Night angst

Here I am staying up way too late once again seeking to carve out some efficient get-it-done time that just doesn’t exist during the day.  I’d like to use this time to reflect, read, write, finish out the days tasks and hopes.  Generally though, I fog out over some non-urgent matter, the time sinks away and I can barely keep my eyes open having yet again accomplished nearly nothing of substance.

I want to archive the events of the day, the feelings and memories that go along with the ever fleeting moments of my 6 year, 4 year and 7 month olds lives.  I so desperately want to hang onto these precious days somehow, slow them down, capture their essence and meaning forever.  Who has the time to scrapbook?!  A good old-fashioned photo album would be a good start, but it seems my pictures have been captured in the black hole vortex of my computer, never to be retrieved again.

I also want to read more and write.

The stack of books next to my bed is now 11 high, including 5 on a variety of parenting topics, one on small groups ministry, a scrap-booky blogging how-to, one spiritual reference book, my bible and 4 personal journals to each of my kids that go written in far less often than I hope.  Twelve more are in a bookshelf just next to my bed longing to be read immediately as well.  They fall into a similar break-down of topics, but 2 novels are there too.   Novels, or maybe it is the characters in them, become like good friends to me; I begin to love and cherish them and so I savor and linger and hang onto them not wanting to be done and have to say goodbye.  I know, it’s weird.

And the writing, that is my latest pull.  Inspiration hits throughout the day and I so long to put pen to paper, but who has time to write anything down or even type mid-day, mid-stream, mid-doing-doing-doing of life with 3 kids?  Again, they are 6, 4 and 7 months.  That inspiration gets stifled, tucked into the recesses of my continually flowing mind full of too many details and not enough outlets starts to become a sinking feeling of “here I go again, I so want to put words to this, but as soon as I have a place to put the baby down from my arms, get a child a drink of water NOW, prep the next meal, get clean dishes out of the dishwasher so that the pile next to the sink that will completely fill the dishwasher all over again can be loaded, catch a ball, put on a band-aid, fix a pigtail, oh, and oops, and well, there goes that thought.

It feels purely delusional to think I will ever have the time to write, so I stuff those feelings down, tuck them away, why think anyway? (I get a little hopeless and sarcastic in my mind, I can be a pretty good conversationalist with myself when I am the only adult around all day).

Then I wonder how I am doing?  What am I passionate about these days outside of mothering?  Are there pieces of me that need to be cultivated, are dying away, would make me feel more complete and vibrant  if I were pursuing them?  Funny thing, I started the day feeling so content.  The normal every-day tasks of the day, (from my ever indulgent cup of perfectly brewed, sweetened and creamed tea, to the meals and the dishes and the diapers and the forts and the games and the wipings and the hugs…) felt so meaningful, so attainable, so good.  Then the cranky hour hit us all in the preparations before bed. I found myself yelling like a strange bird over some minor misdemeanor after 20 minutes of chorale whining while I was trying to complete a phone call (BTW: major pet peeve: background noise during a phone call – I can’t care for multiple voices!!) and then here I am again, ending my day with regret about getting inpatient and that circulates back to the “who am I and what am I doing with my life?” questions that don’t speak of the contentment, joy, small annoyances to-be-sure, but most generous amounts of love and happiness of the prior 11 hours.

Oh there is so much more I want to write about and do!  I want to write about how we celebrated Barley’s half birthday today and all the tender and fun things that emerged as we spoke affirmation into his life and started the tradition of “gifting others” on our half birthdays.  I want to look into a writing class that might get me closer to writing about my loss and grief after unexpectedly losing my full-term son.  I want to research home school some more and figure out if it is not as crazy and anti-social as I have always thought and might in fact give us a more intact family and meaningful education before my daughter heads off to 1st grade in a month.

Oh and organize all areas of my life, to simplify, of course.  But, alas, it is approaching midnight (early for me actually, I get my second wind at night and I have come to accept that it might not be my best hours but they are MY hours and maybe someday i will get something done with them), I will have no back-up parent support from my 18 hour working husband tomorrow (more cups of tea!).

The iphoto thingamabob at the bottom of my computer is bouncing up and down demanding my attention (so much like my daytime hours) because I just figured out how to transfer 3,777 archived family photos to my computer – see above about desires for organizing and printing – anyone have any good ideas for that goal??

Oh and the catch 22 of all this late night trying to capture some “me” time is I get migraines, for a variety of reasons (probably some obvious ones revealed here), but mainly if I don’t get enough sleep or if it is broken for a few nights in a row.  Last night it was the 8 lb miniature dachsund of the house waking me.  She was doing the restless house tour and continually shaking her flappy ears, jingling her collar, arf!!!.  I’m praying for a solid 6 hours tonight, which would get me by. Well heck – since I am praying, how about 9 solid hours?  That would be SO nice!

Reality is my fisherman husband is up and gone at 3:30 a.m., and the kids routinely wake up a few short hours after.  Six hours would be great.  Quiet dog!


4 responses to “Night angst

  • Voce per Dio

    I’ve come back to your blog now as I do a good book, one where passages don’t have to be re-read in order to comprehend- but rather a story that I can read into and identify with in so many, many ways. Thank you for sharing this now with those beyond your close circle of friends. I have grieved over your loss from the moment I heard 2 years ago. I too have suffered great loss in my life, although none of it is really comparable, is it? The loss of a child seems to outweigh them all. I lost my father who I had a deep connection with, and who I thought to be invincible….after all, he was my father! He suffered a very painful death with pancreatic cancer and we lost him only a few months after his diagnosis. I feel closest to him in the kitchen when I’m preparing for a big party as those were the moments I worked closely with him. It’s been 8 years, and I still grieve deeply. The only thing that truly helps me is to muster up enough strength, let go of my inhibitions and just cry. My first pregnancy was a miscarriage. A time I will never forget, in detail. I mourned the loss of that baby deeper than I thought I would, I mean, the word “miscarriage” sounds a bit too romantic doesn’t it? My sadness wasn’t lightened by statistics. Anyway, thank you for your beautiful, gifted writing. I look forward to returning….

  • little bird

    Heather, what a wonderful gift to share. Thank you!
    A quick note on the photos as the others have noted, I too went digital after years of scrap-booking. I spent a year researching options for preserving them (archiving) as well as actually having my children holding onto something to browse through. I can visit you and go over details if you like as I was a bit obsessed with finding something that suited us and spend a long long time figuring this out. In a nutshell, I take loads of photos, download consistently (monthly), sort by year, then month, store via a website and my computer which is backed up, and then once a year do a family album of our favorites and print this out with good intentions no later than Feb. As I am downloading them I pick out my favorites right away and save them to a “favorites album” by that year so at the end of the year I don’t have to go back and figure this out. THat is the real timesaver and allows for just the holiday photos to be added and then January to create the album and to print out in Feb. This accomplishes my goals of storing them for later use, organizing them and then eventually having something concrete for my children to look at throughout the week. (And yes, they DO love to go thorough the albums!) I figure I will have more time later to do individual albums while I am not so “hands on” with them. I remind myself that they are my true love to do right now and as much as I would love having scrapbooks for them I would rather they have my time. No regrets.

  • sheena morrison

    Reading your blog reminds me how much I love your family. I remember “Barley’s” half birthday; holding only half a finger up to signify the half year- you have the cutest kids!
    I just wanted to comment about your photo dilemma and I agree about making photobooks. I am an avid scapbooker, but I think I am going to move away from it starting 2011 (have to finish my 2010 scrapbook first). A photobook allows for more pictures to be shared in one book, cuts out the middle step of developing the photos first before having to put a book together, cuts out the mess of papers and pictures scattered over the dining room table, and a bonus, it can cost alot less.
    Happy I found your blog, take care!

  • Alysia Peterson

    Hi Heather! Love that I just found your blog! My thoughts on photos ( I just backed up 4000 of these I haven’t printed and I try to not feel guilt about this!) Try a photo book for each little ones 1st year. This is when they change the most right? I think the rest will keep while you are living in the moment with you babes 🙂 If you do yearn to scrapbook print some and bring them next time you visit- I’d love to help!

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