I’m home, kids are home, dog threw her back out, I have some weird virus that has settled in my inner ear, causing some hearing loss which “may or may not be permanent” says my doc. I feel like I am going deaf, have water in my ear, or 5 cotton balls wedged in my ear canal. Ruby’s on pain meds, I’m on steroids (which have a “30-50% chance” of clearing up my ear and restoring my hearing) and baby girl got her wisdom teeth out yesterday. Her percocet and viocodin are sitting on the kitchen counter singing their siren song. Got some hilarious video of #3 (Lili’s nickname since we have 5 kids combined) just after her surgery – where her mouth is gaping open, stuffed with gauze and she’s saying “I fink there’s sumfin in my mouf” – good times. But as soon as we got home, I realized she was going to be a big fat handful, needing meds round the clock, ice, gauze, no falling asleep until the gauze comes out, she’s falling asleep! tv blaring…needs assistance walking because she’s woozy. #5 needs dinner, and there’s three (three!) piles of cat barf on the carpet (of course) in my bedroom. And my husband is still at the beach in CA. Fuck-it-all.
Meanwhile…I am making homemade custard (the kind you make from scratch and pour into buttered ramekins and bake in a hot water bath), doing laundry, getting scrips filled, carrying the dog up and down the stairs to go potty several times a day, hosting playdates, making late night runs to Whole Foods for mashed potatoes, etc. All this time, as I’m trying to take care of all the characters in this play, I am feeling bad about myself. I am feeling guilty approaching a level of self-flagellation that I skipped my meditation practice. I’m feeling ineffectual and like a Loser (with a capital ‘L’) that I am just walking around in a daze with no motivation to write a blog post or go for a run – not to mention I’m eating all the homemade custard that my kids decided didn’t taste as good as Kosy Shack’s rice pudding. Go figure.
Anne Lamott talks about practicing Radical Self Care and jokingly refers to “keeping the patient comfortable” about herself when she’s struggling emotionally. For her, it means curling up in bed with a book and her dogs and a bag of M&M’s. “Whaaaat?” I say. “Self Care?” (Imagine me cocking my head and saying this in a Yoda voice.) “What is this ‘Self Care’?” Hmmmm. Where can I get some of this I wonder? The kicker is…I have to do it! After a good cry (after the dumb cat jumped up on my lap and missed, leaving 5 puncture holes in my leg) I was sufficiently beaten down enough to surrender (key) and let all expectation of having a “productive” day go. Making lemonade people!
I decided to take all “shoulds” off my list today. I’m choppig wood/carrying water re. the kids and animals – i.e. everyone is entitled to have food – as much as I wish everyone could just make their own cheese and crackers and we’d be done with the whole thing. All pets will be let in and out and carried down steps. Medicine will be dispensed. Maybe I will do some yoga, maybe not. Maybe I will watch the entire season of a reality show, maybe I will try and take a nap. I’m giving my inner critic the day off. I’m upping my caffeine level for today. I’m going to try and show up for myself even just half as much as I am willing to do for my kids. Let’s see how this goes…