What is the Opposite of Feeling Generous?

I haven’t posted like I should be because I have been dog paddling my way to a distant shore. I am actually exhausted by the constant discussion of my busy schedule. God, it’s so boring to constantly talk about the disheveled nature of my physical space, my mental space, and my calendar.

On Saturday night I had this moment of: I don’t like this life. My entire day is about the kids! About their schedules and about their meals and about the things we have to do. I don’t want to, but we have to. Because the ramifications of doing it later are even worse than the inconvenience of dragging my sorry butt in the direction of have to right this second.

I do not always feel this way, but lately I have been feeling remarkably ungenerous. That feels like not a word. Maybe because we don’t use it often. I have not felt selfish. That is not the feeling. I have felt as though I have nothing left to give. Or maybe I do, but I just don’t want to. I need to squirrel it away just for me. I’m talking like a thimble full of energy and patience that I am saving for myself. It’s stupid. I have no more understanding, I have no more gritting my teeth and smiling. I’ve run out. I don’t have any more extra time. I don’t have anymore mental space for managing any other person aside from those I made with my own body. I’ll at least take responsibility for that.

It’s not always this way. But right now I just can’t get ahead of it. And my body ACHES for a fucking vacation. A real one. Even with the kids. It’s been two years since Kamel and I went on a vacation where the only schedule we were on was our own. Where I saw new things and felt filled up by new experiences and foods and active leisure. Two years. And I’m drowning in the every day. My inspiration well is empty. I am slogging through the have-tos and swallowing the bits of myself that want to say fuuuuuuck this, this SUCKS. Because this is responsibility. This is grown up life. This is the business of all of that.

Plus I had an ear infection all last week.

Here is what I want for this week: I want to work out every day. I want to walk to Walgreens and get my passport photo taken so I can update it like I should have done 6 months ago, I want to wax my lip (nothing fancy, just in my bathroom, but finding the time for even that seems to have ESCAPED ME), I want to not fight with Gabriel about bedtime every single day, I want to find a house we like and can afford, I want to feel centered and calm about work projects and deadlines, I want to get a jump on the major events of this month so that I am not scrambling last minute. Some of these things will not be accomplished, but a lot of them will. I hope.

2 thoughts on “What is the Opposite of Feeling Generous?”

  1. “Or maybe I do, I just don’t want to.”

    I think this is a totally natural feeling but right now in our society it is accompanied by guilt. Just today I was reading an article on twitter where the woman remarked that when she was with her children, it was her job to have as few needs as possible and I had an almost physical reaction of NO! What are we teaching our kids if we portray ourselves as needless beings who exist only to serve them?

    I have been running low on emotional energy lately but it is coupled with the fear that voicing my exhaustion will be taken as me being ungrateful or worse, negligent. I love my kid but sometimes I have to go through the motions of dinner, bath and bedtime, saving some energy for myself as protection against running empty.

    I’m right there with you, I guess is what I’m trying to say.

    Also, ear infections are the WORST. I got a debilitating one a few years ago that took me out of work and made me miserable and I live in fear of it happening again.

    I hope a fresh gust of air comes through and you can use that passport as soon as possible!! Also, I send all of my house hopes and excitement your way, fingers crossed you find your awesome future house soon and as painlessly as possible.

  2. Oh, lady. I felt this through the whole first year of Elliott’s life — just utterly drained, doing the things and dragging myself because if I didn’t no one else would. I hated that self a bit, because I’ve always seen myself as caring and kind, and that me had nothing extra. That me skimped on even the bare necessities because to do otherwise meant sure downfall.

    This is why we need a village.

    We need a better word for ungenerous. There are times that I have to hoard things to myself to make it through. Lately I’ve been going hard, and one thing that I’ve promised myself is a visit to a friend in October without the kid. I’m living for that visit. When the days are long and the nights are longer and everything is a fight I just think about four days with no schedule and eating whatever and watching whatever and essentially no limits.

    Every day these kids get older is a day closer to freedom. Steering into the skid, breathing into the pain. It’s like the longest ever version of labor.

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