We spent a lot of money yesterday. A lot. There were lots of necessary things; food, a freezer for the half a cow we will be picking up soon, Iain’s glasses. We got some supplies for making Halloween costumes and a birthday gift for a little friend, and on a whim I picked up a couple of shirts for myself. I don’t feel badly for that at all. I very rarely buy any clothing for myself. I’ve been needing shirts for 9 months or so now. I was standing outside a store, baby sleeping on my back, waiting for Steve to come back from taking the boys to the bathroom. They were having a big sale and I was thinking how many of the things in there I liked. I had a now or never kind of feeling. Like there will never come a time when I manage a shopping trip with the sole purpose of buying clothing for me. I only made it about half way through the store. By the time everyone made it back I had a handful of shirts in my arm, in my best guess at a size that would fit. I handed them to Steve, asked him to pay, took over with the kids and we were on our way.
That was ok. That was self care and nourishing in it’s way. The feeling of today was different, it was the desire to escape, to distract myself. And that is not ok. The feeling is ok of course, but the acting on it is not.
A quick assessment of my life right now leaves me feeling alarmingly off keel. My home is full to bursting with stuff to be sorted, things to be finished, belongings in need of places to *be*. It feels scattered, frantic, desperate. I do not need to add to that at this point. I do not need to compound the chaos.
The funny thing is, we don’t even own a lot of stuff. But we also live in a house, in a place in between. A house that we are living in, but trying not to be. A house that we are in a frequently thwarted process of leaving. It’s an uncomfortable sort of place to be in. Add to that the practical facts of life for us these last several years…the lack of running water, the limited electricity, the single broken dresser for a family of 6, the complete and utter lack of cabinets or closets or anywhere designed to put anything, even the unfinished walls feel cluttered and unkempt and well, it’s over-whelming. When we were in a position of working to *improve* things, it was bearable. Things were always getting better, little, by slow and painful little, but there was a goal and there was progress to be seen. But now…since making the conscious decision to stop putting time and energy into the house, there is no forward momentum, there is no movement and the feeling in the house is stagnant. There is just this pitiful, difficult, messy existence.
I don’t ever want my home to feel like that. Ever. No matter what else is happening in life. My feelings of desperation in the car today were a panicked need for some sort of shift in my reality. I had a choice to make then and I have a choice to make now. I didn’t go shopping and try to fill the void with treats and distractions to smooth over my anxiety. I came home and took some time to regain my composure. And now I’m going to get up and start addressing one small area, one small project at a time. I know there are limits to what I can do, but I can try. And I feel like the trying right now is almost more important then the outcome. Just the intention of wanting to improve our quality life, closely followed by positive action, is bound to snowball and settle the uneasy feeling inside of me. And from there the feeling will spread to the rest of the family. And I feel certain that life will be just a little bit better for it.