Awake at 6am on a Sunday: an auspicious start to my 2014 dress rehearsal. I am ready to start the new year, or maybe it is more accurate to say that I am eager to end this one. 2013 has not been particularly bad, especially compared to the years of freefall depression I used to have before being treated for bipolar disorder. Thanks, I think, to the trifecta of meds I am on, the elevator cable doesn’t snap. The metaphor is a little safer, and more nuanced now.
I see a bank of elevators. Perhaps one is related to parenting, another to our home, another to community involvement, etc. I can see that I am not stuck or bottomed out in all areas. I feel like I am doing a pretty good job being Miguel’s mom. I have worries and insecurities of course, but I know our love and trust is steel-strong; for once, I am ok with these simple measures. Though I get frustrated with what seems like two steps forward, one back progress on the home front (which includes the building, garden, and parkway project), I love the work, we’re always checking things off the never ending to-do list, crises are rare, and when they do occur, we have so far had the resources to address them. No matter how bad things get in my brain, gratitude for our home and full table is always close to my heart.
My community involvement goals get stuck in between floors. I have backed off from some projects I care a lot about (Bike Winter, Kidical Mass, the Goethe website), and am not thrilled with the quality of my contributions to those I have committed to (Goethe’s LSC, the 26th Ward Transportation Committee, Friends of Kimball Park, and I am sure I am forgetting something, which is not a good sign!) This is compounded by the overall feeling that I should be doing more in terms of local politics (I love you Elise!), education reform (you too, Cassie), social justice issues (and Michael, Eric, and Julie) and Goethe’s Holiday Bizarre (Jessica and too many others to mention). I take some solace knowing that at other times of my life, I did more. And I give myself some credit for smaller, closer to home contributions, such as taking over the parkway and trying to be a good friend.* To keep the metaphor going, this elevator is kind of slow, lurching, and sometimes simply out of order.** It makes other people take the stairs more often than I would like. But, once I put some money in the budget for the overdue maintenance, I hope to carry more of the load.
I am grateful to be able to see some positives. So much of my life was spent with dark cloud vision and toxic inner voices.
But I still have bottomed out elevators, stuck below the basement. Important ones. Some are missing parts, others just need repairs. A few might need to be replaced.
The other day, I skimmed through my journal from this year. I noticed a few things:
1) I am obsessed with the weather. From April to June, I consistently bitched about how cold and wet it was.
2) I had a lot of fun times with friends. Many reports of great meals, outings, and adventures.
3) I have been really low and generally disgusted with myself due to consistent, perhaps persistent, perhaps sometimes perceived, failures in the following areas: work, weight, writing, wishes, and my word
Well, now it is 10pm, and one thing I want to do better in 2014 is go to bed early. Maybe I should add waking to my w list of woes, warts, and worries.
* Not sure I should count raising money for Girls on the Run via the Chicago Marathon since 1) my friends and family are the ones making the main contributions and 2) there is some self-interest due to the marathon entry.
**Kind of reminds me of some of the old buildings downtown that rent to non-profits, such as Michael’s office when he worked at the Statewide Housing Action Coalition. Hmmmm.