Monday, July 29, 2013

Fighting the tide

Our weekend was a heart-stopping mix of highs and lows.

I finished some sewing projects, Ryan started a new class, Rachel started a new routine, Richard collected his new car, we bought yet another bookcase, Richard and I had a fight, I finally decided on a new name for the blog, a pair of expensive spectacles was destroyed, a smartphone drowned in the toilet bowl, and someone's lip got split open.

Which part of that paragraph interested you the most?

Well, let's talk about the lows today. Only because the lows were especially low.

"Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to stay in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!" - The Red Queen, Alice in Wonderland

Sometimes, just sometimes, I feel that, all the years I've lived, all the experience I've accumulated, all the growing-up I've done, all the whatever I have and the whatever I've achieved ... all of that is just me fighting against the tide. No matter how far or how fast I run, I still end up at square one.

A very simple example - keeping the house tidy and uncluttered. No matter how hard I try, the mess always, always returns. And everytime it comes back, it's bigger. Nastier. For every one thing I throw away, three new things take its place. We've run out of storage space and we solved that not by throwing things out but by buying yet another bookcase.

On many an occasion, I have asked myself, what's the point, just live with it. But I can't. So I keep fighting. Against the tide.

Or an even simpler example - why is it that, after all these years, I still cannot get my hair right? Bad hair days are not the exception in my life. Which makes me very frustrated, because I really do feel better when I think that my hair looks good.

Stuck at square one.

The lowest point of the weekend ... well, there were a couple of lows which are competing for first place - how lucky am I. Anyway, one of the finalists for this award was - fighting with my husband. I cannot adequately explain how frustrating it is to me that we still fight. After knowing each other for more than half our lives, we still fight? Ok, we don't fight much, sure, in fact we fight quite rarely. And I have to clarify that the entire fight comprised of me going on a tirade for about twenty seconds, with him staying silent. Richard doesn't fight with me, I do all the fighting. He is the cool grey to my fiery red.

But the point is - why do we fight at all? And don't give me that spiel about how fighting is good for your relationship. We've been together for more than 20 years. We're long past that.

I can tell you that, precisely because we have known each other for so long, I feel that he should know what makes me angry and he should know how to make me feel better. And that he should know that I hate, absolutely hate, that his "make up" strategy is to Not Talk About It and wait for things to blow over instead. Passive-aggressive? Makes me boil. And the more I boil, the more he withdraws. And the more I boil. If I have only one thing to teach my son about women, it would be this - always apologise. Even if it's not your fault.

Oh, I'm not laying all the blame on my husband. I've lived just as long as him. I've known him just as long as he's known me. I'll admit - there are better ways of handling situations and I don't always choose the best ones. Childish. I should know better, shouldn't I?

So, sometimes, just sometimes, I think that, all those years together, and yet we're no better off than we were when we started. I feel extremely frustrated.

And more than sometimes, I feel demoralised knowing that, all my years of living, and I still deal with situations with the immaturity of a flea.

I'm kicking and kicking furiously in the water and yet, I'm still no further away from (or towards?) the shore.

And what about parenting? Oh, such a sensitive spot. Don't we all try our best? Don't we all give our best? Of course we do. So, why? Why oh why do things like hurt and bleeding lips happen? Why can't my best be enough to shield my littles from everything? It's my job to take care of them and I swear I'm going flat-out here, so what do you mean by telling me that, no matter what I do, I will never be able to protect them from everything? That it's just going to get harder as they grow up? Why does it have to be that way?

Oh, I know all the talk about just doing what we can as parents, and hoping for the best, yadda yadda yadda. It is the truth (is it?). The "truth" is not consoling to me, because I like to believe that all our effort is going to lead somewhere other than square one. In fact, the "truth" sounds arrogant to me. Because if my children turn out horribly, wouldn't it be arrogant to say I was still a good parent?

Actually, my point is - that sort of talk doesn't make me feel better about the blood gushing from the lip.

Kicking. Screaming. One step forward, one step back. For every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. Pushing against the tide.

I don't want to end off on a sad, depressing note. The weekend had its share of good and happy moments and, already, the low moments are fading from memory. I am perfectly fine (and things at home are all good ... save for that lip.). Having said that, some reflection is always useful - it helps me grow stronger, wiser, better? - so I'll leave things as they are here. I'll be back tomorrow with some cheeriness. Thanks for reading up till here.

And just so you know I'm really ok, here I am.


Sue said...

Hwaeeting Leona!! (that's what we say in Korean... same as 'jia you' in mandarin ^_^)
Tomorrow will be a better day!

Sue :)

Rachel said...

My parenting days are almost matching yours. Including bad hair days. Take care!

Anesha said...

At times,

flowing with the tide for a few days will give a great break from mental stress.. Be happy

MieVee @ said...

What a weekend! When things get low, they can only get better next. Have a great day! :)

P.S. Some time back, my toddler managed to get his lips bleeding 3 times in one week. Seems ridiculous when these happen right in front of me - full-time mum. Anyway, kids heal real fast!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Sue - thanks! That sounds cute - got to get you to say it so I can hear how it sounds!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Anesha - totally agree! Sounds like a great reason to take a holiday soon!

Pinkie Pirate said...

MieVee - gosh, three times a week! I can't imagine! Hope you are doing well with No 3!

Pinkie Pirate said...

Rachel - thanks! Let's hope the good always outweighs the bad!

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