December 2, 2010

it is what it is

and it's good :)

it's not always good but i feel like, despite having travelled a million miles in terms of personal growth and really becoming the person that i always wanted to be, i'm often surprised that throughout the course of a seemingly neutral day i can still have thoughts that remind me of susanna kaysen's in girl, interrupted.

"Made a stupid remark—why not kill myself? Missed the bus—better put an end to it all. Even the good got in there. I liked that movie—maybe I shouldn’t kill myself."

but after the really hard work of rebuilding my life and healing myself since the worst year of my life (2003), i don't really think about suicide anymore. i mean, to be honest, there are still moments when the thought crosses my mind but it exits my headspace just as quickly and out of the blue as it no longer lingers and i really do have buddhism to thank for that. not paxil, not prozac. not even intensive therapy. it was simply studying buddhism and my own understanding that brought me to the conclusion that if i ever ended my own life, i'd have to make it up again somewhere along the way. i'd come back and possibly live in worse conditions or face even more difficult lessons, but it was just the simple thought that i'd have to come back at all that set me straight. i want off this ride so much that i'll play it out, carefully uncovering every experience i have while here, with the knowledge that it's all so temporary. i figured that i might as well enjoy what is to be enjoyed, experience anger and sadness if that's how i choose to feel (but then let it go when those emotions have given me all they've got since there is no sense in holding on to any of it), and feel all there is to feel. i started to appreciate life but even so, there are many times, where i don't necessarily think about dying but during some innocuous situation i think, god, my life sucks. or gee, i hate my life.

maybe it's too much to ask that i can always appreciate life to the point that those types of thoughts never creep in, because ideally, that is what i want, however the balance-seeking part of me knows that i can't always have highs and happiness and sheer joy with everything around me. if it's okay to get angry or feel sadness, certainly i can also feel disappointment and express it - i'd just like to replace the hateful, sucky expressions with something a little less harsh.

it is what it is, though. i saw a handpainted sign with that message on it the other day. i saw it, smiled, and then wondered what would compel someone to make such a sign and it even further boggled my mind to think that someone out there would actually buy it (but there was a time when that message would have pissed me off more than resonated with me). however, i can attest to how comforting it is to remind oneself that it is what it is. it can bring you back to the present moment, which is all we have, it can offer perspective and also peace in times of great distress.

it is what it is has been the theme in my life over the course of the last month where i've had to let go of every preconceived idea i had about what our life in our new home would look like. in every single way, none of my notions were realized but it's okay. i've let go of some anger, directed at the sellers and their agent. i planned on emailing the agent, complete with photos, documenting every failure on her clients' part to fix something, clean, or leave some vital part of the home intact. i took the pictures. i hand-wrote my complaints. i waited two weeks until we had internet connectivity. then i waited some more. and some more. it would do no good. none. at this point (and even immediately upon signing closing documents) there is nothing to be done. it is what it is. i did a final walk-through two days before closing, and despite the fact that i was flustered because my agent was 25 minutes late and my mother was here and i had to deal with a huge emotional blow-out because she was unsatisfied with the size and location of my oldest son's prospective bedroom, it was my responsibility to notice and request for certain concessions then. not after the fact. i didn't even notice the screws in every wall used to hang pictures (and who does that? uses screws when a nail would suffice?), i didn't notice the hair and crumbs in every cupboard and drawer. i did notice the condition of the carpet but my agent assured me the home looked "great" and come to find out, after two professional carpet cleanings, this type of carpeting material (recycled milk jugs) stains easily and doesn't come clean. it has about half the lifespan of conventional carpet, according to professional carpet cleaning dude, and well, it's life is more than half spent being only four years old. i didn't notice that the sellers took the showerheads and shower curtain rod or that they seemed to stop picking up their dog poo in the backyard as soon as they received our offer. i didn't inspect the toilets to find that they apparently stopped scrubbing them around the same time, as well. but it's okay. even if a month later, i still have to "let it out" in my blog, i'm not sending a terse letter to their agent just because i can. i still feel somewhat aggravated at the situation but i completely realize where i was responsible to make reasonable requests prior to closing and how afterward, there was nothing to be done. even if at first, i was so angry that i wanted to send her an email just dispel some of my anger on to her, i know that pissing her off is completely pointless. and it is what it is.

besides, i love my new house. sure, it took a bit longer than i'd intended to get our furniture situated, thanks to four days it took to clean and dry the carpets. it took longer to put my kitchen and bathroom stuff away, but it was somewhat meditative and a nice break from unpacking to get out the cleaning supplies and scrub and wipe every single square inch of storage space. in the end, it was worth it.

if that wasn't enough, there were of course other things going on and other ways this move didn't turn out the way i thought it would, but that, too, is okay. my plans to start a preschool didn't pan out whatsoever but i've received a greater response to offering regular, ol' full-time childcare. i am not entirely thrilled about being a glorified babysitter and have applied for a real job. that presents it's own challenges, of course and all the while i cannot help but think that this isn't what i wanted. my plan was to focus solely on homeschooling and my artwork. but that will happen in it's own time and right now i need to do something with more immediate results. the thought of working outside of the home, despite the challenges of childcare, is (on some level) sort of exciting but i also know that there are a few telecommuting options and i'm down for anything that doesn't involve watching other people's children full-time. once i got past the shock of what childcare centers charge and contrasted that with in-home childcare i was able to feel better about my decision to enter the workforce, again, if it comes to that, but also to allow myself to think creatively about the situation that i'm in.

my little ones are now awake and now it's time to break away from my cathartic spewing here and go make some yummy oatmeal!

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