Saturday, June 28, 2008

Having Much in Common With Camels

Outrageous circumstances catch our attention. Let's say that in one day, a woman's home burns down, she learns she has breast cancer, and someone steals her purse. If she loses her marbles, it's a highly understandable result to a dramatic situation. I am afraid that my own life does not warrant the same sympathy. Despite difficulty keeping my marbles in one basket the circumstances surrounding their rolling away are not dramatic in nature nor sweeping in extent.

No, my marbles are in danger of leaving me for more desirable residence due to a series of small yet constant annoyances all day, every day. The lack of drama is so low that if I ever were to lose my fragile sanity, I can hear people wonder aloud to each other that I seemed normal enough, but it sure didn't take much for her to turn cuckoo.

It could be one of a number of things to finally send me over the edge. The stray cat which arrives promptly at dark each evening to yowl in our yard at perfectly synchronized intervals which coincide with my attempts to fall asleep. He'll be quiet long enough for me to be on the doorstep of dreamland before he starts bellyaching again. Every night, the same thing.

We have three cats of our own. Because they cannot read I will tell you that Dakota is inarguably my favorite. He is my buddy, following me around nearly wherever I go until he gets bored with that. This is great, except when he follows me around wherever I go. Makes me think those statistics about most injuries happening in the home are because home is where we keep our pets.

We have Rum, a very independent cat except for her highly perceptive radar. She can decipher down to the second the moment Dakota loses interest in following me around, and she takes up the endeavor. I don't know what makes these cats think I don't enjoy a moment where I am not giving some living being some attention, but this is what they think.

There is my aged cat, Sable. I love that cat, but I don't like him very much. He has taken to refusing a clean litterbox for the kitchen floor each and every time he eliminates. True, this is not as bad as cleaning the carpet, it's the repetition that's killing me. That, and the fear of stepping in it. My kitchen is far from the homey place to pull up a chair and have a mug of coffee. It's full of land mines, and this has been going on for months.

During the years I worked full time, I dreamed of spending my days home with my daughter. Now that I am so lucky to be home with her, I can't help but wonder what was the big attraction? I kid. Of course I love it, but it is more complicated than that. It's hard and frustrating because kids are these wonderful little bundles of sweetness and love which are wrapped up with demands and needs. That's how they're supposed to be. It's just that sometimes my capacity to give dries up before the day is over.

I love my family, wouldn't trade them for any amount of money. BUT. Sometimes I think I would trade them for a studio apartment in some rainy city with a view. This would be the place where I only have to clean up after myself. I have taken to staying up later in the evenings. The summer is a season which is suited to this activity, but I have ulterior motives. One, I can avoid the stray cat/yowling-at-bedtime routine but the real reason is to have some time where NO ONE NEEDS ANYTHING FROM ME. Good god, I had no idea when I was wearing the fancy white dress that something as simple as time to one's self would become so important to me.

See what I mean? None of these things are terrible, dramatic, or would make anyone think "that woman is in danger of having a fit and possibly needs medication". And yet, there are times when I get SO MAD because of these stupid, annoying things simply because they DO NOT CEASE! My child is a funny, sweet girl who is thoughtful and helpful and completely deserving of more of my time and attention, or possibly a more capable mother. Everything I normally do - the finances, cooking, shopping, cleaning, and gardening is enough, but add to that the gas prices, hot weather, and cat problems, and it's not a question of one thing driving me nutso but rather how it all works together in one day to do it. The straw that broke the camel's back is a saying with particular resonance.

And so, here I sit, blogging away in the blissful quiet of the late evening in my home where everyone else has gone to bed. The stray cat was here, but left after I encouraged his doing so by throwing a coffee pot full of water his direction. Oh no, I spoke too soon. He's back. The washing machine is at work cleaning my running clothes for the morning. Sable may or may not have left a mess in the kitchen, but for now I don't care. Right now, I can do anything I want, and what I want to do is go check on my sleeping daughter, then go to bed and think about what fun things we might do together tomorrow as a happy family. The question I always come back around to is this: How much time do I need to recharge, so that I can be a reasonably happy, well-adjusted person for an entire day? I'll have to get back to you on that.

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