22:18 [2019-09-09] Even if I don’t feel good about my creative output at the moment, I feel great about the house. I’ve been decluttering for several weeks now, and everything feels more tidy. [Insert modest sobriety-chic-lit joke about it actually looking less like total chaos.] Also I haven’t been allowing tech for the kids on school days, which forces me to spend time with them. [Which of course is always a joy, lol. (Edit: no but seriously!!!) Actually, as long as I’m wearing construction-grade earmuffs it’s perrrrrfect.] It’s very busy anyway in the first weeks of school. Lots of homework and many many papers to sign, as well as after-school meetings to attend.
This evening I worked with our second son (age 13, nearly 14) on figuring out what career path he wanted to take. This is the critical age for kids in France to start planning. They have to choose a specific high school (“lycée”) the following year, based on their estimated path. So their final year of middle school, which is (oddly, from the North American perspective) called “collège,” focuses on choosing that path. (Like I’ve said in the past, France is an adulting nation. Or maybe North America is simply a childish bunch. The French in NA are probably going, “why do these dolts call post-secondary education middle school?? And NA is like, “’cause in post-secondary, we’re twenty-something tweens. We’re basically hobbits. So boo-yah.”)
Our eldest son’s career path was simple. He’s known since around the age of six, just like his dad. (IT/coding/programming/dev-ops/computer-yodahood, also just like his dad.) Our second son is more unsure of himself, just like I used to be (oh hold on, and still am).
He and I had a fun (yes really!) time together researching options, together using my laptop on the kitchen table (I’m not counting tech time as “tech time” if it’s with direct, constant supervision and for educative purposes only). We found a really cool guy on YouTube (Jake Voorhees, who happened to be from our homeland in Vancouver, Canada! Dude knows what it’s all aboot! [there is even “The Boot” building, in the background of his intro scenery]) who explained the difference between architects and civil engineers. In the end, second son decided to start with the path of civil engineering. Which I thought sounded perfect for him. (Because neither of us is easily influenced by YouTubers. ;))
I love coaching the kids on life stuff, it’s one of my favourite things to do. (Even if it’s not normally one of theirs, to be coached. Dang.) This is one of the beautiful things about being a mom. A beautiful something I might have missed, on a similar evening about six months ago, when I might have been happily tipping through a bottle of red or sparkling, instead of offering to help my eldest sons with their homework just before bedtime. Instead letting them do their own “homework,” on their own computers. (As if they actually do homework unsupervised when faced with the digital home of all their games and…. YouTube gamers playing those same games.)
Drinking, even “moderately,” took up a lot of time. Time is something I now have more of. Another thing I’m grateful for.
Some of you kind folks who check in from time to time may have noticed that this blog was set to “private” mode for the last few days. I’m not sure what my problem is, at the moment. Why I feel so much shame and disappointment in myself.
Actually, I think I do know what the problem is:
Like many, I have a tendency to see negatives when it comes to looking in the mirror, whether real or metaphorical/blogaphorical. And to not be able to take my own jokes. And my own imperfections.
I *like* silly jokes when told by others; I *adore* imperfections in others. Why not in myself? Why such deep-seated self-loathing, over such seemingly inconsequential things?
It’s called Ego. This is the work I need to sit with quietly for a while.
I felt terrible about the post which listed other sobriety blogs.
It took me a long time to do the links properly; then the worst part is, I screwed the whole thing up anyway. I forgot “this” person, meanwhile named “that” person who perhaps didn’t even want to be named. Put the names in as-they-came-to-mind order instead of doing something logical, fair and community-friendly, such alphabetical listing. Wondered if I should I have mentioned the *non*-sobriety bloggers who’ve been a support to me as well. Wondered if I should have mentioned the non-sobriety bloggers who only “like” but don’t comment. etc. etc.)
Imagining having caused possibly hurt feelings or offence (or even just head-shaking bemusement or repulsed mouth-cringing) kills me inside like I’m taking a self-administered poison. And then I don’t really know the right way to undo it.
If you happened to see that post, and you were mentioned or not mentioned and felt over-included or excluded, I am so sorry. After a year here on WP (counting my other blog), I find I am still clueless in BlogLand.
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions,” as that old saying goes. I start out from a place of genuine love and gratitude, and aim to express it somehow (usually in the middle of a completely un-related post, just greeeaaat); and then through distraction (kids at home interrupting every five minutes, and rightly so), worry and perfectionism (“oh crap, forgot so-and-so,” add them in, find their blog URL, etc etc), I end in a place of resentment (“why the hell did I ever decide to do this, anyway? I’ve suddenly decided I hate blogging and everything to do with blogging!”), self-loathing (“I’m such an idiot!”), and fear (“everyone must hate me. This means I’m going to die!”).
i.e. #MountainsOutOfMoleHills and #SkyIsFalling mentality.
Notes to self: stop looking in the metaphorical mirror for trouble. If you look for it you will find it. And stop hurting yourself and everyone close to you, with your overblown good intentions.
So, I killed the blog that felt like it was killing me. Or rather, gave it a sleeping potion (i.e. made it temporarily “private”). In effect, stopping time; creating a kind of bubble within it.
You know, like Jeremy Bearimy.
16:27 [2019-09-10] When I’d turned the blog to private mode I felt instant relief. It felt like turning off a light switch, and like making a place where I could just be myself without judgement. I highly recommend it if you ever feel stuck or unsure.
Anyway, inside the thusly-created darkroom, I read a few older posts and see where I’ve come from. Which was encouraging because I can see that I kept making “mistakes” and doing imperfect things and yet, I kept going. That is major for me, a recovering, previously-crippled perfectionist and master procrastinator. And to also realize, this is just me. This is who I am. Complete with the dotted “i” which is Tuesdays and July. I’m not going to let it break me.
But: if one truly wants to untangle time, one has to Keep Moving Forward.
So onward again, friends, and upward.
vision and faith,