Exhaustion

I’m not a morning person, never have been. In fact, I have a love hate relationship with my snooze button. I need her, rely on her, religiously check on her just in case, but every morning I blindly smack her quiet for that luxurious ten more minutes of sleep. Who am I kidding? I set her for 6:30, but shush her half a dozen times before my husband has to coerce me out of bed with coffee at 7. And that’s on a good day.

The worse days entail me waking up to my fourteen year old standing above me citing I have fifteen minutes to get dressed and out the door. Better believe I’ve long since given up fixing my face and hair unless I can work that in while I warm up the car. I usually focus on just trying not to wear the same outfit two days in a row and some weeks I don’t even manage that. 

Life is exhausting. On the occasions I dare to glance in the mirror, I often find a haggard reflection of myself staring back at me complete with dark shadows that insist on making a permanent home just beneath my eyes, the twenty pounds I could stand to lose but instead rest comfortably around my waist and under my chin, and those stubborn loose strands of hair that never seem to make it into my imperfect pony tail.

I’m not exactly sure how I got here, I only know that I’m here now. It’s the story of my life, stressful and chaotic, twenty years running. I feel like the colored version of Roseanne Conner, armed with a comical snarky attitude to deal with the pandemonium that makes up my existence, only I don’t get paid a $100,000 dollars per nightly episode.

Some days are so crazy my brain hurts by noon. There’s just too much to remember, too much to do, and not enough time to get it all done before midnight, before my daily to do list renews itself and I find myself backed up several tasks from the day before. This is usually the grand entrance to one of my crap-I-don’t-think-I-can-do-this-anymore days.

I find myself  secretly pining for a simpler life. One without all the madness, where the kids don’t outnumber the adults, the laundry is always done, peace and quiet is the norm not the exception, and my expenses never exceed my income. A life where my thoughts aren’t drowned out by the sound of screaming kids. One where I actually have time to blow dry my hair in the morning, maybe even curl it, and apply my make up in front of a full size bathroom mirror and not the rear view mirror of my car.

A life like that can sound pretty attractive sometimes. In the least, it sounds far less tiring than the bedlam I battle everyday just trying to get the kids to take regular showers or the dogs to stop eating from the bathroom garbage.

Of course, I eventually get to thinking some more – about my kids, my family, friends, work, school, my writing, all the things I want for myself and my kids. All these things that engulf me, try my will, my patience, and drive me nuts, they’re also what give me purpose.  My rhyme and my reason.

This is where I have my moment of clarity, when I remember that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. Raising a family, being a good friend, having a career,  just trying to live out life, daring to catch a few dreams for yourself while you’re at it, all of that takes hard work and yes, it is overwhelming, and exhausting, and emotionally draining, but when has anything worth having ever been easy?

At the end of the day, I believe we all have the lives we want, or rather the lives we’re willing to work for. This chaos, the noise and constant hustle that’s made up the last two decades of my life, is merely the rhythm to which I live, and truthfully, this crazy life of mine is worth all the effort I put into it.

Forget the simple life, I’ve got something much better.

******************************************

This was another piece I’ve recently written for The Write On Project. Please check out their site, if you have time. They are a wonderful writing group and I’m very proud to be one of their contributing writers.

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  1. March 24, 2011 at 5:10 PM

    So, this is where I do that male thing and try to fix you instead of just listening and offering sympathy…;)

    You are really, really strong, Maria. I’m guessing that means you are sometimes reluctant to ask the other family members for help. It’s ok to feel overwhelmed. Tell husband and kids you need ’em to share the load! Let them be heroes too. Allow yourself to be rescued. Because you have a house full of people with varied gifts and skills, you have not only more duties but also more resources.

  2. March 24, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    Every time I read something from you, I always think, “I wish I could buy this guy a beer.” 🙂

  3. March 24, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    I know what you mean about the snooze button…I do get up early & am not one to take naps…always feel like I’m gonna miss something, but I do set the alarm way before I have to get up & harass that button like crazy. It just feels better to me to think to yourself “I have 10 more minutes” than to just jump right up & get going!

  4. March 24, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    This is so great! I only have the one bambino, but it’s definitely hard sometimes to find a moment of peace to appreciate what you have. I know I especially went through this when I first had Wee ‘Burb. The first 3 months were a lot of “what the hell did I do?” But it also enriches my life in so many ways. Exhaustion and enrichment, that’s what it’s about, right?

  5. March 25, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I’ve became a fan of your writing. You keep it real. Thanks!!!! Keep em coming.

    Signed…. “Mr Jolly” 🙂

  6. March 26, 2011 at 10:45 PM

    I think with your under cover ghetto fab self, you could totally be Rosanne Connor. 🙂

  7. March 31, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    I love how you write! I share your sentiments almost to the T minus the coffee. Yes, yes, gasp away, I DON’T DO COFFEE!

  8. jesselunsford
    May 3, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    I got you on the snooze but I gave in to coffee a few years back.

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