I’m having a week where I want to lock myself in my room. A week when all of life shakes as if in one swift earthquake, rattling everything in its wake. Without warning all forces of my world shift and collide creating a fault line. Work, kids, finances, friendships, stuff I didn’t do that I should have, words I said that I shouldn’t have, and the guilt…oh the guilt! “If I had done this then this wouldn’t have happened” and other useless thoughts run through my head like evil garden gnomes wreaking havoc and ripping roses, Hydrangea and Gerber daisies from a garden, replacing them with dandelions. All of this brings about an earthquake that measures an 8.0 on my “Mom Richter Scale”. Or better yet, a domestic hurricane causing floods, damage, and a wish to retreat to safety.
An honest analysis reveals that I have had weeks like this in the past, many in fact. A memorable one came over a year ago, when, just before my birthday, feeling unloved, unappreciated, irrelevant and old, I locked myself in my bedroom.
The words “Mom, you come out now! Annie, mom’s locked herself in her room!” “Mom, you come out right now! This is ridiculous. You’re almost fifty years old!” (Those were hurtful words)
I don’t know what the build-up was but it was like this week. Suddenly life became too much and the safest place was my room. There no one would see my tears, or hear my rage at life as it was expressed fast and furiously through journal entries. There my tongue would not wound those I loved more than life itself.
But my kids had found my safe spot and wanted in, wanted to confront what they saw as immaturity and childish behavior. They would have none of it! I would come out “Right Now” and face their love and their accusations. I got up from my bed and sheepishly headed toward my door unlocking the barrier to safety and facing the disgusted (and amused) glances of my daughters. Facing what was mine to face – I dealt with the earthquake combined with hurricane and it’s aftermath. The joys, the sorrows, the challenges, the fears, and all that goes into the never-ending role of being a mom. Those things that are the unwritten parts of our job description and sometimes make us wish we were in a really good union and could go on strike, sitting at a state capital singing “We shall overcome”.
It is safe to say that if my room had a mini bar or an endless supply of chocolate, I would have ignored the insistent voices of my children and I would have stayed put, pouring out my self-pity in a space that wouldn’t hurt anybody or cause harm. But even then, in the midst of the domestic hurricane, the insistent voices of my children brought me to reality and realization that somehow I’d get through this “one of many” events and it would be so much better on the other side.
So, right now I haven’t reached the point of locking myself in my room. I did eat several eclairs and can prove with no doubt that there is something about cream filling and chocolate glaze that helps to stop domestic hurricanes. Most importantly I know at my core, despite hurricanes and the natural disasters inherent in the life that I call mine, I can’t imagine exchanging my life for another so I’ll brace up and hang on through the storm. The infamous “they” tell me that “This too shall pass!”