Family / Love and Marriage / parenting

A Plague Be Upon Us

Captains Log, 12/23/2019

A plague lurks here.

It all started back in October, ye see, my old man and I tried to take a weekend trip to Kentucky and the weather delayed our vessel so long that we had to cancel.

Then, ye see, we had plans to meet halfway between this here homestead and Tennessee for Thanksgiving to spend some time with my sister and her youngins but the flu came to town and prevented us from making that voyage too.

There’ve been a couple other things that haven’t panned out either. It’s enough to make a sane woman suspicious.

Now, ye see, it’s the week of Christmas, that ole’ holy day where yer supposd t’spend time with yer family. We didn’t even write nothin’ on the calendar to ward off any bad luck but just today, the day before the festivities are upon us, both Alex and the Kid have come down with some sort of fever. The only two left standing are me and the one they call Lieutenant Licks-Alot, whose literal favorite thing is to suck on grocery basket handles. Forget lollipops, he just goes to town on those things. I have to push the car with one hand and hold his head up with the other. I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before the plague finds that one and I stuck an unwashed thermometer in my mouth cause I live with a bunch of animals.

I’m currently sitting at my desk eating Christmas candy I stole out of my stocking and trying to figure out how to administer Emergenc-C intravenously. I’ve already quarantined the sickies and threatened The Kid that if I see him in the common areas without a mask on his face, I’ll banish him to his room forever. 

Things look pretty bleak here on the SS Wise. Hopefully, we’ll survive the next few days so I can continue our tale.

Signing out, B

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I’m trying not to be Eeyore. Like, really, really trying. But it’s been really hard.

People keep telling us, “You need to get away! Go do something fun! Disrupt this routine so you can get out of the rut!” And…we keep trying and getting knocked down.

I’m not joking. We literally didn’t write Christmas plans on the calendar in the hopes that whatever bad luck has been following us the past 8 weeks will leave us the hell alone for once, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.

For Christmas, Alex bought me a couple sessions with this nutritionist whose going to teach me something called “intuitive eating”. Basically, it’s counseling at the intersection of having a good, normal body image and having a good, normal relationship to food. A lot of it sounds like “listening to your body”.

Honestly, I would love- LOVE- to listen to my body more but I’m worried that I’m going to learn about this intuitive eating things and then my life is going to continue to punch me continuously and incessantly in the face and I’ll never get to practice it.

I would love to listen to my body say, “Feed me a healthy delicious lunch, Beth!” but if I have to pick up The Baby early from daycare to sit in traffic for an hour to be late to an appointment that I’ve already rescheduled twice only to be told that I’m going to have to reschedule again, then, well, it looks like life beats body 1-0 there.  Taco Bell, here we come, hermana.

I saw something on social media a few weeks ago that was something like, “Why worry about self-care? Why not just create a life that you don’t have to escape from?” And while the sentiment is nice, it makes me want to scream into a pillow.

There’s so much privilege in that statement (and I acknowledge that I’m coming from a place of deep privilege myself). Doesn’t the person that wrote that know that I would stop my child from flipping over on his stomach and making his CPAP alarm four times a night, if I could? Don’t they know that if I could make parenting a teen and trying to do the right thing by him easier, then I would? If I could snap my fingers and make the baby’s development closer to normal so that we didn’t have to do every single little thing for him, wouldn’t I?

Believe me. If I had any semblance of control over the things that bring me the most stress, I would change them. Just like most of us would.

What does self-care look like when life is so outrageously beyond your control? I’m genuinely asking.  If you have the answer, please let me know.

Part of me wants to say that I don’t even have much to complain about. I have friends that have it much worse than we do. I am struggling to be thankful (The Baby is not currently feverish, which is something we can be thankful for).

But I also want to acknowledge that this Fall has just been hard and even when we’ve tried to do self-care, to do something that gets out of this maddening day-to-day grind, we are brutally rebuffed.

I wish I had something hopeful or inspiring to say but some days, today included, the hope jar just feels empty. 

 So, for now, on our Christmas vacation, our two weeks of no work and no school that we have to spend together, I’ll be pushing fever meds and Gatorades while trying to keep a toddler off the tree and away from his sickie male family members. Think of us while you play your board games and watch your movies and eat your family meals.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

4 thoughts on “A Plague Be Upon Us

  1. One of the most difficult parts about trying to better yourself is convincing yourself that you are ready. I’m trying to quit smoking…again. I did a great job for about 2 years. But then I stopped doing a great job. Maybe it’s presumptuous, but junk food and cigarettes are not too far between. Each impacts the body (the mind, mostly) in similar ways…and they’re legal! I’m not going to try to give you a pep-talk or a pick-me-up, because you already know the facts. There will just have to come a time when the both of us decide, truly decide, to take what we’ve been given (great or small, love or options or opportunities or goals) and use that to reign control over the little bit of our lives that we can.

    You may be hungry at the end of the day, but let’s be honest…you don’t truly understand hunger. So, Taco Bell can wait. It will still be there if you’re ever truly starved. It will be there still when the Sun explodes. Taco Bell is timeless, and Taco Bell will wait for you. Keep it waiting as long as you can. And when you can’t anymore, try making it wait longer again the next day.

    I may be stressed or tense or ~HUNGRY~ or not even that stressed or tense at the end of the day, but I doubt I truly comprehend stress or tension when we get right down to it. Cigarettes can wait. They will be here if I am ever truly stressed. Cigarettes are timeless, and they will be here when the Sun explodes (or my father dies).

    So let’s keep them waiting until we truly know what hunger is. If you want, we can start together. If you’d rather, I’ll start first.

  2. It’s January 6, 2020, and I am just now reading this blog post. I don’t think I’ve read a single blog post by any person on earth since your post about the failed attempt at a getaway with your husband.

    I am just glad that it is a new year, or that at least we are gaining speed in the opposite direction from the holiday season. Michael’s dad died on the fifth anniversary of my first stillbirth two days before Thanksgiving. And I couldn’t eat most of the gifted Thanksgiving dinner (which was honestly awesome that people came together for my family but still) because it was wrapped, literally in pork.

    Then, instead of celebrating at Christmas parties and seeing Santa (which I know others don’t necessarily get to do but still), we went to a funeral.

    Then, we traveled BACK for Christmas, which we celebrated by taking our son to the ER with a high fever (and I definitely thought of you, hoping you were not in the same predicament because we weren’t in town to bring you goodies from Whole Foods).

    So, yea, I know that I had a lot of good things that happened, and I had a lot of privileges that others don’t have, but it was still just one lengthy eye roll into the new year.

    Hope this year is starting out fantastic for you. Miss your face.

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