Thursday, September 20, 2012

Good and Mad

by Deborah
and i'm not talking about the magazine

Earlier this week, I was angry.  Enraged, furious, frustrated, helpless, poisonous.  I roared at my children, I threatened my dog, and I iced out my husband.

I was angry because....well, I don't know entirely.  A large dose of it was probably from sleep deprivation.  A combination of my husband's travels with very early departures and very late returns, following a couple of nights where my children were up repeatedly because they didn't feel well or they were having a developmental spurt or the crazy satellite passed overhead, who knows, mixed in with a weekend trip to my parents where I tried to sleep in the same room with an insane and energetic 4 month old Doberman puppy, bookended with the disastrously overdue phase of Getting Rid of Pacifiers Once And For All Even At Bedtime Gah This Is Awful.  All of which meant about 6 nights in a row where I had interrupted or little or sometimes no sleep.

My reaction to not sleeping is to become very...not nice.  To become irritable and fuzzy and mad and resentful and petulant and self-pitying.  And screamy.

i have a rare ability to yawn and scream at the same time
Particularly, I chose to focus my rage on the fact that I had been in my new town for over 2 months.  In that time, I had handed out my card to numerous people, had attended a newcomer's brunch, had suggested dinners with my husband's colleagues, had encouraged possible playdates with people at the mall, the pool, and the school, and tried to reach out to neighbors.  Yet two months later, I had no social dates.  No friends.  Nada.  An awful lot of out-go with zip coming in.

I was pissed.  Tossing-and-turning-in-bed-with-heavy-sighing pissed.  Thinking about what a mistake this move was and how I had sacrificed too much and I needed to be more selfish and not worry about my family so much and just leave and go somewhere where I could be with my friends and how everyone is just mean and they can just go bebythemselveswhoneedsthemsothere.

I self-righteously indulged this train of thought for a good long while before I finally started to cry.  Then I took a deep breath, realized that I had chosen to be where I am, and I was going to have to just gut it out, and that the only changes I could really make were within myself.  So I resigned myself to waiting, to trying again and harder, to accepting.  To setting new goals and opening my mind and reinventing myself.  I gave up.  Perhaps surrendered is a better word.  Finally, relaxed, I slept deeply.

The next day, a mom from my daughter's class emailed to see if we could have a playdate that afternoon.  My husband emailed me to see if I could set up a sitter for Friday so we could have dinner with his boss and wife.  A colleague of my husband's called and we planned a day to meet at a park with our kids.  And my realtor called to set up a lunch with me and client of hers she thought I would hit it off with.

All in one day. All on Wednesday.  All the day after I finally got some sleep, and perhaps more to the point, surrendered.  A veritable deluge of socializing.

Isn't that always the way?  It irritates me that it's always that way.  That you have to struggle and suffer and finally grow.  Stupid maturing and growing.  Surrendering to being a bigger and deeper soul.  Whatevs, man.  I'd settle for a little shallow, superficial easiness for a while.

Ok, but it felt nice.  I don't have friends exactly, but I have people to talk to who can pronounce the letter R and don't constantly tell me they are a dinosaur.   I have somewhere to be that isn't an errand or an appointment.  I have to put on makeup.  (And stress out about my weight and my skin and what to wear, like I'm a teenager on a first date again.)

So I'm not as mad anymore.  I am mollified, anticipatory, and chastened.  I'm making a life, one tantrum at a time.


  1. I know how you feel. We just moved a couple months ago and my efforts to reach out to neighbors seems to have gone unnoticed. Hopefully if I'm patient I'll have a great day like yours when it all comes together... By the way, thanks for your kind comment yesterday!

  2. ugh. Sometimes it can be really tedious and annoying and blech. You're welcome for the compliment! You make it look effortless!