Failing at Life

September 13, 2013 stephhwilliams 8 Comments

Foreword: In recent years, I’ve been trying to “watch my language.” I really try to limit my use of curse words. You know, because the whole “don’t let evil come out of your mouth” thing; and because I know my kids are listening and it’s hard to discourage them from using bad words when momma’s got a potty mouth. But this week, and today especially, that’s all gone to hell in a handbasket. Also, 9 out of 10 of the posts like the one that follows never make it from my notebook to the site because I write them in a fever and then realize how full of whine they are when I cool down. I decide not to share that whine with the world, or the handful of people who actually read this blog. Again, this week, and today especially, I guess I’m just gonna be a hot head. See previous statement regarding the handbasket. Consider yourself warned.

My friend MorganMorganMorgan and I have been commiserating a lot lately about our pitiful lives.

Disclaimer #1: Okay, so our lives aren’t pitiful. We both have healthy families with loving husbands and generally well-behaved children. We have roofs over our heads and food on our table and are generally healthy ourselves (with controllable physical issues and only slightly questionable – on good days – mental issues). So, yeah, we should be ashamed of ourselves for even complaining. Yada, yada, yada.

Disclaimer #2: “Lately” isn’t quite accurate either. We commiserate all the time. The foundation of our friendship is that we can be happy or sad to our heart’s dis/content without the need for a disclaimer like #1.

On with it, then. For this latest downward spiral of despair, I take full responsibility. Morgan’s been saying for awhile that she feels like she’s failing at everything … that her one responsibility in life is raising her kids and she sucks at it. Now that’s simply not true, but I get what she’s saying. Earlier this week, I texted her that I was severely depressed because the best years of my life were behind me. “I’ve no firsts left,” I said. I then went on to whine about how I wish my life was a book or a movie and some other such ridiculous nonsense too embarrassing to admit. ร‚ย Instead, I’m almost 40 and can’t even maintain the very basics of life.

This morning neither of the big kids could find clean laundry … well, one of them just wasn’t happy with what there was but the other swore there was no clean underwear. My knee-jerk reaction in my head is “Well, crap, there’s something else I’ve f-ed up this week.” But then, the Girl walks in, while I’m drinking my coffee and trying to wake up properly before facing the world, and says, in the same judgmental tone she usually saves for her “Mother!” admonishments after I’ve cursed aloud, “Can you please wash some clothes today because I seriously had to dig in the hamper for running shorts.” (Well, they’re running shorts; it’s not like they have to start out clean.) And she just stands there looking at me, waiting for a response. (Here’s where the loving husband part comes in: he says to her very calmly, “Walk away now and pretend you didn’t say that.”)

Urging me to read The Bloggess‘ post Is it just me?, Morgan texted, “I don’t know if it’s normal, or if you, me and her are the only f-ups … but yeah, whatever.” The Bloggess’ post could have been written by me, about me, except that would mean actually accomplishing something other than getting out of bed. (And at least she gets comments on her blog, so I win at failing). Now, I don’t think we’re the only ones; and to anyone who says we are, I’m call bullshit right now. But that doesn’t make me feel any better.

The Bloggess says her biggest accomplishment some days is going to the bank. Mine is not crawling back into bed after the kids get on the bus, because, 5 out of 5 days a week, that’s exactly what I want to do. And I’ve no idea why. I know I didn’t use to be this way. But I can’t figure out what happened. Now fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, I can’t crawl back into bed most days; but I don’t feel any better about myself for that either.

Some days, some weeks even, are better than others. I’m able to maintain that perspective and blessed feeling related to disclaimer #1. Other days, I’m in what Morgan and I call a funk … which is more like a black hole … in which any light that remains is zapped from existence by the very fact that I should be happy but am not. So what’s wrong with me and how do I fix it? Or do I just accept that this is it?

See, if my life were a movie, this would all be resolved in 2 hours or less. And everyone would have clean underwear.

8 People reacted on this

  1. OMG!! You nailed it!! I feel the same way most of the time!! Can’t do anything right. Screwed up my kids lives, some in more ways than others.!! We should totally make a movie and have Tom Welling as the main hot male lead!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. I can totally relate to the no clean laundry thing. I so want to yell at my kids and tell them where the laundry room is and that they are old enough to do their own laundry. Ok, I have done that in the past. Its not my fault if they don’t have clean underwear. Their hands aren’t broken!! haha

  3. I don’t know you, but I don’t think you’re failing at life. A really wise friend of mine recently told me, when I admonished myself for whining about “first world problems,” that we all have problems, and our first world problems are real, and hard, they’re just different. We have big stressors and responsibilities and alienation, and everything moves at a really fast pace and expectations are so high. I think it’s just life, and you don’t fix it, you just live it, and have patience with yourself. And also you’re a great writer.

    1. Thank you, Kathleen. A very wise comment indeed. I always make myself feel worse for conplaining because others of such seemingly bigger problems and I know I’m not alone in that. You’re last statement really resonates: “it’s just life, and you don’t fix it.. ” Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  4. Oh, I love you! I still feel like I’m doing more harm than good by getting out of bed most mornings, but it helps to know you’re there with me.;) Although, my biggest complaint would have to be with myself. I am blessed, I am blessed, I am blessed. I KNOW it. Why do I have such a hard time FEELING it? The funk always prevails.

    Also, I thought the foundation for our friendship was Harry Potter?

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