Oy. November was the worst month ever mileage-wise. In part, because I didn’t even log of all of my days (I lost out on about nine days, I think). But that doesn’t matter much anyway, because I didn’t have much walking on those days or for most of the rest of that month, either. And December has started out pretty slow, too.
Whenever I get in less miles than I anticipate, or whenever I don’t meet my monthly goals in general (doesn’t matter what kind of goals), I always tell myself that there’s always next month and not to beat myself up too much, because it becomes self-defeating. If I’m beating myself up so much, it is too easy to give up.
But I do think that when the month is soo bad that all of your goals aren’t met and it looks like the attempt was completely half-hearted or not even there, it is a good idea to go back and try to figure out why. This isn’t the same as making excuses, I don’t think. Making excuses more often than not is just a way to put a bandage over a problem that requires major surgery, especially if you find that your excuses are oft-repeated. Or the “I’ll try harder next time” seems to come out of your month every month–well, that means something’s up.
The evidence is right in front of me, and I’ve been ignoring it. Something is wrong. I hesitate to label what it is, but I do know that I’m frustrated and tired and scared. Micah going in for heart surgery last month really got me thinking. I’ve come face to face with mortality and I don’t like what I see. I’ve had my nose buried in books ever since, reading, trying to figure out the whys and wherefores.
What the hell am I doing with my life? Where am I going? Who do I want to become? And even if I can figure any of that out, how the hell am I supposed to get there when I can barely afford toilet paper?
Micah and I have stories to tell, but our continual technology issues and lack of equipment have silenced our voices thus far film-making wise. That’s hella frustrating. I’ve been unable to complete card and boardgames I wanted to complete because I can’t afford the next steps in the development process. I pretty much haven’t been able to complete anything I ever set out to do these last few years, and it almost always boils down to money.
The only job that I know I can get fairly easily and that pays with benefits may be pointless, because my student loans will gobble up approximately one-third to one half of my entire salary (and yes, that is taking into account the graduated payment plan). And that job means only being home 2-3 days per month. No time with the kids at all. No social life. No being here if my husband needs me for his health problems. Getting a job around here at home would be even worse money-wise, and likely without benefits at all. I can’t stay on forbearance forever, and deferments only last so long.
No, I suppose I didn’t need to get those student loans. I didn’t have to go back to school. I didn’t have to work full time and go to school full time for nearly two years in order to finally finish my education. I could have majored in something that I hated in order to get a job that paid six figures and ate my soul, but at least paid off my student loans. I could have gone the rest of my life without my Bachelor’s Degree, I suppose. But that degree is the only serious accomplishment I’ve ever had, the only thing I’ve ever done that I’ve seriously been proud of with the exception of having my kids. By insisting on finally finishing my degree, I acknowledge I brought this on myself. Pointing that out doesn’t help, though.
So yeah. Call it an existential crisis. Call it frustration. Call it whatever. I’ve felt the tension building the last two or three months or so. But this last month, all of these questions and frustrations have peaked and I’m stumped and tired and I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do with myself. It is really hard to maintain enthusiasm for anything when it feels like your life is falling apart. Christmas, in particular, is always hard for our family. My almost eleven year old still believes in Santa Claus.
I’m always telling myself it will be better next month. Micah’s surgery was a good thing, because it means he will be healthier and re-gain his vitality. That things always get worse before they get better. All those platitudes that the continually optimistic person uses to keep themselves in a happy place.
Poverty sucks. Life sucks.
I’m going to allow myself to wallow for once. At least for a little while. No excuse making. Just wallow. Enjoy the wallowing. No forced smiles, no I’m-happy-dammits.
While I’m wallowing in my crisis, Micah and I are trying to figure out what we can do. I don’t know what that will be. Some big changes may be coming our way. Who knows?
So this month I’m not bothering to post 30 Day Challenges. I’ll probably resume in January, since that’s the time of new year resolutions and new determination. But this month? Nope. Just point me to the mud wallow. Slogging through existential crises is dirty work. It’s time to get dirty.