Today was my 34th birthday; just a normal day, really. Got up a little later than normal but before everyone else still, L waking as I was putting on my clogs to go outside. Let out the chickens; one little hen ran out the wrong door of the coop and was in with the mean old hens and the pubescent roosters, so I had to chase her down and get her back on the other side. Harvested Roma tomatoes, and checked on the progress of the heirloom tomatoes and bell peppers. Made my way back inside, got showered and dressed, which now includes homemade deodorant, the current recipe of which isn't really working, but I've been off of conventional deodorant for seven months now and I'm determined not to go back. Dressing now includes hand-me-downs from my aunt and about eight days worth of different shirts, some with holes. My favorite purse is fraying too. These are days of completely wearing things out, still feeling a little like a have-not. Oh well.
Mom called on my way out the door; otherwise, not sure if I would have called anyone this morning. Going through something where I don't really feel like talking to anyone. Feeling isolated and alone, not sure if anyone would understand. Taking refuge in music during my time.
Office all day. Too much sugar, and personalities, and stuff coming in from every which direction. But it will be there again in the morning.
Home. Kids have had a fever this week, and lying around. Pizza Hut, my choice, a treat these days, for dinner, and ice cream cake for dessert. One of the only things NT would eat all day, and possibly one of the only things she smiled about all day. Poor kid. Cool bath, books, bed. AD is in bed with LG, taking a break from his nightly Prime or Netflix binge, and thus the laptop is available.
I remember last year on my birthday taking and posting a selfie of myself crying in my car, trying to be transparent to all about something I'd not been letting on about--that my parents were divorcing and I was stuck in the middle, trying to support everyone, as I do. While there were not any tears today, I'd be lying if I said there has not been an amount of heartbreak and sorrow in my life this past year. There's the realization that "home" as I knew it has completely changed. The house I grew up in, and the house I started my own family in, now belong to other families. The stuff I grew up with, a pot used for popping popcorn, dishes, silverware, tables, blankets, and people, all familiar, are now in two different and foreign places. Other family getting ready to move away, to places I may not go for a long time. It's a realization that I can never really go home again. And because this place doesn't completely feel like MY home, there's just this feeling that creeps in sometimes that I don't really belong anywhere. Here, there are missing parts. Friends with whom I have a history and memories. People who care about me, get me, seek me. There's a feeling here, that if I were to just disappear, people would probably be over it in about a month. That is aside from my family, of course. Perhaps its our age, or season of life, but everyone here seems so set in their ways, and they are not without their friends for which they have history, memories, for which they care, get, and seek, that there's not room for me. From season to season, month by month, it does get a little better, but I wonder how long it will take. So, to put it plainly, I am lonely.
Work is busy, and demanding, and competitive. And it's all we have to keep afloat, and it's barely enough, which makes it all seem very heavy. There's an overarching feeling that I need to be "on" all the time, at work and at home--that I should be paying attention and listening very closely, that every word and action should be considered and deliberate. It's thinking too much and yet not enough both at the same time.
I think about my children, and how they will look back on their childhood, and how they will remember me. Will they not be able to remember times when I played with them, because they are few? Will they remember me getting up early, rushing to leave, with them for a few hours after work before bedtime, staying up late, always tired? Will they remember all the projects that I started for them, but never finished? Will they remember that I cared a little too much about food, that many of our days together I'd be looking to food as a fix? Will they one day understand that I had a sadness that existed apart from them, that I harbored alone?
The things I think they may remember -- that I always let them play in the bath longer than their father did -- that I always pushed bedtime back so they could be read books -- that I sat at the dinner table with them for a long time while they finished eating (or not eating) -- that I held their hand walking around the yard.
There is simple joy in the everyday. Pulling a firm tomato, saturated with color, from the vine. The striations in the rind of a growing watermelon or pumpkin. Tucking a chicken up under my arm. Striding up the hill. Noticing my muscles changing beneath my skin. Watching the fields change with the season, and observing what the farmers are doing that day (today it was the height and color of the corn and soybeans, hay raked and in the process of being baled).
I think I'm at my capacity tonight. I had meant to be in bed two hours ago. There are still chickens and guineas to be put away outside (though I'll be honest, the guineas are not intelligent enough to go into the coop in the chicken tractor, and they feel funny in my hands--maybe dusty?--and they were free, so I am probably not going to go the effort of trying to get them in their coop).