Before I had children I spent a lot of time thinking about who they would be and how I would interact with them. During one scenario I imagined us living far enough away from the road that a walk to the mailbox would be a daily ritual. It would take some time to get the kids ready - future offspring was plural to me at the time - I could carry the baby but whoever the toddler was had to walk and if I was picturing an older sibling he/she/they would take turns chasing after their younger brother or sister. These walks would turn into small nature lessons where we could learn about our native plants, occasionally a vehicle would pass, we'd wave and the male driver would shake his head at my children out in the freezing cold while a female driver might stop and ask if we needed a ride someplace.
Back at home the older children would play outside while the baby took a short nap. That would be my time to flip through the mail, I'd have a good nutritious supper planned and it didn't always arrive at the table on time or looking the way the picture in the magazine did but my children would be healthier and maybe in some indefinable way happier because the life we led was simple. That was just one of my fantasies of course. Other days I imagined myself getting up at five, working out and stopping at the grocery store to quick pick up some last minute ingredients for the lunches I should have packed the night before. Soccer practice was right before supper; swimming lessons were right after so I was an amazing whirlwind of organized efficiency who made sure that my children had the right equipment for the right sport and a snack besides.
After that fantasy I realized that I had failed to take into account how busy my children were going to be with their theater classes and drama lessons. Personality began at birth for both of my children, how could I have shoved my children into an endless round of athletic events when they were creative blossoms just waiting to burst into bloom? Usually by then I'd do a reality check. My kids would be screaming at me because I was a terrible mother, not buying them the things that everyone else at school had. Their lunches did not contain any of the typical things other children were eating, furthermore my children were so embarrassed that they had to take recyclable containers and drinks in a thermos because their mother was a tree hugging nut.
This was all me being a silly little girl pretending to be a grown-up but one thing stuck with me through whatever fantasy I dreamt about. I was always alone, waiting for whoever had fathered my children to come and participate in my life. My own childhood was filled with events us children dreaded. The words 'family time' meant that my parents would not talk to each other for even the most primitive reasons. My father was harsh and if he was irrational my mother compounded illogic with emotional outbursts that made me cringe. Years ago I either read a book or went to see a shrink who told me that people recreate problems of their past so they get closure on them. I'm pretty sure this was an actual person who told me this however at any rate I can remember being in counseling and the therapist telling my husband that it was acceptable for me to care about him and he shouldn't tell me not to worry about his health.
Today I really have no idea what I was thinking when I decided to bring children into this world. I love my children. I can't imagine life without them nor can I ever explain how dramatically they have changed my life. Unless you yourself are a mother (or possibly a father) you can't understand the joy and pain of being responsible for a life that you've helped create. Today my children have financial advantages that I never had. They haven't been exposed to some of the things I've gone through and I hope that if at some point they do have to experience some of life's less pleasant lessons they'll take those lessons to heart and learn from them. Because my father's job was flexible to some extent he was around most of the time while I was growing up. Now my children have a father who drops them off at school, makes them meals at night and tucks them into bed before I get home.
To me failure isn't being unable to do something as much as it is being unwilling to do something. For years before they got divorced my father treated my mother like dirt. He would yell at us kids for leaving our things around which is probably one of the reasons I can't stand clutter of any sort. My mother lacked the control and willpower to keep things the way he wanted them. She used to knock herself out preparing whatever she could using what little money he gave her to keep well balanced meals on the table and maybe my memory is faulty but I can't ever remember him thanking her for doing all she did for him.
At work I don't always agree with my boss. I'm not afraid to tell him my ideas, for the most part he listens and occassionally he lets me win an argument just like sometimes I concede the battle to him. Most of the time it's me and him keeping sales up at the store. The other day I felt like I had an opportunity to help a coworker that I have a hard time working with. Because I helped her later on in the day she did something nice for me. Working is different than being married however any relationship will wither given an insufficient lack of interest. Being passive aggressive and refusing to do things because you feel like someone else hasn't been pulling their weight around the house or at work gets you nowhere fast so even if I really am the only person who cleans the bathroom at work I do it because it is important to me and I want it done.
Growing up I had three sisters, a brother and two parents but I almost never felt like I was part of a family unit in a good way. My mom did her thing, my dad went his way and when I was in college I'd come home at two in the morning to see my mom eating supper before she had to get up and go to work again the next morning. It was an absolutely crazy way to live. It was completely dysfunctional and my larger problem right now is figuring out how to break the lack of communication cycle. Right now I can't afford to move out. I can't stand living the way I do so I have to try and find some creative way to change the way things have been going. Dealing with people that I do not respect is very difficult for me however I have overcome obstacles in the past and I believe that if I really put my mind to something very little stands in my way because I can usually find some way around whatever is preventing me from achieving my goal.
While I could probably continue in that vein for a while I would like to momentarily switch gears and discuss something I've noticed about myself. E2 has always represented a place where I could come and find something new, different and possibly even brilliant on any given day. In the past I was drawn to writeups where the author possessed amazing insight, applied knowledge to whatever they were discussing or made a concept that most people are unfamiliar with easy to understand. E2 has taught me a lot about writing; I'm sure some people would argue that I still have a lot of ground to cover but when I look back at some of the things I first posted I laugh and smile because that girl grew up a little and learned some things about being a noder she couldn't have expected to know as a newbie.
Lately I've been drawn to writeups that showcase the personality of the author. For a long time I've believed that they are all getting to know you nodes, over a year ago someone told me I could write much better if I wrote what I wanted and the way I wanted but I've spent a lot of time not liking who I am in real life which is what I want to avoid when I come here. Now I can see that the person I'm thinking of had some insight that I was lacking at the time. Daylogging in general is difficult for me mainly because I feel as if I owe people the truth about myself and most of my writing is a way to show people a side of myself that maybe doesn't exist except for here. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, I'm not trying to hide anything but there are ways of saying things and ways of avoiding having to talk about subjects I would rather not dwell upon.
Previously I thought that objectivity was a goal to work towards. Now that I've shown myself I can write disspassionately about feet and shoes I wonder if maybe I've lost something valuable because I'm finding that I can't write fiction the way I used to and as silly as that sounds this is really bothering me. My characters still live in the back of my mind. They've grown from my experiences, suffered with me through rough spots and celebrated the good times I've had. Writing about them is easier than ever but I find myself increasingly dissatisfied with my writeups about them. Why I feel compelled to write about people who live in my head is a mystery to me but I am very sad that these people are tantalizingly out of reach while I struggle though life lacking a better connection to them. Hopefully they'll come back to me soon. In the meantime I'll still think about them at work, when I'm driving home and late at night after my children are in bed. Maybe someday my imaginary friends will return to me. Then again maybe they won't.