. As we ride the emotion roller coaster up and down and again and again, I think we can all take a little solace in knowing that the ride doesn’t stop unless we let it. And with friends, with therapy, with medicine, with age, we can start to make the course just slightly more balanced.

Don’t stress – relax – let life roll off your backs
Except for death and paying taxes,
Everything in life is only for now.

 

a quick word to my summer sahms

Hi, SAHMs.

(Not-SAHMs please feel free to keep reading. I don’t want to alienate you. I just can’t claim to really know your experience, so I wouldn’t be so bold as to write you about it… ok great, thanks.)

SUMMER IS COMING, Y’ALL

It’s the end of May, ladies. You know what this means, right? It means, if you live near me, the end of the school is shockingly close. (If you live somewhere else, your child’s school year may already be done, and I’m sending you strength, mama.)
Look. I love my kids. Nothing in the whole world gives me greater pleasure than watching them laugh, successfully tie their shoes, paint an avant-garde masterpiece, or run toward me for a hug. These are the moments, friends… these are the moments we cherish.

We also love waving good-bye as the school bus carries them away for eight hours.

(Homeschooling SAHMS please know that I consider you to be heaven’s strongest angels, sent to earth for familial superiority. Rock on, gals.)

I’m in introvert-mom, and I used to feel guilt at having to “take a break” from the mom life I really and truly hold dear. There just comes a time in the day when my brain starts to shut down. No amount of sleep can stop the fatigue of people-ing from setting in, and it takes all I can do to keep from screaming “I CAN’T, I’M WASHING MY HAIR!” at the sweet bundles of life I helped create. During the school year, I do have a toddler at home, but when I feel the weight of the interactive world, I can put on a television show. I can declare it nap time. I can, occasionally, find some quiet play that the little one can do independently (in a perfect world, but every now and then, people surprise you). In the summer, I have two kids who want to do very different things at all times. 

(If you have more than two kids, LORD HAVE MERCY.)

The little wants to stick to an early, school-day schedule, and the big wants to sleep in and go a little slower. Between the two, the time for me dwindles, and each night I find myself collapsing into bed, equal parts physically and mentally exhausted. 

Are you there too? Are you anxious about the long, warm, routine-free days? Me too. I get it. So here is my promise to you: I will never, ever judge your social media. If it’s sunny and perfect outside and everyone’s posting pictures of the beach, but you post a picture of the blanket fort you made in your air-conditioning with the blinds shut and the lights off? I support you. If you cancel our play date because summer is wearing you out? Don’t even feel bad. If you send me stress-texts all day about how crazy everyone is? I’ll send you wine, virtual or physical, once your littles are asleep (and immediately before you are). In this summer, let’s support each other even if we all work on surviving in different ways. 

And, for you? The best gift you can give yourself is grace. Your summer may not be pinterest-perfect. You may find yourself tearing up a bit when the “Back to School” signs return to Target, and that’s OK

And remember, if you need a fellow in-trenches mom to vent and drink wine, I’m your girl.

Happy summer!