Friday, April 18, 2014

Stuck in Neutral

Everyday I accomplish a huge laundry list of what needs to be done, from making lunches to making dinner, to making time and saving energy for homework and reading to making sure bedtime is quality time sharing and relaxing. I also pay bills and juggle an insufficient amount of money due to a financial crisis that rocked our world and almost took our house a few times. I also teach at a full time job, advise and support 6 student groups after school every day, with one group alternating weeks with another because I don't have enough days in the week for them to have their own day.

And I have my 4 children with different challenges and struggles. Not the least of which is my youngest who struggles with learning because of her pre-birth stroke, cerebral palsy, vision issues, speech delays, and cognitive delays. And in our home, I am the main person at home for all of her typing her therapies to her life, as well as reading any and all research I can.

I say all of this because I sit here the last Friday of my spring break and I have not accomplished my Big Ticket items on my To-Do List. I know I am not alone. I know many parents, usually moms, who feel this, this 'stuck in neutral' feeling.

This week, during my vacation...I did not correct my huge backlog of assignments from my students. I have not written more than 500 words on my story. I have not cleaned my house. I have not learned all about gluten-free eating so I can try a new way to help Kath's learning, through diet. I have not organized the spring and summer clothes of my girls and me so that the next 9 weeks of school won't be of my over-dressing them, especially Kath who struggles with regulating her temperature and needs appropriate clothing, every day. I didn't start Easter preparations, baskets, baking and main meals even though this year I have a vegetarian and will need a different way to prep this special day and meal. I didn't visit my father on Long Island. We didn't go to the Butterfly Garden or Ben and Jerry's.

And every time I try to get any of this done I buzz into not being able to concentrate. I can't sit and read without falling asleep. I can't sit and write without remembering I need to do this, that and the other thing. My brain won't stay on the assignments and tests I need need need to get done, a month ago. I can't finish one job without beginning three others.

I feel like I don't know how to sit and think deep thoughts anymore. I am stuck in neutral, revving my brain and accomplishing things that aren't even on my list, but so unable to cross off the things that will make me feel in control. That will make life easier for my girls. Things that show I am making some kind of progress. I know others feel this way too.

I did have a good time this week with my girls, after weeks of illness and antibiotics, a broken nose and an ambulance ride. We had brunches as well as dinners. I did watch movies at home with them, 'Frozen' and Alex's dance competition video. I did fall asleep with Kath in my arms many a night this break. I did rewatch Walking Dead with my husband. I did read part of a free choice book. I did meet up with my writing group for brunch. The girls and I did go to Fort Ticonderoga for the day and then meandered home getting roadside ice cream as well as dinner at Chiles. We did clean up the front yard and Roger started to turn over the garden. The front porch is set. I did have an overdue dentist and periodontist appointment. I went to a Paint and Sip with friends from school and created a piece of art I am proud of.

But I sit here this Friday before Easter weekend, excited that my oldest will be home but realizing that his room is so blocked we can't even reach the bed, despite the fact that we had a path a couple of months ago, things got thrown in. I look around and realize how unorganized things are for Alex's birthday next week. My skin feels too tight...I wanted to take today to do one more day trip, but things got thrown in...there are piles of papers schoolwork, bills not filed, Roger's toppled schoolwork and undescribed papers litter the stairway. And Alex is still working on a project that should have been finished at the beginning of the week.

My frustration is that I want to do so much. I want to be there for my girls and their school, dance track and such. I want to be there for reading and resting time. I want to advise these students groups but the second I look away from the housework...the piles grow. The second I look away from my school bag it multiplies. The second I look away from the bills, the late charges start adding up. The second I take my eyes off Kath she falls behind because she needs constant supervision and guidance in academics and physical activities. I know I am not alone in these feelings of inadequacies.

I see an improvement in that last year I could never have done so many groups and clubs. But I still sit for long whiles at my computer, mostly frustrated, that I can't pluck and tease out the story in my head. I can't seem to write my blog. I can't seem to get words out of my head and that is always a sure sign of my struggles. It's like a clog in the drain, nothing substantial can pass it. And it makes me doubt myself and my dream goal of writing and publishing my story.

Revving in neutral, working on reminding myself how to switch to drive. I guess I should be relieved that I haven't slipped into reverse...and I know I'm not alone in going through this. And as Robert Frost said, "The best way out is always through."

So much to go through, gotta get out of neutral. And I know, others feel this way too.


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