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Mar 24 2010

What would you do

If you would just get up off your 21st century butt and do it? Not “what would you do if you knew you would not fail.” That’s a cop out. If I knew I wouldn’t fail, I’d steal a dirigible and float to the moon.  I’m talking about what would you do if you just went ahead and did it. Failure a possibility. Embarrassment a probability. Uncomfortable change a certainty.

I have three friends who have made, or are in the process of making, significant changes in their lives. Tiffani and her family sold every last thing they own and moved from a OhMyFreakingGodPerfect house in Colorado (no, seriously, I shouldn’t covet a house so) to a 30 foot RV on a California beach. Dawn, my self-professed “cranky middle-aged butch lesbian” friend has felt the call to attend seminary, and will be starting soon. And Denise, one of my first blog friends who became a real-life friend, is streamlining her family’s life so they can move back to Boulder (and unless you live here, you may be wondering why this is a big deal. Boulder is ungodly expensive to live in. We lived there for a year, loved it, and moved out to the suburbs so we could afford to continue living in Colorado).

I’m feeling the pull to do something these days. Part of me wants to do what Tiffani did; sell off everything and take off. And then I realized I’d no sooner live in a 30 foot RV with my crew than run down Colfax naked while quoting Shakespeare. I have no desire to go to seminary, or return to any kind of schooling. The mere thought makes me lightheaded. I already have three degrees I’m not using.

Part of it revolves around our house. For a not-even-seven year old house, there’s an awful lot of work that needs to be done. For that I get to thank our builder, for cutting corners and allowing shoddy work. The “stone” on the side of the house is sloughing off in sheets, and part of the “stone” trim has disintegrated. The sidewalk has cracked in several places going up to the front door, and I’m pretty sure the house is settling. The appliances are croaking one by one and need me to disassemble and repair them all. The carpet is so poor it can’t be cleaned, has rolls worse than the ones around my waist, and has worn around the tack strip to the point you have to be careful where you step or it’ll draw blood.

Part of it revolves around the fact that my husband is so stressed out that I can barely stand to be around him. (And this is where my mom reads this, freaks out, and calls. Hi mom!) I won’t go into this further because it’s not fair to him, but suffice it to say that I have had many moments of wanting to give it all up and leave, except I have nowhere to go and no job to support the boys.

And part of it is end of winter misery, complete with a two hour shoveling marathon this morning. Nothing like an unexpected snow day, 12 inches of heavy wet snow, and shoveling in a t-shirt and gloves.

I need a change. I just don’t know what kind of change. I’m tired of this life I have here. I’m tired of the stressed husband, of the overwhelming boys, of getting up in the morning and my first thought being, “Oh. Joy. Another day.” I’m tired of being the emotional dumping ground; it doesn’t go away, it just pollutes my soul. I’m tired of taking care of everyone else. I’m tired of having so much I want and need to do, and hardly any of it getting accomplished. I’m tired of not having the patience to play with the boys. I’m tired of being envious of other moms who love snow days and love having their kids around unexpectedly. I’m tired of my life being “have to.”

What would I do if I would just get up off my 21st century butt and do it?

I don’t know. How sad is it that my first thought after that question is “how would I fit it in?”

I need a change.

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  1. kate

    Oh Jen. I so understand this feeling. I truly do. I wish I could make it better. You have to cut yourself some slack. No, I don’t know everything you have on your plate right now but from what I can see through these wonderful series of tubes is a stressed out chickie who needs to take stock. One day. One day a week when the kids finally go back to school where you get out of your cave-dungeon-basement-office that is cold. Take your newly minted technowonder to a free wi-fi coffee shop (or tea whichever you prefer CO girl) and play. No blog writing. No anything parenting writing— no thinking. It would be ideal if it were an open cafe, with your current weather I realize this is hard, but girl, you need some sun and some warm. Watch your favorite completely non-kid friendly movie, paint your nails while listening to your favorite iPod music, put the precious down and just listen to the world.

    If you stopped doing all the stuff that you HAVE to do for one school day, what would happen? Would the kids or Tom burst into flames? We cannot think when there’s nothing left. Chill. And just breathe.

  2. Robin from Israel

    I’m too stressed myself right now to respond coherently (my mother’s injury is turning out to be a lot more serious than we all originally thought), but I’m thinking of you and sending lots of love.

  3. JenC

    Sorry hon! But I think Kate might be right- you need a break. I know if I don’t get one regularly, I have to fight the urge to curl up the fetal position and whimper when I look at my to-do list! It sounds like another wine and whine might be in order. I’m flexible now that the hubby is in the non-travel part of the year. Let me know.

  4. Denise

    Just so you know, our process has been slow going and sometimes life throws a wrench in your plans (dealing with dog issues). You’ll figure out what you need to be content. You are such an incredible woman, it will come to you!

  5. Accidental Expert

    I had to look twice, because I could have sworn I wrote this post. I am worn out and tired and envious of so many around us who don’t have my life.

    If I could do anything…I think I’d move to a farm. I’ve always wanted to be in a rural or mountain community, but no one else in my family shares the dream.

    BTW…where are you in Colorado? We’re there too.

  6. Amy

    Sorry hon! But I think Kate might be right- you need a break. I know if I don’t get one regularly, I have to fight the urge to curl up the fetal position and whimper when I look at my to-do list! It sounds like another wine and whine might be in order. I’m flexible now that the hubby is in the non-travel part of the year. Let me know.

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