These days are feeling a little surreal. Life is hectic, but the home front is peaceful, and I have felt for almost a week now that I am not in my body, but am watching myself move through the world from a far off location. Like a dream. This is very standard fare for November.
I don’t go out the way I used to. I have two friends with two brand new babies, and I’ve been afraid to see them because I keep feeling sniffly, and I live with a three year old who has a wet nagging cough that hasn’t gone away. Do I stay away indefinitely, or do I get a surgical mask? I just don’t know the protocol and I’m feeling neglectful.
I have an appointment with a therapist on Wednesday. I want to talk about anxiety, and trust, and grief, and I suppose about patterns. Patterns of thought, patterns of behaviour, patterns of life. I want to be stronger, better, more assured about my abilities to receive love.
Giving love is easy, for a Schnoo like me. What seems to be incredibly difficult is accepting the idea that someone could love me enough to always want to stick by me, watch me grow old and wrinkly, and say goodbye to this lifetime by my side. That’s hard. So hard in fact, that merely typing this is making me choke up. Why? For the most part, I think I have fairly good self-esteem. I’ve done a lot of things with my short time on this planet. I live well, and with a kind heart, and I love people, genuinely. Why is it so hard sometimes to believe that I am loveable?
Long bike rides in the waning sunlight of crisp autumn afternoons buoy me up like nobody’s business.
My partners are working crazy hours to get over the hump of some back-logged inventory that needs to move in time for the holiday season. I’m on domestic duty which is kind of awesome. I’m working from home and swapping out loads of laundry between emails and assignments. I’m planning meals and e-marketing schedules, and organizing crafts and data bases. Tonight I think we’ll bake cupcakes, make a pizza and then the little monkeys will splash in the tub. I will use that time to write some copy for a sponsorship proposal. Yeah for the modern woman. What I am learning is that the girls exist most peacefully if they are occupied with something that involves spending time with one or all of the adults until they are asleep. TV or movies don’t really cut it either. It needs to be an activity, or a task. They have a real interest in helping in the kitchen, so I’ve been trying to pare down our food prep and assign each of them things to help with. They really love this. It’s so cute. Last night the six-year-old set the table without even being asked.
Yesterday, she spontaneously told me I was her family.
I have a family. Just like that. No more lonely brunches, yearning for little hands to reach for bits of food from my plate. No more enviously watching sleepy couples bow their heads together over coffee and commiserate about the night before.
The other night, I forgot to pick up one item on the grocery list, and made a joke about getting fired. Our six-year-old looked up, startled and said “Why would you get fired? We love you!” I explained my joke and she reiterated, with a worried little frown “We would never fire you. We love you.”
I’m not getting fired. They love me. They aren’t going anywhere, and they want me to stay. In fact, I may even be in line for a promotion.
After oh so many years of loss, lies, break ups, divorce, death, and heartache, it’s really hard to come to work each day and not expect a pink slip.
Am I sounding like a broken record?