I’ve lost count of how many times I have forgotten the dog outside. Today, I looked out the window to see a woman picking up my dog from the open door of her SUV that she had pulled over on the side of the road. Running outside in my pajama pants that have the words ‘sexy’, ‘flirt’ and ‘cute’ all over them I met her at the end of the driveway. Now, I love these pants, they are so comfortable but, they were NEVER meant to see the light of day and the tank top I was wearing by no means matched in any way. I also had no makeup on. She was dressed like she just got done with a magazine cover shoot.
She told me “You need to do a better job” as she handed me my dog back. I couldn’t see her eyes past her fantastic sunglasses, maybe that saved me from seeing the judgment in her eyes because I could definitely hear it in her voice. I was angry at first, her tone was condescending. Holding back I told her thank you and turned around to walk back down the driveway with my dog. Barefoot over gravel.
Back in the house I felt the sting of her words. I was embarrassed but worse, a thought came at me with such an obvious, humiliating clarity. I couldn’t do a better job.
I’ve just started taking ginko biloba to help with my memory. My mom said it was stress that was causing my absentmindedness. This was a huge relief to me because she is the first one that would tell me to go straight to a doctor and then a neurologist if she thought there was something really wrong with me.
It first started with lapses in my ability to talk. I would say green when I meant orange. I did some research coming to the conclusion that having shingles during our move into our new house did something neurologically and that it was just temporary. I would just laugh at myself and my family did too when I’d mess things up in my speech. It didn’t seem too awful. They messed up every once in a while too. But, when I got so busy trying to do multiple things at once and couldn’t accomplish them all without forgetting what I was doing multiple times, being frustrated and then, going on a hunt for the dog I knew something was wrong. It was nagging at me but, I wanted to ignore it. I would just try harder. Do better. I took B-12, 5HTP, and Melatonin to help calm my emotions and sleep better at night.
Crying, I called my husband and told him I couldn’t handle everything anymore. My memory loss had something to do with the mortgage company sending us letters of possible foreclosure because we haven’t made a payment in almost four months now. That we are fixing to be two and half payments behind on our only running vehicle, we can’t pay any of our bills right now and I have been picking and choosing which ones to pay and most are two months behind.
We just borrowed money from my in laws for a chance at a job interview for my husband in Ohio and he got hired on the spot but he’s not sure he can do it. We’d already borrowed money from his sister too. The guy that comes to my house to shut off our natural gas when I can’t pay the bill is so kind.
My husband and I had been fighting for so long. I was forced to homeschool our three kids on a whim when the local public school wouldn’t accept our two high schooler’s because the private school they had been attending was ‘unaccredited’. They can do that. Two high schoolers. I was prepared for a 4th grader. I started volunteering at the private school to pay off the debt we still owed them and homeschool three kids. I’m grateful they allowed me to. And clean the house, pay the bills and take care of three animals.
Around the same time we sent our vehicle off to have a new engine put in it only to fight with the mechanic just to get it back when they charged us too much and didn’t tell us the price. Learned a hard lesson, the police told us. Sure did. She told her son to get her gun after we gave her the money and she still wouldn’t let us go near our vehicle.
We bought a car that was infested with carpet beetles, stayed at a hotel with bed bugs and had 515,000 gallons of water leak under our house all at the same time. And I was the one handling all of it. Oh, that isn’t all. That’s just what I can share right now. There is more.
I decided I was being a little hard on myself and so was the unknowing lady but that wasn’t helping my dog any.
All this busy-ness and stress seemed to be a normal thing these days. I knew others who were struggling with a lot on their plates. So, why couldn’t I keep up?
Consumer stress and decision exhaustion seem to be real problems today, I do believe that. The waitress expects me to know what Coke products are when I ask what they have to drink. She looked annoyed when I told her I didn’t know what different drinks Coke produced. The lady at the vision store told me I lost my turn in line after standing there for 45 minutes because I hadn’t signed in. I didn’t see the sign. Didn’t know about the rules they had. Everybody has rules and you lose if you don’t keep up. You lose money, time, warranties, protection, etc. if you can’t keep up. Keep up. Do better. I just don’t want to anymore. I just can’t anymore.
Should I give the dog to my mom? Was that enough? I was beating myself up over the dog. There could come a time when the dog gets hit by a car, we get fined, someone decides to keep the dog. Any of that. Oh, but, was I being a good mother then? Was I being a terrible wife? How about homeschooling? That’s controversial enough without allowing others to see that I’m flawed. You have to be perfect to homeschool. So do your kids. Right? I saw another homeschool mom at the grocery store one day. She didn’t have her kid with her. I did. In the middle of the day. We looked comfortable. She looked perfect. Organized. Put together. Dang it. And my house was dirty. Ugh. She even had one of those cute organizers in the trunk of her SUV that had separate compartments for her groceries. Yes, I looked. They had them at Sam’s Club the other day. We put one in the cart. I put it back.
Good things were happening too though. It was a process, you know, that seemed to intertwine with the bad. A battle, something I had to fight to see. It gave me hope. Which I needed. We got a different SUV, not infested, for the same price. The hotel refunded our stay and our luggage, full price. The water mains got paid for and fixed and we weren’t charged for the overage. We sold the vehicle we got back from the mechanic and bought another one to work on and paid some bills.
My other posts share of some of the good. I enjoy homeschooling. It is wonderful. I highly recommend it. Or, keep your kid in public school or private school. I’ve done them all and there are pros and cons to them all. But, the freedom to choose is there. Love that. Go America.
Writing a book has been a wonderful challenge that helps me learn and be creative. Having a tribe that provides support has been vital.
My faith in God will get me through this. I see it working now. I see Him working now.
I have been broken but, not in defeat. In surrender to simplicity. To a life of taking time, learning to set boundaries, controlling my emotions and myself not other people. To finding Jesus every day and why he loved women so much. To the humility of a creative belief that I desire the hand of an omniscient God to pull me up instead of trying to do it on my own.