I'm kind of jumbled up or maybe ironed flat. I sit down to write and all I get is fuzz and there is always background noise. So, I'll just say it like this.
Scouty and I are going camping this weekend, just the two of us. Suffice it to say that I have learned my lesson about taking Louisey on overnight adventures and just assuming that everything will work out. In the case of our very stubborn and particular little one year old angel, "working out" amounts to screaming until 2:30am, at which point I FREAK OUT and start packing up the car to go home while snapping at Kurt and finally retiring to the driver's seat of the car in the middle of the night to bawl. I am not good at dealing with sleep deprivation. Louise is not good with sleeping anywhere but in her safe, soft, familiar little crib.
So, Scouty and I are real adventure girls.
We're staying in a real campground with a lake and hiking trails and a camp store that sells ice cream in round barrels behind a pane of glass. I can't wait to have all day and all night, for two days in a row, with just a fire and the light of my oldest girl.
I'm trying to be open to ideas about calming down and just letting things happen. I tend to get stuffy and particular and I try to eat 1800 calories exactly and sleep for more than eight hours and accumulate 420 cardio fitness minutes per week. This kind of Amanda-arranging just makes me humorless and sexless and anything out of order, whether it's an ice cream cone or a moment of romance from my husband is met with determined, scheduled backlash.
I hate dieting.
I hate worrying about numbers.
I like sugar and spending money.
I used to like sex more than sleep. Now, it's definitely the other way around, but I'm trying to persuade myself not to become THAT THING. Wake up, tea with no sugar and plain greek yogurt, 26 grams of protein, walk at lunchtime while Scouty is at camp, fitness minutes, fitness minutes you know, an hour of tv before bed, keep up with my reading and keep your hands to yourself, brush floss sleep.
I don't want to be a gym lady.
I don't want to own pink workout gear.
In fact, when I'm at the gym, go-go-going for it on the stair stepper, I look around the room and marvel at the company I'm keeping. I want to be healthy. I have an obligation to be healthy and a specific health complication the mandates that I work out, because I can't fail my girls. I can't fail my love. I can't fail in the face of my beautiful life. Because it is. It's a goddamn beautiful life, and I hate wasting a single moment of it calculating whether I can fit a piece of cake into my daily allotment.
(Fuck you, daily allotment.)
Does this make sense?
I just want to be a person who is happy and who lives for a very long time.
I'm excited about going camping.
It's a lot of work and it's hard to sleep because there are noises and it's cold, but it's the opposite of being stuffy. I need to not be stuffy about myself, sometimes.
I need to brush my teeth and spit into the dirt.
I need to stay up late so that I can pretend like Kurt and I are young again.
I need to be in love more than I let myself.
I lived in a very self-serving way, once. It's funny to think about what that old me would think of this one. When I got pregnant in the middle of a storm, everybody glanced at one another out of the sides of their eyes. Everybody wondered how this would all turn out. I was a bad, damaged, lost junky kid with feathers and string in my hair. I had nothing, I was nothing. Oh boy, how is this going to turn out?
Well, guess what? As it turns out, I just happen to be the world's most grateful and willing mom. I happen to be raising the world's happiest and most amazing kids.
As it also turns out, I don't cut myself very much slack. I mean, I put off scrubbing my toilets and leave the house wearing crocs, but as far as the real stuff and the heavy stuff, I feel an overwhelming and consuming pressure to be good at everything. All the MOM STUFF. I am all winding pathways and pulled from my gut out onto the grass, onto the gravel and the into the sun. I am tiny speakers in my ears and redheads with long white legs. I am muddy palms and tattered strings, an amputee put back together. I am a story that begins in a dirt lot in the middle of nowhere, and I feel pressure to do all the bullshit things I see on TLC, or whatever.
I feel like I'm failing, sometimes, because I just can't get the hang of being consumable and invisible and somebody you wouldn't glance at twice at the mall. I feel like things shouldn't be hard for me, because look at me! My life is beautiful.
I still can't afford my student loans. I still can't fit into the brown dress I bought last summer. I still can't write and clean and have dinner ready. I still can't work out for an hour, have sex with my husband and make it to bed in time to get eight hours before my girls are awake.
I totally, unabashedly can make a wonderful life for my kids. I can make sure their days are filled with color and light and activity and contact and love, love, love.
I'm going to go over my calories, though.
Scouty and I baked a cake yesterday, because she asked if we could. Then, I ate a piece of cake for dinner and fell asleep in the hammock.
That's the best I can do with making sense of what I'm feeling, right now. I'm a little overdone, and I need to just let it all go and let things happen. Because things will happen without me scheduling every moment of my life in an attempt to be a picture in a gardening magazine. Do you know what I mean?