Every night, before the melatonin and Gabapentin bring sleep, I tell myself that tomorrow is the day I will do my physical therapy exercises and yoga and meditation. I will strap on my FitBit again, and take 10,000 steps. I will take my son to the kids club at the gym, and avail myself of the equipment, hot tub, and showers. Or maybe I’ll go do zumba in the park with my daughter–it’s free!
I will reach out to a friend. I will do random acts of kindness. I will jot down three things I’m grateful for, in the journal I bought for the purpose.
I will take a shower.
I will take photos of my unneeded, but lovely, work clothes and sell them on Poshmark. I will take photos of the “too girly” furniture in my daughter’s room and sell them on Craigslist. I will sift through the toys and books and craft supplies in my children’s rooms and donate them, secretly, to Goodwill.
I will put away the laundry.
I will make inquiries about people who can build fences and play structures, and patch holes in the wall, and put braces on teeth, and cut difficult, curly hair. I’ll contact people who can replace fans, and rehang doors, and paint houses. But first, I’ll find people who can remove shrubs–that has to be done before the play structure can be built.
I will write.
It’s all lies.
Every day, I cook and clean and cart around kids, including my new furry one. I try to prevent temper tantrums, and failing that, try to calm them. I have the bruises to prove it. Bruises on my thighs from being kicked, on my arm from being bitten, on my shin from a hurled stick (a big one! a branch, even), and in strange places from who knows what. The dog park?
I do laundry and dishes and sweep and cook scratch meals. But please don’t get me wrong. If you visited, you wouldn’t know how much time I spend trying to keep the house in order. That boulder in the myth of Sisyphus? It was really a pile of laundry.
When there is finally some calm, a modicum of order, and nobody has to be driven anywhere for the next two hours, I don’t do any of the things I have promised myself.
I take a nap.
A nap brought to you by our generous sponsor, Netflix.
While my son watches horrible, noisy, sassy children’s shows. I sleep. Sleep is my escape. My escape from to-do lists and pain. My escape from overwhelm, from fibromyalgia, and PTSD. My escape from bickering, and the never-ending chattering of kids. Sleep is my escape from the sameness of every day, and the constant drumbeat of regrets that march through my mind.
And after that precious respite, the cooking and cleaning and driving around begins again. Until bedtime, when I make another list of vows to myself for tomorrow.
Tomorrow, when I will have it all together and begin again.