where wildly different is perfectly normal
Pity PartyPalooza
Pity PartyPalooza

Pity PartyPalooza

It’s one of those Mondays. I haven’t had one in a long time, which I suppose is a good thing, but I’m rather lacking in the coping skills department right now. Day number THIS IS WHY I LEFT THE MIDWEST of cold and snow and overcast skies likely has something to do with it.

I had originally thought of writing a Pity Party Post a Day this week, then came to my senses when I realized I wouldn’t want to read a week’s worth of that crap about myself. So instead it’s one big Pity PartyPalooza on this miserable Monday.

Happens every year: around New Year’s, end of school, and the beginning of school, I unintentionally do a mental check of everything in my life. See what’s going well, see what needs improvement, see what I want to do/improve upon next. This time all areas have issues, and again, they’re colored by the non-freaking-stop overcast skies. (Wait, I see a faint shadow outside…the sun is trying…and failed. Holy crap, it’s 7F outside with an anticipated high of 18F. And 18F tomorrow. Son of a…)

I usually avoid the scale. Today (classic Monday Mistake) I actually weighed myself and came in at ONE HUNDRED AND SWEET BABY JESUS I ATE A PERSON. The last time I was this weight I went into labor that night. Discouraging to say the least. Then this morning I had an appointment with my endocrinologist, to touch base about my thyroid (stupid little gland with way too much power). The nurse weighed me and I came in at ONE HUNDRED AND SWEET BABY JESUS I ATE A PERSON WEARING SKI GARB. Then she actually asked me, during the interview portion of the event, if I was having a problem with my weight. Uh, lady? You weighed me no more than 30 seconds ago and I’m pretty sure you’re afraid I’m going to have you for lunch. Yeah, maybe a slight problem with some weight gain.

I used to laugh that I really didn’t need to exercise, I just stressed off all possible weight gain. Har dee har har. Ever since a year ago spring, when I really started working on stress reduction (and all appearances to the contrary, I’m a lot better now than I used to be), I’ve been packing on the pounds. That’s also about the time I went gluten-free and discovered the joys of wine. I’d guesstimate that there has been an increase of about 15 pounds in the last year and a half. How screwed up is that? I’ve always been on the thin side, not thin, but certainly not heavy. I can really tell how heavy I’ve gotten simply because I used to have prominent collarbones. They are now padded for my safety. I just checked my BMI and I’m knocking on the door of obese. I hide it well, being so tall, but not cool.

Tom’s sister is getting remarried at the end of May. I have roughly five and a half months to lose, ideally, 40 pounds. I can’t imagine a late spring wedding, with all the beautiful dresses available, and having to attend in something loose and flowy, hoping it covers up enough flaws for photos. It’s bad enough I’m probably going to end up on the Nightmare Bed from Hell, don’t need to make it worse.

On the plus side, my doctor this morning noted that my thyroid had slowed down even further and upped my Synthroid. Upped it just a teeny tiny bit more than entirely necessary, with a stern look that I was to call her if I start getting heart palpitations. I’m praying that kicking my metabolism into gear, plus adding exercise (my God, do I hate to exercise. I have yet to find something I truly enjoy, and anytime I go to the rec center I feel like everyone’s staring at the large, tall, uncoordinated yahoo in the corner) and better modifying my diet I’ll actually get down to ONE HUNDRED AND HEY! COLLARBONES!

Oh, and if Tom makes another gentle attempt at suggesting I should exercise, I’m going to beat him with his running shoes.

I’m not going to go into any detail, but the economy has finally caught up to the House of Chaos. We’re looking at a possible income cut of roughly 20% by next fall. Tom is freaking out about it, and I’m trying to stay all Zen so we have some semblance of calm in the house. I’m also, for the first time in my adult life, not bringing in anything resembling a paycheck. No teaching, no flute lessons, no home-based business, nada.

When we first moved to Colorado, the cost of living difference from Iowa about killed us. We went from two paychecks to one, two cars to one…and our housing cost doubled for half the space, with our car insurance doubling as well, all on top of out-of-state grad school tuition. It’s time to return to the Radical Frugality that got us through those first few years…just gonna be a lot tougher with kids now.

I have none. No career. No job. No prospects. In the eyes of employers, I’m not qualified for anything outside of teaching and I’m not returning to a band room unless living on the street is the other option. I’m trying to craft my own career out of what I know and do every day, but with this economy I don’t know how well it’s going to fly. I’m terrified. And beyond that, the guilt, the overwhelming guilt, that I’m not bringing in a paycheck is about to do me in.

I have an organized house, which is significantly different than a sparkling clean house. My vacuum is terrible, I have a dog who is an ungodly shedder, and I made the mistake of looking under my bed the other day. Anyone care to guess where I’m planting next spring? With young kids, cleaning just seems so futile. It’s just going to get dirty again. They’re going to track mud on the floor again. The dog is never going to stop shedding. And dust is just going to master asexual reproduction and lead a coup. Again. Bleh.

I know I’m not the first, nor last, wife/mother to feel this way, but I feel like I’m failing my family. I am also sick of them. And then more guilt jumps on for a big ole’ pile o’ fun. I’m ready for kids who listen, for homework to not be a battle of wills, to not lie awake at night worrying that A’s new ADHD meds aren’t working and what should we do now, for J to quit telling me he’s hungry every 15 minutes (not kidding, I’ve timed him). I’m ready for a few months of relative parenting ease. I know it’s not easy for any parent, but damn, I have the World’s Most Strong-Willed Child living under my roof and while stubbornness can be a wonderful trait, it’s also exhausting. Just, for a few months, both of you just do what I tell you to do when I tell you to do it without argument. I just want to know what it feels like.

Enough. I’m sick of myself now. I don’t feel much better, but it’s up to a whopping 9F now, so maybe my mood will rise too.

</pity party>


  1. corrie

    Ditto, Ditto, Ditto. Although my teenager is actually being civil and helpful. I almost said to him, “Who are you and what have you done with my son?” But I thought I’d enjoy the moment instead.

  2. Oh no! It’s your party…you can threaten to kill someone if you want to. 🙂

    I hope things get better for you. You haven’t asked for advice, so I won’t dump any on you. I do have a couple ideas, and if you’re interested, email me. If not, that’s fine too.

    Party on Wayne.
    Party on Garth.

  3. Yikes. What a way to start the week. Hope things start looking up for you. Really hoping that the thyroid issue gets turned around for you and quickly. I’m with everybody on the exercise deal. You will feel better in every way. (Easier said than done, especially from me, someone who has yet to make the lifestyle shift.)

  4. Theresa

    It was a wonderful party…I share many if not all of your frustrations and yet, you have this uncanny ability to make me laugh my fanny off (too bad that’s figurative) at the same time. If it helps, I know, oh how I know…

    And listen up – you need to post a weeks full of pity posts, you do it. Don’t start blogging for your readers Jen. Your friends will read you no matter what you write.

    Hugs to you.

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