Feminist or anti-feminist

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

This is not what this blog is about. I am a feminist, by the way. Oh well, I guess I could go into it, but it is simple. Women are people. They should have access to jobs, freedoms, everything else they need to support themselves and their family. Settled.

But here is what this IS about. It is November. It is early morning, and it is raining. And I have to go to work. I have to physically leave my house and my family to spend my day with people I wouldn't have anything to do with otherwise (not for any particular reason-it just is) and work. I mean, what the hell was Cinderella and Snow White all about? I get that we can't all have castles and magic, but what is all this going to work stuff about?

I want to be at home. I want to be at home with enough money to make my home cute. I want to be at home without relying on food stamps and medicaid. I don't understand why we live in a world where we can't be with our little ones. Oh, I *get* it. I just think it is wrong. All wrong. It doesn't help that this is my two "co-teaching" day. Yes, I see that having an extra teacher makes a difference. But what about me? What about my desire to lead a class? Why do I have to just shove everything under the rug and serve happily. What sort of bullshit is this? I am so tired of being treated like the nice grandmother who is there to quietly assist. NO!

Disclaimer: I don't feel this as strongly as I am writing it. People overreact. I am playing with my words to express mild annoyance.

But I just want to bake some homemade bread and actually get laundry put away (maybe).

I hesitate to write this because sweet Karl will start feeling pressured to provide more money. He will start talking about becoming a manager, etc. And I don't want him to build his future on a call center that may or may not be there. I don't want him to feel all the pressure of the family. I don't want to depend on him, because it would come up in an argument later on, and then I would think, I just need to find a job and make my own money. We have tried that.

I am just tired of this. How can all these desires and plans be impossible? What is this "you can do whatever you want" stuff? No, you can't. I have a good, analytical brain, but I am not suited to be a programmer.  I don't have the personality to be a leader. Nor do I want to be led. I don't like principals-people will say I am jealous (I am of the salary, not the job), but I don't want someone else planning out my day either. What kind of person desires to rule over fellow coworkers? It can't be a good thing.

I just want reality and my storybook picture of what reality should be to be a little closer.

My Lampshade is Broken

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The shade is tilting sideways, one metal prong hanging onto the centerpiece. Tipped this way, were the light on, I could see the fly excrement dotting the white shade. I needed to buy a new one anyway.

It is November, oh song of my soul. Grey, wind-whipped November. Brown, wet leaves scatter across the ground, and riotous color still lurks in the trees another week or two. My soul is raw again. I come here again and again and again. Do we all come here? Is it just that I write about it? Or am I wrong and weird and troubled?

I don't know.

I keep failing again and again. I promise myself, I will be aloof and professional, and then I see these faces and I burst with giddiness and want to play. And it is the wrong time to play. It is the time to put on my grownup work costume and be wise and quiet and yet friendly and outgoing, and I don't get it, and  injustices rip at my soul and leave me feeling scattered and confused. I thought if I was good enough, or nice enough, or smart enough, it would be fair. And it isn't. And I whine and I whine and I hate the whine, because I know I am desperately lucky, and I still yearn for more.

And someone will read this and conclude that I am depressed and treat me weird, and I am just expressing and feeling the moment, so that I can let it wash over me, and turn myself inside out tomorrow and be fresh. Why is it so wrong to speak of it?

I don't understand this world.

And I step aside and try to see what they see. Am I angry? Shallow? Frivolous. Yes. But I am curious, kind, and have an inner calm that no one seems able to see. And the feelings cycle around and make for a boring blog, because you have seen it all before, because life is a circle, spiraling upward. And we revisit the same things over and over, adding a little more detail each time. Examining a corner once undiscovered.

And I will say something I don't mean, out of fear, to hide, because the truth hurts and pulls and makes people uncomfortable. And frivolous is better thing to be called than disappointed, or unseeing, or just...wrong.

And my husband is cranky tonight, and I feel alone.

And someone will misunderstand, and a read a depth or seriousness that I don't feel. Because I am silly Jill. Jill who can take a test, but isn't to be trusted with real responsibility. Jill, who can crack a joke, but who surely can't be seen as a role model. Jill who is living out the life of someone else, and can't even complain because almost everyone else is, too.

And I am lucky.


Cold Monday Morning

Monday, October 16, 2017

And I should be at home.
I tried desperately to come up with some way to stay home without out and out lying. I tried all weekend to get into the salon, but their online booking system was down.

So I am here. Here, where we will have our meetings and most-popular contest (and why do teachers who are asked and given extra responsibilities get extra praise? For assignments they were chosen for and paid for? It doesn't make any sense. It is all a big political nonsense bullshit game. I went into teaching to avoid office politics and yet, here they are, shoving themselves in my face).

And I think (and I know these aren't new thought), how silly this is, that I have to leave my children to come do this job. That women all over the US are leaving their babies, because "they have to." Why do we have to? Because we have bought into a system that rewards families for fragmenting and separating. If you want to be valued you have to "Be Somebody" and have nice things and impressive titles and degrees. Oh, some can make it in other ways, but money is always involved. Now, I am not saying that women should stay home. People should do whatever they want. But why do we want to leave our babies, so we can have bigger houses and fresh food? Where is the tipping point?

Why  have we built a society where we look down on the only people with any freedom, those who thwart the system? We are animals, and yet it is illegal to go hunt for what you want and live your life your way. I guess this way is easier. More comfortable. And face it, we have 7 billion people to feed, that requires a certain level of organization and sophistication. And we have laws that benefit women because left to nature, the world can be harsh. But...

What is missing?

I wish I had just lied. Everyone else lies about everything. They lie about what they do and how they feel, and most importantly, they lie to themselves.

The excuse-why I haven't been doing my couch to 5K

Friday, October 6, 2017

First, it was fear. Running across a lone male at 5:15 a.m. is eye-opening. It is that reminder that, oh crap! I am not very strong. This is being taken care of-a can of pepper spray is waiting for pickup at Walmart. I just need to find the time to go pick it up. 

The other reason is exhaustion. I am just so darned tired. It started with missed sleep here and there, and now I am stumbling home from work, grabbing my baby, and heading upstairs to nurse (and more importantly, rest). And I can't seem to get rested. I am just tired. Part of me knows, if I am already awake, I should just go out and exercise, because I will feel better after, but I am having a hard time convincing my body. 

I have also gained 5 pounds since school started. Probably due to the ever-present office treats and eating out too much. 
Now I have a head cold, and I just want to stay in bed.
But, of course, that isn't an option , so here is the plan:

1. I had a protein fruit smoothie. My gosh, those are good (sugar!), a cup of Greek vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup strawberries, scoop of protein powder, and an apple juice pouch. I should be getting a sugar rush soon!

For lunch I have a can of tuna and a small apple. We are out of bread and crackers (time!?). I know this isn't enough. I will be starving if I try to go with just that. I need to dig something else up. A sweet potato would be good, but time? 

I just need to stay away from the office treats. Donuts and bagels and candy all the time. It is not good. I have to just say no!

So that is the story. I don't feel guilty right now, because I feel as if I have an elephant sitting on my face, but I have to get back to it. I need to start going to bed at nine, I think. Ugh.

I drank tequila once

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

On a sultry night under Hawaiian sky
insects buzzing around Jamie's front light,

slapping mosquitos on my legs, face
giggling to the back yard to pick a tangerine

Lime. Some sour fruit growing in the townhome
lawn between Jamie and me.

Jamie, laughing, larger than life, unbalanced,

I flirted with a man whose name I have forgotten
asked him questions about computers and didn't

Staring into his eyes--why? the knowing curve of
his mouth as he answered patiently

while my husband sipped his beer and strummed his
guitar nearby.

there was no danger here-for me- the children had been
tucked safely in bed. the nights were long and warm

the man dreamed of woman from Vietnam
who lived in the townhome between us,

as her husband continued drinking transforming
into a raging bull

No more, she shook her head, but I, always naive, just laughed
and said we were having fun-

her terror would come later in the night. Alone in her home
sandwiched between Jamie and me.

The man's wife was off--off with her male work friend,
and I took shot after shot after shot,

until the island spun alone in the Pacific, and became a swaying
canoe as I stood,

and Brian strummed his guitar and I wonder who he dreamed of, (the
600 dollar phone bill),
and I stumbled to the house to throw up, clean up, brush my teeth

and try again, but back in my chair, the world kept swaying,
and outdrunk by 230 pound Jamie and 200 pound man-neighbor

I closed my eyes, admitted defeat, and asked my husband to
help me to bed.

The Hormones

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Oh, the hormones. I knew things were happening a week or two ago, when I loved everyone and men were nicer and wasn't my waist a little smaller? And now,  here I am. Men ignore and/or are cold (except MY man), I keep shoving food in, even though I am stuffed, and I am so tired, I. can't. feel. fully. awake.

Welcome to life as a woman. When you wonder why I have so many kids, here you go. Because it is the only reprieve I have from this suffering. And this has been an easy month. Every third month or so it is HORRIBLE and I will be angry and alienate people and have to stay home and watch sappy movies and cry all day. And I can only take a day, but it lasts for days, so I act weird and hide from people so I don't say things that feel so right at the time, but are really so wrong.

I mean, granted I am glad I am not a nasty man, with sweaty smelly hanging parts, but this isn't much fun either.

Sunday Morning!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

I haven't jogged since last Monday, and I am not happy with myself. I am going to jog today, IN THE DAYLIGHT, and I am horrified. It wouldn't be so bad if I could get someone to go with me, but Taryn won't, and Karl has to watch the kids. Taryn doesn't work until 5, so maybe I can talk her into watching the boys for 30 minutes so Karl can go with me. I just don't want people focusing on me as I huff and puff IN THE DAYLIGHT. I know they don't care. But I FEEL like they do.

I am so excited about my classes. Okay, the poetry one. I am going to struggle. There is no doubt. But if I try and stretch myself, then maybe I will pull off an okay grade and learn something. The research class is so great. A classroom full of smart people working towards meeting our own individual classroom-based research goals. I am sad we only meet once a month.

I feel the yearning to go to church. Trying to push it down. I guess I could go without Karl. But I already feel like an outsider-I would really feel it as a married woman without her man. Should we try a different church? I don't know. I like familiarity. The church we have been going to has that unstylish, churchy look and smell. I do wish they did holidays, though. Maybe I should switch to nondenominational or Baptist. I remember those wonderful holy moments around Holidays really feeling how real it all felt. And the women there--there is noone like me. I guess there is noone like me anywhere, because I see differences rather than similarities. And I feel a sense of shame that I am still in. this. same. place. Why drag other people into my oddness? Home is safe.
Liam is falling into unbelief. That is struggle with smart, scientific people. Making the ends meet. Karl doesn't understand how I can reconcile believing in evolution with religion--I just can. But I think the bible was written my men inspired by God. So maybe that is why. Man's knowledge is limited. Even now.

But then I wonder if I am just grasping at images, wanting to believe-and then, I realize, that is okay. Faith is believing what you don't see. What you choose to believe. Maybe it is not for everyone. I don't know. I just want to fill the catch in my chest that wants to worship and belong. I can't explain it.

So anyway, no church today, because it requires so much organization to try and dress myself and boys decently. It requires confidence to face people who I feel set apart from. It requires trying to get Karl on board, and playing down his irritation with every imperfect thing the boys do, because in his head we should appear perfect. And then I get stressed--oh no, I am not perfect. Don't let me misrepresent. I get irritated with how we look. I get mad when the boys are less than perfect in dress, because that is what people see. Karl gets irritated with their inability to sit still, and then I get irritated that he is irritated, and no, let's just stay home.

The baby is waking. I have so many little pains breastfeeding this time. But how I can deny my baby what is best for my own comfort? It is a struggle. We will see how it goes.

I wish I could stay home and still be middle class. Maybe a little poorer, I don't have to shop so much. Right now, shopping is my consolation for having to work, but gosh I wish I didn't have to. I wish I could walk Liam to the bus stop, or homeschool. I wish Karl wouldn't throw it in my face that he made the money, like the last time I tried to stay home. I wish ... but I live in this world. And I like it. I like seeing people outside my family, even though work politics are so hard on my soul, and I feel like I NEVER WIN. But blah.

I want to stay home. I guess like everyone else, I will keep buying those lottery tickets.

This is whiny. Personal journalish. My brothers won't click like, because it isn't up to their standards. Maybe one or two people. I think most people just don't follow me. and it is weird to me. Why I am so unpopular. Is it the introspection? Is it my looks? I think I look okay. I mean, I do what I can with what i have. Maybe it is just short man syndrome. I was always the smallest in my class, always clamoring for some sort of recognition, always the flower girl when we played wedding. And now, I am weird Jill who talks about her feelings too much, and gets too dramatic, and well, let's just unfollow her. Facebook is weird. All your life you think, if they would just get to know me...and then you let then know you, and you still don't make the cut. And it's weird. Because I am grown up and I know, I am just as okay and good as them. I am just not....whatever.

I am deeply hurt that my mom's sister didn't come to Tierney wedding or baby shower. Is that wrong to share?