Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why do I care about disappointing someone I don't even know? (updated)

I'm exhausted.  But as I walked into the kitchen to get a glass of water before bed, I was struck with a thought and it became the title of this post.

I realized last night that my gray hair is not the only thing giving my age away, it is also the fact that I drank coffee at 6pm and couldn't fall asleep until 2 (my coffee cut off used to be 7pm and I could fall asleep easy at midnight).  N got me up at 7 this morning and 5 hours is just 1 hour short of enough to function for me.  I've been off all day. 

I've mentioned here before that I don't have a huge circle of friends.  Two women who could be sisters to me and a small handful of buddies I enjoy a lunch date (or play date) with.  I'm happy with that.  Very happy.  And try as I have to fit in with play groups and moms at story time, I haven't really felt like I fit in as easily as it appears other women do.

This afternoon I needed a few things at the grocery store and decided to hit the store closest to the new children's museum for N to burn off some energy before I dragged him shopping.  The few times we've been to the museum I've only made a few friendly comments to other mothers, asking ages of their children or other passing small talk, so it was a surprise today to have a young mother start talking to me with as much openness as a friend.  

She was sweet and friendly and I felt big and awkward.  I always do.  I'm on the tall side and no one would ever describe me as dainty.  I'm not overweight, but have those pounds that we would all like to lose.  My voice is not high and girly, much more soft and low and...well, lets just say more than a couple people have told me I could answer 1-900 calls as a profession.  I like my voice much more now, but I vividly remember my attempts to make conversation in a high school cafeteria or hallway were often met with, "What?" and "I can't hear you."  

Anyway, so there I was, off to the side, watching my son run and play and smiling as I see my little baby run over bridge and scream with sheer delight.  I couldn't help myself and despite my own awkwardness, I said to the woman next to me, "Wow, he sure loves this bridge."  

With those 6 words, I opened the door.  I opened the door to conversation, to small talk, to potential rejection or even the possibility of friendship.  She took that opening and swung it wide, making a huge effort to engage me in conversation.  It was as deep as we could get while chasing two toddlers and both of us as first time, stay at home moms with sons, we connected in a way that I'm not used to.  Before we had even exchanged names, we exchanged numbers and before I knew it, she was inviting me and N and C to her son's first birthday party in two weeks from now.  At the time it seemed like such a sweet invite, opening her life to me and wanting my son to share in the fun of face painting from a guy dressed up like Elmo.  But wait, she doesn't know me at all.  She might be disappointed.  She blindly trusts that we would come to her party and fit in with her family and friends and that we won't steal anything from her house or leave a dirty diaper on the floor.  How could she possibly know that I'm not a nut?  Nuts take their kids to the museum too.  Maybe she is a nut?  

I left with the plan that she would call me to get my address to send a birthday party invite.  I felt like I was saying yes without really thinking about it.  Saying yes with the thought that I could always come back with a no.  N and I met C for dinner and to be honest, I forgot about the plan for her to call and not until I heard her voice mail remembered and then some doubt kicked up.  I hate to disappoint though and called her back and gave her our address and as she started inviting us for another play date, the thought crossed my mind that this was all moving a little fast for me.  I know her for 20 minutes of real life time.  It is not even like story time where we have gone for a few weeks in a row and slowly gotten to know each other.  All of a sudden I feel like we are going to be the guests of honor at the cult of Elmo.  Then, she invited us to come to her house to for dinner, so we could get to know them before spending the day with her family at a party.  I appreciated the gesture, but as she tried to get me to lock in an evening in the next few days, I felt a bit like I was choking.  I was ready to back pedal, remembering some appointment or visitor or anything to back out of the whole thing.  I wanted a redo to slow things way down.  And that feeling became even stronger when I came home tonight and found a facebook friend request from her.  

Maybe I am being too closed off.  Maybe it is one of those moments that we will look back on and say, "I'm so glad we became best friends in 20 minutes on the floor of the children's museum."  Maybe I should take a cue from my baby who instantly becomes friends with whoever is holding the toy he wants to play with right before he yanks it out of their hand.  Maybe it doesn't matter if I back off and slow this down since if we are meant to be friends whether or not I went to her son's first birthday party is irrelevant.  Maybe I am too tired to make a good decision right now.  

Maybe I should be true to myself and make decisions based on what I need and want and not what I think other people want.  Thinking about it, why would I want to spend some hard to come by free time with virtual strangers?  Will my son remember or care about a sweaty dude dressed up like Elmo?  Who am I really doing this for?  Am I doing this because I think I should branch out?  Why do I care about disappointing someone I barely know?  Should I step out of my comfort zone?  

What if I get rejected?  

Hey friends,
I ended up calling her this morning and she was just as sweet as she was yesterday.  Even when I explained that while we wouldn't be able to make the party or dinner in the next few days, that I would LOVE to meet up again at the museum with our babies next week.  We plan to talk early next week to pick a day.  I'm MUCH more comfortable with this plan.  

I realized tonight that perhaps that one of the reasons I feel awkward, the reason I hesitate might have come from an old relationship.  One where when the guy who seemed so head over heels for me, after he flew me to come visit him for the weekend, turned his back and rejected me when he got to know more about the real me.  In the course of a weekend, he started walking ahead of me, he read the paper while we had breakfast, he acted like he couldn't wait for me to leave after he had worked so hard to get me there. (As a side note...sweet victory when I got to reject his friend request on facebook...)  Anyway, that thought crossed my mind tonight as a possible reason for that lingering awkwardness and fear of further rejection of the real me.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Afraid of death. Up at midnight.

Death has been popping up around me lately and it is the reason I am up at midnight.  I just made three craft projects, one for my son and two for friend's children.  I have a load of laundry in the dryer and I'm watching an old movie.  I'm in a fairly small room, but I've got the TV on, the computer on, the baby monitor on, two lamps and the fan all on.  Even the shredder is on, although I'm not shredding anything.  Even though I am writing my blog post, my email is open.  I'm surrounded by stimulation, but I can't shake the heavy feeling on my heart and mind.

Death has popped up on a few blogs that I read.  Death actually ended the show I was watching and started the movie I am now watching.  My friend's grandfather just passed away too.  I'm afraid of getting old. I'm stressed about what will happen to my parents as they get into their 70's.  I'm stressed that I am not living my life to the fullest that I possibly can because there is no way to know how long we get to be here.  That feeling gives me a pit in my stomach.

I don't want to miss anything and at the same time I'm tired and need a break from the worry and normal life drama.  I need a break from my own thoughts.  I think what will really help is a break from the media.  I just reached over and turned off the TV and closed my email.  I think I need to set some boundaries with the blogs and podcasts and TV and news and updates and all the stuff that overwhelms me with the thought that I am not doing enough.  That life is passing me by and I'm missing it.

I've had to pee for about an hour.  I don't want to stop what I am doing.  I don't want to stop this brain dump, because I keep hoping I'll write the sentence that makes makes it all stop for a minute so I can rest.

I look at that picture again.  The one I wrote about in my last post.  The peace in that photo is palpable. I'm longing for some peace.  DH's job is super stressful right now and I'm worried for his peace too.  Worry that I am not doing enough to help him, worry that I am not enough of a wife for him right now. N had a fever all day Friday, he was so sad and sick and I stayed home with him while DH went out of town to take care of some family business.  Today, my DH has that same fever.  He will be taking it easy tomorrow and I'm happy he will rest, but I know I won't rest and even though he deserves the break, a part of me will wonder when my break will come.  And then I feel like I don't want a break.  If I take a break, I'm afraid of what I will miss.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Its OK or its not OK. It just is or it is not.

Definitely not pregnant and for the amount of time that has passed since I wrote that last post, I could be in the middle of wondering if I am pregnant again.  I'm not.  Not pregnant nor wondering if I am pregnant.  I would like to say that I am not going to put myself through all the emotion of wondering again.  I can't.

July this year was a blur of celebrations and travel.  It has been a packed month and I still haven't quite recovered.  Sitting at my desk right now, I'm staring at a picture of one of my most peaceful and favorite moments of life ever. It is a black and white photo of me laying on my side, one day after my son was born, cradling him with one arm while both of us sleep.  I don't remember how long that moment lasted, but I will forever be grateful for my husband for catching it for me.  It is a photo that makes me calm when I see it.  And it also blows me away to think this little baby is now a screeching toddler that won't lay still for a diaper change, never mind a cuddle.

In other news, I got the opportunity to be honest last week.  It was kind of amazing.  I'm terrible for details on this blog, but I will say it felt good to be honest with my extended family about what I wanted and needed and not do something just because I thought everyone expected me to jump when they said jump.  Hope to do more of that in the future.  How nice to be an adult.

Time marches on though and while August slows us down a bit and gives me some breathing room for catch up, September is shaping up to be another blur and I'm pretty sure I just bought Thanksgiving stickers for N...yikes!

Oh and I'm totally out of shape and just ate a container of Ben and Jerry's last night.  Gross.  Delicious. But now I feel gross.  Still in my pajamas too and feeling like N is about to wake up for a nap any minute and push my shower off until later this afternoon.

In conclusion, not pregnant, not back at the RE yet, had a sparkling moment of true honesty, Thanksgiving is coming, ate too much ice cream and haven't taken a shower yet today.