Monday, May 17, 2010

When the world keeps on going, but I just can't move

I feel frozen lately.

It's like, I go to the gym and I have all this time to think while I'm prancing on the elliptical (you know, taking advantage of the childcare).

I read these parenting and organizing magazines that make me feel like I want to make over my life.

Like if I can just get some sort of cubby or shelf or teal wicker basket for every corner of my house then somehow I can regain control.

Or if I can teach my toddler the alphabet with one hand while stimulating my infant's developing senses with the other, all between loads of laundry, then I can finally breath.

I can rest assured that I am the mother and wife and household organizer that I am supposed to be.

So I drive home in an endorphin-driven frenzy of ideas and motivation.

I prepare each child a healthy lunch and cheerily whisk them off to bed.

What lies ahead is 45 minutes of peace.  Of quiet.  45 minutes to organize my life.

But I just can't move.

Piles of folded laundry and month-old mail and drying dishes start closing in.  Smothering.  Suffocating.

I turn instead to the buzzing white of my computer screen.  And somewhere in its vast depths I numb myself to the sense of failure that is everywhere.

Shopping with my husband today I pointed out a twenty dollar mail organizer. 

All the man said was, "Do we really need that?" and I practically stormed out of the store. 

He tried desparately to pull me out on the car ride home.  To understand why this was so important to me.

I mean, we already own a perfectly nice mail bin.

The words escaped me at the time.  I kept rambling about how I want to redecorate and how everything needs organized.

But I think what I meant was this.

Yes, we already own a mail bin, but that's not what I want.

It's too revealing. I want something to hide the mess. Something to tuck it all neatly away so I can pretend it's just not there.

I need to cover it up.

Because lately, at night, I lie awake with my heart racing.  I think about books that need returned and friends I need to call and rebates and paperwork and cleaning and all the things that are piling, piling, piling.

My throat closes up and I pry my heavy eyes open, straining toward the light of the television, hoping the laughter will somehow drown out my thoughts. 

I need something to hide the mess.  Something to tuck it all neatly away so I can pretend it's just not there.

I need to cover it up.

Because tomorrow I face another day with its lists of to-do's and should've-done-months-ago's.

And I keep thinking if I could just start... just organize the mail or put away the laundry or send that e-mail... then everything else will fall into place.

But I can't. 

I feel frozen...


  1. I so know what you mean and feel what you are saying. And yes, those moments of being stuck are so hard to pull out of. Hope you find something to lift you out soon.

  2. Hi Kim - you know how all the baby books tell you not to obsess over the housework when you come home with your new infant, and to take naps when they do etc but you don't and years later you look back and think, I wish I had done that? Well you have two really young children and so it is a lot to expect an immaculate house and completed "to do" lists every day. So try not to let it all get to you, make shorter to do lists that are achievable and decide which things really don't matter. At the end of the day, and I know you already know this, spending your time having fun with the children right here and now is the most important thing - and carving out a bit of space and happy time for yourself too.

  3. I'm sorry. I feel overwhelmed too. By every little thing. Just a few minutes ago, I was like, "I have to unload the dishes, load them, do the recycling, do the trash, straighten up, read Hayden a book, read some blogs, etc." And I about collapsed in agony because I didn't want to do anything. I just want to escape. And I only have one child - I can't imagine having two.

    None of this is very uplifting, but at least you know that you aren't alone.

    Good luck... I hope you are able to defrost soon!

  4. Dear Kim,

    I feel your pain. Or your freeze. Thanks for sharing such genuine thoughts.

    Wouldn't we all be lying if we didn't all have these moments? Overwhelmed. Unmotivated. How can I be both?!

    I will be praying for peace, the best kind, for you.

    P.S. Thank you for all the encouragement you have given me over the last month or so. You are often my only commenter! And your words are so kind. I wish I was a better friend, sorry I don't comment as frequently as you do! :) Hang in there, Kim.

  5. I know this feeling too. You put it so honestly and eloquently.
    I'm going right now and clearing some clutter, in your honor.

  6. i have a closet where i hide everything -- including the bills that i 'forget' to pay. it helps, until the debt collectors come knocking.

    i feel like i'm on perpetual circuit overload - all the little dramas add up and i'm exhausted, but too tired to sleep.


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