No Sawdust. But Some Sadness.

If you’re wondering about the title, it’s the title of one of the chapters of a Marguerite Henry book. Misty, probably, or Stormy, Misty’s Foal. It was called “Sawdust and Sadness”, and if I remember correctly, it was about the kids (whose names I no longer recall) cleaning up after a storm during which Misty had escaped (with or without her foal. Probably without. Probably that’s when the Pied Piper knocked her up. Hmm.). So, there was sawdust. And they were sad. And for some reason, it’s always stuck with me, tucked itself away for me to remember every now and again when I feel sad, but not too sad.

So that’s the thing. I’m sad. Ish. Depressed. Ish. Like, not so bad that I can’t get out of it. Just…down. And stressed. Just fucking brimming with stress. Stress dreams every single night. Crazy ones–I’ve expanded past my typical “crazy filthy bathrooms” and “you’re naked and lost in high school” repertoire into “you’re hooking up with your friend who was married to you your other friend and who you would not ever, ever hook up with even if you did find him at all attractive which you don’t” and “it’s snowing and you have to save the guinea pigs” and shit like that. Stress dreams.

Part of it is Bryce. Ok, a lot of it is probably Bryce. The days are getting more and more difficult. His screaming is growing louder and louder, his throwing and temper tantrums hover above whenever he’s home like ghosts. I’ve begun to feel like I’m in an abusive relationship with my child, walking on eggshells, keeping him happy, appeasing him at all costs lest his temper flare. It’s awful. And sometimes I think terrible things that I am eaten up with guilt over because I KNOW they’re not true. I adore him. I do! It’s just…so hard right now. 

And what makes it harder is Sean’s laziness. His total inability to be consistent. I can say again and again, “you have to follow through. You have to follow through. YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THROUGH!”. But if he doesn’t feel like it, he won’t. And mostly, he doesn’t. Why would he? It’s harder, and he does what’s easy. Nearly always. 

Not to pick on him, either. But it is a frustration. 

And now Juniper is starting to pick up the throwing, the tantrums. Fuck me. It’s going to fuck her up too, and that’s not fair. But I can’t very well say, “Don’t act like your crazy brother! Stop it!”, now can I?

I stop at Whole Foods on the way home from the gym, I walk the clean cool aisles. I buy fruit and olives, body wash and pre-made gazpacho. I put slices of bacon from the hot bar into a box, I eat them, one piece after another, on the way home. My jaw hurts with the chewing. (My jaw hurts a lot lately, like I’m grinding and clenching extra with the stress. Not to mention the snoring that Sean bitched about. Who knows what that’s about, but I am having trouble sleeping.)

Angela’s coming to town next week. I’m going to see her, she’s going to stay here. I’m so happy to see her! I so don’t want to see her! So complicated. I’m fat, I’m in a down spiral, she’s healthy and happy and fucking Hawaiian. I’ll have to mention the surgery to her, get her feelings on it. Or will I? I don’t fucking know. And what about the surgery, anyway? 

What’s up with that? I’m going to surgically have most of my stomach removed so I can be thinner? Really? That’s a thing? That I’m doing?

I don’t even know. I swing back and forth wildly. I stay with “planning to”, then I swing back to “WTF”. Because really, WTF? But I do get it. I mean, it’s me, so I should. Just one more thing, one more decision that’s tough.

And the other stress, some of it good. The planning of the Disney vacation. Good! But stressful. The juggling, the optimizing. It’s a lot of work. And the money, and the spending (or not spending) of it. And the shit with the Friends of the Medford Library and their book wastefulness and general inability to do shit right. And me and my desire to please. And the writing, or not writing, having no career, wanting to have one but not working hard enough towards it. And the Etsy store, that is intermittently loved and mostly ignored even though I want to love it. 

And that I don’t cook anymore because it’s too overwhelming. It’s too fucking much trouble.

And the fact that I feel like I could crawl into my bed and go to sleep, right now.




Hi. I’m almost 40, and I don’t know what I want to do with my life.

Well, the rest of my life. *Shudder*. That makes it even worse.

Those adorable blogs with witty hipsterish people making money waxing on and on about the mundaneness of their pitiful lives? I did that. A fucking dozen years ago. I should have had better timing.

Those people in the well-fitted suits with the gleaming hair and remarks that slide easily off their tongues, that cut like fresh razor blades? It’s too late to do that. You can’t start doing that at 40.

Those academic professors, their noses in books and their eccentricities on display for all to admire, and mock too, but mostly admire? I didn’t do that. I kind of wish I did, but I didn’t. And like the suits, it’s too late for that, too.

That’s what sucks about not having figured your shit out when you’re 40…it’s too late to start so many things. Even the whole “another year will go by whether you do this or noo-ooot” thing aside. There’s just not an extra decade to spend paying your dues in there any more. There’s. Just. Not.

Those authors in their awesome clothes, smart and funny and sweet and self-effacing? I want to be one of them, I think. But I’m not. Yet. And I’m having trouble figuring out how to get there. And it doesn’t actually pay, probably. Maybe later if I’m lucky. But that’s not exactly helping now, is it?


I get it. It’s all right there, all dripping in obviousness like obviousness is mayonnaise and you didn’t actually want mayonnaise on whatever you ordered. I have to keep plugging away at that last one, or find something else, or maybe both of those things together.

But mostly I have to keep plugging away. Not get lost in my other random “projects”–like keeping myself sane or planning family vacations or selecting the best summer camps or finding a private school we can afford to send our son to.

I guess I can’t really stop doing those things, though. So now I have to do them both. Them all. Everything.

I wish that felt less overwhelming than it does. But…right now it doesn’t. (But if I have VSG surgery, maybe I will magically no longer be overwhelmed with shit? Right? HAHAHAHAHA)