Saturday, January 21, 2012

I Am Homesick

One of the things I got Owen at the Target the other day was a Thomas The Tank Engine Pop-up tent thing and he loves it. Who wouldn't? It looks like this in the ad at Amazon:

Perfect for a kid his age and size. He made his daddy bring it to our house yesterday and when Bop got home, he got in there with Owen too. Which pretty much meant he had to put it on like a shirt and Owen was just beside himself with glee.

I mean, look at that face!

It was a beautiful and fun day yesterday with Owen and he was mostly happy and we even took a nap and had snuggles and I don't know what happened but I just suddenly became overwhelmed and it may have occurred when Mr. Moon discovered that one of the dogs had gotten up on the coffee table in the Glen Den and POOPED! On the table. Where Mr. Moon and I frequently eat our supper.

Okay. This was a first and I just lost my...shit. No, not really. It didn't happen then. I cleaned it up and did a bleach scrub on the table and I'd made baked chicken and collards from the garden and mashed potatoes and homemade bread for god's sake (remember? I told Owen we would make dough and so we did) and studied lines and did about four loads of clothes and washed the sheets on the bed and had a really good time with Owen and then...
Well. I lost it.

I looked at the kitchen needing to be cleaned up and then I looked at those pictures Jessie had posted on Facebook and I lost it.

"I can't...." I think I said. "I just can't...."

And Mr. Moon cleaned the kitchen the way he usually does and I realized I had lost my sense of Just Be, thinking once again that I need to do and do and DO to be loved, to be appreciated, to be worthy of life on this planet and let me tell you something- for me that is toxic thinking. That is evil thinking. That is what leads me to insanity.

And so I went and found that video and I remembered and still, it's like a dream.

And I wonder- am I having my ten thousandth midlife/oldlife crisis? Should we just move to a little cottage in town? Should I forget trying to do chickens and a garden and living in this big old house that needs so much attention and be where I'm closer to my children and my grands and Publix?
I know I need to get rid of the dogs.
I know that.
No shit.

Should I quit doing plays and being on the Opera House stage company board?

What is really and truly important to me? How do I refine, define, find the time? Without going insane?

I can't live in Cozumel. I can't stay in a hotel all the time where everything is magically cleaned for me every day. I can't eat out three meals a day. I can't lie about in a hammock beside the water, waiting for my next serving of pico de gallo and chips and beer.

That is not real life.
Well, no. yes. It is real life. Just not the one I am able to lead all the time.

Nor would I want to unless my children were there too. I would die of missing them.

Well. Time to struggle into those contacts. Time to study lines. Judy is coming over this afternoon to help me. Guys are coming over this afternoon to watch a game on TV.
This is real life.

Or at least the one I am living now which is the one I have chosen, which, is also like a dream. Which includes messiness. And joy. I mean LOOK at that face poking out of Thomas The Tank Engine. I get to kiss that face!

And I need to remember, no I have to remember, that my worth as a person does not depend on how much I get done in a day and that honestly, I am not in a contest with myself.

Or something like that.

And to take time to breathe. And to remember that there is autonomy and I do get to make choices and changes if I feel that changes need to be made as I grow older.

And that tears are just an overflowing heart sometimes.
Yes. That too.
And that I can be homesick for a place where I do not actually live.

I sure as hell can be and I am.


  1. Often - even while I was young and standing in the living room of my parents' house - I will be overwhelmed and will even say out loud "I want to go home now." And I don't mean die. I want to go to that mythical place of safety and security where people smile and the weather is nice and all is well.

    Maybe people like us, whose home wasn't a safe place, whose world is tilted to the dangerous side, who tried and tried to do the right thing to prevent the wrong thing from happening, will always long for a fairytale place even when that Grimm place we left behind is left behind and our every day place is as good as it gets.

  2. Ah, Mary. I wish you could go back. But I guess it's a lot easier to be peace filled on holiday.

    The dog shitting on the table is a bit of a final fucking straw, though. Why not put up ads? See if you can delight some lonely person with a badly house trained dog! I suppose I'm no less depressed with the dogs gone, but I'm a lot less unhappy about shit clearing.

    I was just reading this - there's no answers in it or anything, other than mindfulness, but it's an interesting read.

  3. I had a dog that shit on my bed ALL THE TIME. I would take her out for walks and nothing. As soon as we got in she would pee on the carpet then sneak in and crap on my bed. When I closed my door she crapped in my son's dresser drawer. No matter how much I walked her she would not be trained. After a year I gave her to a friend of the family.
    Those dogs give you so much grief. Instead of packing up and selling your home maybe it is time to get rid of the dogs. At any rate, a dog that shits on your table is showing some weird dominance thing and needs to go. Or call the dog whisperer.

  4. Oh, I'm sorry. It might be mumbo jumbo, and I know you do it sometimes, but I wonder if you just sit with all those feelings, breathe and accept them? Observe them? Don't judge this side of Mary as the "break-down, insane, crazy, Mary and the other Mary the good, relaxed, whole Mary?" Just observe them and think Hmmmmmm. Mindfulness practice can seem ridiculous, but I think it's profoundly healing.

  5. Dear Ms Moon....I am constantly amazed at how much you DO get done AND you find the time to write about it all with such grace and wit and style. I am in awe. Truly.

    Pack that bad dogs bag and bid him adieu. What a brat!

    I mourn with you the fact that we can't live that peaceful on the beach life.

    and I celebrate with you, the one sweet little life we have been given.

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  7. Well, you do beat yourself up trying to be perfect, just like most women do.. and guess what .. we are not perfect, we just have to roll with it and go on with living in the now.!!!!. That dog of yours sounds very wilful and determined to make a protest of some sort... but I must admit that I would have had a meltdown too...its too much, if it cannot behave in the house, do not let it into the rooms.. Maybe your house is all open plan which might make it more difficult, but where you eat should be sacrosanct and healthy. Luckily our dogs have usually good manners and do outside, but sometimes when they haven't been out a while they forget, but thats always on the floor... to jump up onto a table is really pushing it,.,I am not surprised you lost it!!
    Dreamland gives us all an escape and where you have been recently obviously has stolen your heart, but the living in the now means that, and you will feel better now that you have vented to the world and that poor husband of yours... he sounds a darling... hope you had a nice time afterwards and thinking of that Owen, what joy he brings you all.. have a great eve and another nice day tomorrow, and do not let the dog in near your table again !! AND do not beat yourself up any more.. life does that to us all without our help *** J

  8. This hit home in a very real way. Nothing much to do with age, at least not for me. Or perhaps I'll eventually learn this lesson then forget it and have to relearn it? *sigh* At my three-year-old's request, I'm going to turn off my computer and go play castle dragons and lemurs, now. I hope your breakdown was a good one. :)

  9. Dang it. Bad dog.
    I'm picturing you inside the Thomas the Train House, resting and breathing and having a little talk with your self in which you say, "Self, you are tired. You work very hard, and you must prioritize. What do you want, self? What do you want to leave behind?" And then the train takes you there.
    There's a wonderful novel about a young wife's breakdown by Abigail Thomas called An Actual Life. The young woman builds some kind of a "fort" under the table and won't come out.
    Wishing you a weekend with some peace. And very little dog poo.

  10. It's really not my place to give you advice, but I'm glad you can vent . I said no to some things at a point where I was changing up my living a few years ago. I didn't think I could do without them but in reality I knew I was using them as an excuse not to do the other things that I was afraid of failing at. It was easier to do what was comfortable , albeit draining and frustrating and wrong, because it was easier than dealing with the fear and the vulnerability .
    But you know what? It was all good. Better than.

  11. You sound normal to me, sometimes I long for England so much I practically make myself throwup. And it's not even a hot and sunny place. I can't imagine the ache of missing Cozumel, such a beautiful place. Have you been drinking enough martini's??

  12. "Foiled by what his noble birth affords--dogs dogs more dogs and far too many rooms so fortune smiles at those that own the land and frowns o Tricia from the dabbler's hand."
    V. Woolf

  13. Ps. On Trivia not Tricia!

  14. I think about how much you do every day in all your roles: wife, mother, g;mother, gardener, farmer, friend, hobbyist, etc. you do so much. I think it is very normal to feel how you described here. Listen to your body if you are tired. I think about how many friends you have in your town, your life, both in your non-computer world as well as computer world. It's because of you.
    I do have one question: is there anyone you could find to hire to clean the big stuff inside the house every once in a while...not the usual stuff but the big stuff like floor and baseboard project stuff. It might help with the overwhelming-ness. Not on a regular basis to have to stress over someone coming, but think of a list of projects for someone.

  15. I love Mr Moon, and I'm sure you have your own thing worked out, but I was shocked that he showed you the poop and then YOU had to clean it! I go by the you see it you clean it philosophy. That would've sent me over the edge. Too bad the kids couldn't all take a dog. I'm sorry they are so difficult. I hope you can figure something out that is good for everyone. Or that they get their shit together!

  16. Jeannie- There is a good reason that when we are trying to relax or meditate, they tell us to think of a calm, safe, serene place- perhaps somewhere by the water...

    Jo- That was a beautiful article. Thank-you. It helped me. Seriously.

    Birdie- It is, of course, way past time to get rid of the dogs. These dogs have access to the outside almost all of the time. They just don't want to go outside to pee and poop.

    Elizabeth- I totally agree with you. And I think that most of the time I am in Cozumel, I AM practicing mindfulness. I am still and I am grateful and I am IN THAT MOMENT and no other. I need to learn to do this better here, in this life, this wonderful life of mine that I have now. To stop and take that time.

    Yo- Yes. To all. Thank-you.

    Janzi- First, Mr. Moon is a darling man. But he is, like all of us- a human being. And I think that very often I (and probably most of us) shut things up inside us because we don't want to hurt our loves, because we don't feel that maybe our feelings are valid. And of course, that never really works. I need to learn better ways to communicate. I do.

    See Kate run- And that was part of it for me yesterday. Instead of just "being" with Owen, I was trying to do all of these other things too. It is far better for both of us for me to just be with him for the most part. Isn't that what being a grandmother is all about?

    Denise- I should read that book! And yes, maybe borrow Owen's train. I read a story once where an older wife shut herself in the bathroom and would only allow her husband to open the door to pass her food. She had everything she needed. She stayed there until they had both figured some things out. I wish I cold remember who wrote that.

    Deb- Change is hard and it is brave to make it. And yes, it usually comes out for the best. Isn't that funny?

    Liv- We love the places we love for whatever reasons we have.
    And on the martini question- Yeah, I think so. You're so sweet!

    Madame King- Wow. She's so right. Adn there you go. Thanks, baby.

    Michele R- Honey, I think that having someone in to clean maybe twice a month would be the best thing I ever did for myself. I swear to god.

    Bethany- Well, he just HAD to show me. And he was going to clean it up. He cleans up his share but yes. I guess I "beat" him to it.
    We often threaten to drop off a dog at each kids' house but two of them are not even allowed dogs where they live- plus- NO ONE WANTS THESE DOGS! NO ONE.
    My only comfort comes from the fact that they are at least eleven years old.

  17. I swear, Mary, at this moment I am homesick for two places and I'm at my own house. You can certainly be homesick for places you don't or never have lived.

    I sure do love you.

  18. Dogs in dog house, not in people house. Pooping on table banishable offense.

  19. I'm with Hank on this one. Most definitely a bansishable offense.

  20. I'm with Hank too. Dog house.

  21. You do so much all the time. Be easy on yourself. Maybe investing in a dog crate or two would help. I have a room where four dogs sleep and the other two sleep in the bedroom with us. During the day they are outside for at least six hours to play. We don't have small dogs and no pooping or peeing occurs inside. I think you are more valuable than being the cleaning and cooking lady. We decided a while ago that a we like having a maid come in to do the big stuff every two weeks. It really helped.

  22. Let's just call this the winter time blues and leave it at that.

    Come a sky of blue with some hint of spring and your heart will skip into joy..I don't think you will have to wait that long for joy but it will get better. I'm feeling a bit down now too...not that I want company in the blue room or a pity party. Stuff going on makes me want to go back on that vacation I had in Sept/Oct. NOW!


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