Micah and I had been dating approximately 3 weeks when we started re-thinking the original break-up-in-2-months plan. Things were going amazingly well. I had somehow managed to communicate clearly without being quite as awkward normal, and he was still miraculously ignorant of the fact that we would have been perfectly cast for the roles of “Handsome and the Hag” in a fairy tale adaptation. We were both somewhat surprised to find ourselves in the situation of re-thinking our plan, and, of course, unable to imagine what the next 5 weeks of dating held for us. Wouldn’t it be great, we mused, if we our lives had a soundtrack? We could really use a few chords here and there to alert us to impending doom or impending bliss. I mean really, how should we have been feeling?
Impending bliss, it turns out.
These days I don’t feel like I need a soundtrack so much. I need a mood-er-ator. Something to validate or moderate my moods. Wouldn’t it be useful to have some happy, upbeat music when you’re near tears from tiredness? Or something to lull you to sleep when your brain won’t turn off? Or something assertive when you need a little bit of encouragement to stand up for yourself when random strangers decide to pick on you?
I suppose this is technically possible. I just load up my iPod with various playlists and when I think I need a little emotional boost from the music box, I hit play. But that would be assuming several things:
1. I know what I am feeling. Or should be feeling. Sometimes when Manchild is driving me crazy, I feel justified in being upset at him. I wonder if he’s going to learn to behave better if I queue up the happy-happy-joy-joy music or the get-your-game-face-on music.
2. My iPod is charged. Big assumption.
3. I know where my iPod is. This is less of an assumption since I hardly ever use my iPod anymore. It is almost always sitting on our dresser, wrapped in the earbuds cord.
4. I am not tuning out the outside world. I’ve become very good at this lately. I think it is a survival mechanism. The circuits in my head would overload and my brain would malfunction if I heard Manchild every time he told me to, “Look, look, watch me, Mom, watch me!” or when Squish got upset because I left his range of vision. In fact, this is why I rarely use my iPod any more. I’m already too good at tuning my kids out. If I had my earbuds in all the time, they’d be doomed to a life of neglect. And when I’m running I especially feel like I need to be there for them. When I run, I talk to the boys. I don’t listen to music.
5. I want to take the time to go through all my music and make appropriate playlists. This generally falls to the bottom of my priority list. If I had a shelf full of cds in my house, I’d love to go through and organize them every other week. But I don’t. Digital files tend to fall off my radar for years at a time.
And thus it is that I wind up feeling emotionally confused and/or exhausted so often. Was it a good day? Was it a bad day? Probably both. Did I do the right thing when I ignored the Manchild’s misbehavior and let him have what he wanted anyway? Yes and no. How can I convince myself that it is going to be an awesome day when we start out by missing two buses and having to walk 40 minutes to get to Manchild’s little school?
Tonight Norah Jones will smooth my frazzled nerves with her silky voice before I go to bed and I will sleep like a baby and wake up clear-headed and decisive.