Monday, September 13, 2010

The Autumn of Our Discontent

Today I'm getting things out of the way -- you know, those little things that every time you see the item involved you think "I have to..." and then you go on with your day and don't do them? Okay, maybe it's just me. I cleaned the crap off the top of my dresser -- some baseball cards (into Angus's card bin), some bedtime story books (into Eve's bookshelf), the sparkly pipe cleaners with which Eve spelled "Mom" and "Love" (into my box of stuff Eve made me). I cleaned out a box of receipts and threw out the ones that I didn't need any more. I sewed a hole in a pair of tights that have been hanging over the stair rail since last winter.

Usually this kind of thing gives me an immense feeling of accomplishment. Today that immense feeling of accomplishment must be having the same trouble getting out that I am. I was supposed to go shopping with my Mom this morning because the last two nights I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something and it was supposed to be pouring rain. Today I feel fine (not sick, anyway) and it only rained until nine-thirty and then the sun came out. And I realized I'm just having trouble leaving the house. I'll be able to get out and pick up the kids, but I should have gone shopping with my Mom and looked for snowsuits for the kids and gotten some groceries and I feel this overwhelming urge to...not leave the house.

I always say I love fall, but I've realized over the past few years that, much as I like the cooler weather and getting back into the school routine and having more time to myself, my brain chemicals seem to want to go a whole other way with things, which is bloody inconvenient for me (and don't suggest exchanging them for other, more cooperative brain chemicals. I tried that -- no one wanted to trade). I have this pit in my stomach that I could ascribe to the fact that I'm taking the kids for piano lessons after school to a COMPLETE STRANGER, but really it's just a big chunk of free-floating featureless anxiety. Staying in the house seems safer, but then there's the whole I'm-useless-and-lazy-and-frittering-away-my-me-time-fretting-instead-of-learning-Japanese-and-weaving-washcloths thing to confront.

It's tiresome.

Is self-knowledge any use at all when it doesn't generally lead to self-transformation?

Anyway, yesterday was great. We were supposed to go to our friends' cottage with our usual four family group, but it was raining, so we took our potluck stuff to their house and they cranked up the big pool to hot-tub-temperature and the kids had three big floors to destroy instead of one tiny cottage and we had a bocce ball tournament in the rain (which my team dominated until I deserted my partner who was my friend's nine-year-old son to play bananagrams and he won with a sub and I didn't win a single game of bananagrams, and don't even let me get into how I feel about being better at a game that involves rolling big balls at a little ball than a game that involves intelligence and vocabulary, but anyway...) and it was lovely. I should have asked if I could move in. Collette would have made me leave the house today.

When we were walking in the door after leaving, we asked the kids if they'd had a good time and Angus said yes and Eve said "yeah, but I don't know about that bitchin' ball. I don't think I'll be playing that again." I don't want to play bitchin' ball either. I don't know how to stop.

17 comments:

Pam said...

Hey! Quit thinking what I'm thinking. 'Cept I did kick myself out of the house since eating crackers for breakfast isn't ideal so groceries were in order.

Anyway, may you have a much more content day tomorrow. I'll play bitchin' ball with you anytime.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Ok, it really must be going around. I hid in the house all weekend. I didn't make an eye appointment I need because I just don't want to go and only made it to the store today because we were out of milk and I must have milk.
I started the day with my youngest having a meltdown because she "couldn't face school today"(I made her go) and since then have had to drive home a 23 year old who told me she was hoping for a fender bender as an excuse to get out of work this morning and then couldn't face the bus home and that she hid in the house all weekend. I told her no three times because I didn't want to go out again but finally gave in because she sounded like she was going to cry. The "free-floating featureless anxiety" is running rampant!

Nicole said...

You know, I've been feeling like that too, although I did get out today as my son's birthday is in TWO DAYS and I needed things like, oh, gifts. And candles. And a lighter to light the candles but the Co-Op doesn't sell them. Because - as the smoker cashier bitterly told me - there is an anti-smoking campaign that is demonizing the smokers so you can't buy any smoking paraphenelia anywhere that there is a pharmacy and gdammit smokers are like the anti-christ and why should they be they pay enough taxes with their gdammed cigarettes. After listening to this diatribe for five minutes, I was like, "So you don't sell them? Do you know where I can get a lighter? Or even some matches? Because I need to light birthday candles."

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get out of the house, even when you need birthday candles.

Patti Murphy said...

I'm good at bitchin' ball too. I LOVE that. I'm writing it down.

See you tomorrow! Maybe we can go to Starbuck's and have bitchin' coffees.

LambAround said...

*hugs* to you!
Bitchin' ball?? Ooooh, I would have been in soooooo much trouble if I'd said that! :p

the mombshell said...

Oh I have ooodles of self-realization but almost no self-transformation. I'm totally lazy like that, but at least I realize that.

Mary Lynn said...

I'm totally calling it bitchin' ball from now on.

I dunno about the whole self-realization/self-transformation thing. Even when I do try to transform myself I come up short in sticktoitiveness.

I really should clean all the crap off the top of my dresser.

Sandra said...

Ok, do you not want to leave the house just 'cause, or is it a sign of something deeper (yeah, I tend to over-analyze...)
Anyway, the day at your friend's house with potluck and pool sounded very decadent!

Betsy B. Honest said...

Useful is over-rated.

Pamela said...

I'm with Eve - bitchin' ball sucks! And I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who hangs clothing that needs to be mended over the railing for months & months!

Lynn said...

WORD. I am all grim with the moping about the house and the "I should be doing xyz" self-flagellation. We should get together (maybe over skype, since neither of us actually wants to go out) and bitch over cocktails.

Amber said...

I am not a fan of dark days and cold weather, so autumn always makes me sad. Although I am still getting out of the house, so there's that.

I hope this period is brief and gentle for you.

Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) said...

Bitchin-ball...I think I've been playing that a little in my head over here. I told my husband tonight that I'm not sure what my problem is but I just feel uber grumpy all the time. I'd rather sleep and hide than do anything else. I actually love the autumn, but I wonder if the barometric pressure change is messing with our chemical balance. Or something.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I need to do a lot of those things this afternoon. I seem to be blogging instead.....

The Mayor! said...

So, do you also have the problem of, "no sooner do I clean up the baseball cards, books, & sparkly pipe cleaners from all over MY room where they should just never be dammit, but I turn around to find Pokemon cards, random colourings, & sparkly whatever the hell all over my room again"??!!

And yeah, come Labour Day, I never wanna leave my house again until May 2-4...& you can't make me (stomps foot) :-p

alison said...

I'm not so much anxious as I am just murderously, wrung-out exhausted and I don't want to go anywhere but my bed. Though I would play bitchin' ball with you if we could drink while we did it.

SuziCate said...

I've never played "bitchin' ball", but I sure want to now!