Friday, May 4, 2012

Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Inspired by EZ at Creature Comforts. From EZ:

Do you happen to remember the link I posted to this article by Jess Constable last Friday? Well Friday afternoon over on twitter, all it took was one tweet from Erin followed immediately by Nichole, before suddenly a flood of bloggers raised their virtual hands to say that "Yes, they too were concerned / frustrated / flummoxed about the vast cavern between true reality and the presentation of "reality" on blogs." That twitter conversation quickly morphed into a challenge spurned on by another post of Jess' where she shared "Things I'm Afraid to Tell You."

Okay. Here we go. {I'm going to start off easy.}

I kill stuff in the garden! I do know that I write about it jokingly here on occasion, but each plant death is like a little dagger. And, I think I might hate vegetable gardening. I'm not sure about this feeling yet. Maybe I just hate doing most of the work by myself, by hand. But I might just abandon it all together this year.

Also, there are the gardens we presently have and the gardens I want. I'm not sure if those two will meet in the middle. But I don't think I will ever have a garden that would be tour-worthy. {Not sure if I want that, either.} I think most people would be gravely disappointed at how our land and landscape look. {Think wild, wooly and brambly.}

My day job, where I go four days a week from 8 until 5, is quiet beyond quiet, boring, some days, beyond boring. Librarians have more activity, noise and interactions with people than I do. Seriously. But I keep showing up because I have cool co-workers and my family needs the health insurance and stable paycheck. Also - I like working - having a place to be and having something to contribute is good for me and my brain.

What I think I should be doing: weeding, baking bread, sewing, getting down on the floor with Willa to play, vacuuming and dusting. What actually makes me the happiest some days: Watching shows like Hoarders and Storage Wars while eating Duncan Hines icing out of the container with a spoon.

I say awful things to myself about my body. This talk follows me around like a cloud. And, I know exercise eventually feels good, but I would rather be curled up with a book. Which I do, but then feel stupid about not exercising and then say more awful things to myself. This has been an internal dialogue that I would love to remove from my life. {As I write this, I am sitting at my desk, eating cookies and forgoing a lunchtime visit to the gym. Case-in-point. Self loathing to follow.}

The loudest critics of my decision to go back to work after having Willa were, sadly, other moms. But moms who had decided to stay home. {None of whom were good friends, just outspoken acquaintances.} Their messages and comments hurt more than I will admit in front of them - but I never barked back. I do, however, daydream about what I should have said. Maybe I'll get up enough courage to say one of those things, someday. Once I have it down to something tamer, with less screeching.

I realized, a few months ago, that I needed to start removing my presence from some Internet spaces because they left me feeling crappy. Etsy. Twitter. Facebook. Counting stats and counting comments left me with a gnawing unhappiness that I realized I could just step away from . . . and that was that.

We have sadness in our family, like any other family. I don't write about it here because I feel that I would betray those who are struggling and are already vulnerable. But there have been dark stretches where I felt like I was punching my way out of bag and just barely keeping it together. Last spring, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and quickly had to turn away, because of how strained and tired I looked. Thing have gotten better, but there were a few years {yes, years} where unrelenting hopelessness, as a state of mind, didn't cover the definition of life at that time. {So I turned to my gardens and writing as a sort of therapy.}

So, there you have it. Life in Sugar Hollow is far from perfect. {This list could have been longer.} But my aim in life is to simply cherish and love what I have, mentally stretch and bend when I have to/need to, acknowledge sadness when it visits {unannounced or otherwise} and make a habit of shifting mindsets to the positive - when my brain allows it.

I hope you will continue to visit. I truly treasure every comment, email and response. The fact that you take time out of your day to read my blog is an honor. Many, many, many thanks.


Becky said...

My gardens are an absolute wreck. But they are mine and I love them.

All the weeds I blogged about ripping out by hand during spring break are trying to make a come back. So much for progress. At least it gives me something else to do, right?

Tracey said...

Your gardens look lovely to me!

I want to get to the place where weeding is therapy and not something I huff and puff through quickly. Maybe when I run out of 'Hoarders' episodes . . .

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing. Hugs and peace to you.

Tracey said...

Big hugs to you Jennifer. I am so happy to hear from you!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog, your photos are outstanding, your sense of humor is killer, and the documentation of life as a new mother breaks my heart in the best of ways. You have contributed to my life immensely, thank you.

Tracey said...

Gah - first comment ever to leave me *tearing up*. Anonymous - thank you-thank you-thank you. What sweetness - your reaching out means the world to me.

Erin said...

This was so beautiful. Thank you girl. Might try the same. You are an inspiration.

Tracey said...

Oh, wow, thank you E! I feel like 'Things I'm Afraid To Tell You' might have been something I would yammer on about around a fire in East Hampton with you and the Wrights. xoxo T

Anonymous said...

I love this. The confusion of "reality" vs reality is what has kept me from joining facebook (so far).
I second the comments from May 4 4:42. Thank you.
I would like to watch Hoarders, but have avoided doing so because I am afraid that I then may have to classify our family as such (you have not seen our basement).
ps this is my first blog comment EVER!

Tracey said...

Maura! Hieeeee! Your first comment? Here? Woo-hoo! {And, thanks!} I might have Hoarder genes (I am not kidding) - so I must watch it in awe/with fear? I watch an episode and then clean, watch another, clean.