The Struggle Is Real

Post-1-9 Post-2-8 Post-3-5 Post-4-5 Post-5-5 Post-6-5I know I’ve been quiet.

It’s been the kind of month where you put your head down and slog through.

Some days, you don’t even get out of your pajamas. By some days, I mean Monday. And yesterday. And maybe tomorrow. (I figure every other day is a reasonable dressed to jammie ratio.)

We’ve been busy with family chaos, spring sports kick-off, home ownership updates (and deciding if we want to continue the plans to make updates or move) and just some general yuckiness.

And I don’t have words.

I mean, I have them. But I also have the fear that someone is going to read them. Either some perfectly well-meaning person who reads the blog will bump into me and use the blog to start a conversation and then stare at me in confusion while I try to do words in real life (true story) or someone I care about is going to read what I write and think I sound like an idiot or worry (also true story).  Or wonder why I waste so much time writing about knitting and television and why I don’t go do something productive with my life (which if hasn’t happened yet, probably should). So lately I just write in my journal. Or spend way too much time writing whiny self-indulgent paragraphs a lot like this one.  Most of the time, I wise up and delete them.

But then Jules’ posted this (which is hilarious and honest) and I started thinking about Rita and her thoughts on shitty first drafts (Rita gets the credit and the blame for a lot of my internet usage these days) and I just got sick of not posting anything.

So I’m slogging through life and blog post writing.

Random bits:

I’m watching True Blood (based on the Sookie Stackhouse “The Southern Vampire Mysteries” series). I read the books which were terrible but fun ages ago and had no interest in watching the series, but I can’t seem to connect with anything so I thought I’d try it. I’ve watched the first three episodes. And…I spent a good part of the episode gagging, so I’m not sure it’s going to be the right show for me. I also watched the first season of The Americans (I like it, don’t LOVE it), and the third season of Orphan Black. Tatiana Maslany is a genius of an actress (and Canadian, Marian). My knitting is chugging along slowly.

I made some ridiculously delicious muffins (and took lots of pictures of the process and was going to only post one or two, but then they ended up being the only pictures I took) as well as a giant mess of ceramic bowl and broccoli slaw.

I’ve been reading the same book for over a month. Every time, I get about a chapter in and fall asleep. My brain is only letting me read trashy bodice rippers and YA because everything else just makes me yawn. (College me would be rolling her erudite eyes.)

The trees are starting to bud and the daffodils are out and in full bloom and my lily of the valley is starting to peek out (as is my inherited rhubarb. I need recipes. Or just people who like rhubarb. I always end up with a ton of it and I’m not the biggest fan). I need to decide what (if anything) I’m going to attempt in the garden this year. Last year it ended up being a giant pit of weeds with some radishes and green beans and two beautiful pumpkins, but I feel like I need to make more of an effort or skip it all together. Gardening thoughts? What’s easy? How do you keep on top of the weeds? Am I better off just putting in perennial flowers  and going to the farmers market for my veggies? HELP


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  • Oh, I get all kinds of credit and blame for all kinds of things these days, so you can give me all you want. 🙂

    About TV…meh. I really liked the first few episodes of Orphan Black, but then I just lost interest about half-way through the first season. Not sure why. Am trying Upstairs Downstairs, which I discovered while home sick yesterday. I have tepid hopes for it.

    And reading…meh again. I remember when I read all the time and devoured everything, and I seem to have become quite finicky. When I find a book I like, I love it. And I love the reading. But I’m finding it really hard to find books I like. I hate that. And don’t know why it is.

    And I give a thumbs up to the perennials/farmers’ market idea on veggies. I did plant herbs because I know how to do that without killing them AND we use them (and they look nice if I don’t), but other than onions I’ve abandoned vegetables for this year. They aren’t cost effective and I don’t love the experience of growing them. I’d rather use my time/energy elsewhere. (Like reading good books, when I can find them.)

    I really enjoy it when you post. I hope you keep doing it, even if it feels like you don’t have a whole lot going on. I like knowing there are others in this world who have a hard time getting out of pajamas. 🙂

    • You described the reading thing perfectly. I used to be able to read ANYTHING but lately it’s really hard to find anything that captures my interest.

      Thank you so much for your thoughts on growing the veggies (I especially like that you agreed with me!) It’s fun for the kids, but it’s just so much work and I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather do than weed a garden.

      I’m sure I’ll keep posting. I can’t imagine not. But I imagine it will be more “I live in pajamas. I knit. I watch too much television.” 😉

  • I’m sorry to hear you’re struggling right now, Kate. I completely get that the struggle is real, and I also understand your reticence to post/talk about it; your fears that someone will be dismissive or not understand are completely valid. By posting, you DO help others feel less alone, but being open does come with risks, doesn’t it? Personally, I find the idea that people I KNOW might read what I write to be a very stymying thing. NONE of my IRL friends or acquaintances in Ontario know I have a blog, and quite frankly, I live in fear that they will one day find out (my 11 year-old has let little hints slip to friends’ moms and even though I’ve talked to him about it, I feel like one day I’ll be “outed”). My daughter told me several months ago that she was occasionally reading my blog, and while on the one hand I’m pleased that she’s interested, it has changed how I write, and I no longer feel as free in WHAT I write, because I’m now worrying about how she will react to my words.

    I’m having trouble with books too. I’ve just decided I’m going to dip back into the classics and see if that won’t get me out of my rut — I haven’t started yet, but next on my list is Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.

    On the subject of gardens: I am a very lazy gardener; last year I DIDN’T weed, and somehow or other we still got veggies. I’m going to stick to the easy stuff this year though, which for me is kale, tomatoes, zucchini and cucumbers. And maybe peas, if we can figure out a better trellis. I too, want to make better use of our farmer’s market. If I can make myself drive across town to get there, that is.

    And on days spent in pyjamas … I don’t know if I should speak to this or not, because I absolutely don’t want to come across as delivering unwanted advice … so please just take the following as “food for thought” rather than “advice”. The other day my 17 year old son told me (out of the blue) that on weekend days when he wears loungewear (sweats or pj-type bottoms) he feels less productive than on days when he “gets dressed” (ie. in shorts or pants). This has also been my experience — when I wear sweatpants at home I have a different feeling about the day and about myself than when I get fully dressed and put on a pair of jeans. I know that depression can make getting dressed, or even getting out of bed, very very difficult, so please understand, Kate, that I’m not in any way trying to down-play this. But is it at all possible that it’s a “chicken and egg” thing? Or if not, that the pjs are adding to and worsening things for you? I’ve known for a very long time that “pj-wearing-beyond-pj-time” personally affects me very badly, and I’m just now coming to the realization that clothing in general can also have a powerful effect on a person’s psyche. I think that the SAHM gig can be a really difficult thing sometimes (it’s not always easy to keep up one’s motivation, or to keep up one’s sense of self-worth). So, when I bake muffins I tell myself I am a “baker” and when I sew clothing or curtains I tell myself I am a “seamstress” … and perhaps this is just weirdo-me, but I know that I would have a very difficult time doing these things if I were wearing pjs. (But please please please don’t take this as judgemental know-it-all advice, Kate; this is just one friend telling another friend what has worked for her. I do hope you keep posting, pjs or no … )

    • I always appreciate your thoughts and your kindness, Marian.

      I think I really should just accept that I’m going to be a farmer’s market visitor. It’s open on three different days during the week so there’s no excuse not to go while my garden is visible from the street and such an eye sore once I get lazy. I can see some beautiful perennial flowers there instead. (But then I type that and I think about how despite it being so terribly weedy last summer, the kids had such a great time digging and planting….ack.)

      Rebecca is one of my all time favorites! Are you reading it for the first time? I ask because it’s one of the ones I love to reread. I’m looking forward to your thoughts on it!

      • So I have to confess that I am very relieved to read your response, Kate … I had been composing an apology in my head (which I still think I need to deliver). A friend once told me I approach problems like a man — it’s in my nature to want to find solutions, to sound out alternatives … which (she said) is the opposite to what a woman would do (and want from a friend) — ie. sympathy and empathy, period. I did have the best of intentions when I wrote my initial comment, but you know what they say about intentions, and I do think I went overboard on the whole thing … So I do apologize, Kate 🙁 .

        I think planting wildflowers in lieu of vegetables is a wonderful idea! My youngest showed me this commercial on the weekend about honeybees and flowers …
        … which is rather lovely, I think (and I do hope it works…).

        It WILL be my first time reading Rebecca! I haven’t yet begun, but I would love to discuss it when I finish 🙂 .

        • Oh goodness, Marian. No apology is necessary. I, too, am someone who is more inclined to “problem solve” than just nod my head in agreement and sympathy. (I get in trouble from time to time with people for being that way too.) And you really were very, very kind and not pushy about it at all. I hope you always feel free to share your thoughts and ideas and suggestions here. They just might be what I need to hear!!!