Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Complaining Is A Gift

I've had trouble figuring out what to post this week because I'm trying to stand up under a heavy cloak of grief over a tragedy that happened in my town last week. The tragedy did not happen directly to me but strikes very, very close to home, TOO close to home, for personal reasons and has rocked me and our community to the core. People I know and care about are hurting, deeply. I'm having trouble processing it; I'm grieving and struggling with a spectrum of feelings and I'm especially struggling with fear. So many feelings and fears that I've kept buried in the face of bravery and hope have come to the surface and my emotions are extremely raw right now.

I look at all of the blog post drafts that I have ready to publish but can't bring myself to hit the publish button. They don't "feel" right this week. Not much feels right this week. My emotions are all over the map. Some moments are funny, sometimes I can't keep tears from my eyes. I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm thankful that "it wasn't him," sometimes I can't concentrate, I'm forgetful, I'm pouring drinks a little heavier. Things are either not funny at all or are excessively funny. Sometimes I'm so cold that I feel like I cannot warm up. 

But in the midst of the gripping emotions that I'm feeling, there have been moments of funny, of levity, and of awesomeness, and I want to focus on those. I'm grasping at normalcy right now. It feels right to share these moments of regular life, it feels right to remind myself that life does go on, that people can be awesome, and it especially feels right to mention a little epiphany I had this week:

If I can complain about and be annoyed by stupid little things in life, it means that life isn't falling apart around me. It means that I am not watching my children starving or dying, not burying my husband, not suffering. This may sound warped, but I don't care because this works for me. I've realized that being able to complain or be annoyed is a gift

It is a gift to not be so inundated with tragedy that everything else seems so petty in comparison. So I'm going to take comfort in the petty annoyances of life, take comfort in how they symbolize that I am not buried in an emotional coffin of grief and despair and life is actually pretty good.

Here are a few things that have made me feel normal in the face of horror, and something that was extra special.

On the annoying side:
- Noisemakers suck ass, and yet they are a staple in pretty much every gift bag at every birthday party. We went to my friend's daughter's party last weekend and when my sons pulled noisemakers out of the gift bags she made for them, I could have cut her. Especially when she was cackling in the background while I made sarcastic comments about them. But it's okay. Two can play that game. Yes, M., that's a direct threat. *wink*

- I took Connor and Brandon to the store, and Connor accidentally knocked 47 items off of a shelf, and while we were picking them up, Brandon was flipping out about not being let out of the stroller and was screaming and flailing, nearly kicking the people who were walking by him. As my blood pressure reached dangerous heights, I caught sight of these because they must have been screaming my name. I nearly downed a bottle of them right there in the aisle:

On the good side:
- The boys folded and put away an entire load of their laundry. There will be more of this happening:

- And the very best thing of all was when I collected my mail and found a surprise from Julie at I Like Beer and Babies. She had asked for my address a few weeks back, and I figured it was so she could stalk me before we go to Mexico together or something, but it actually was so she could send me this gift:

It's a necklace and it cracked me up and I'm really touched. It was a very bright spot in the midst of a devastating week, and I can't wait to wear it in Mexico while we're draining them of their alcohol supply. Booze dispensers IN OUR ROOM? OH YES. By the way, if you never hear from either of us again after April 26th, it's because we died in some alcohol-related incident or got thrown into a Mexican prison and are performing sex acts with a donkey in some sordid attempt to be granted bail.

Also on the plus side, my mom arrives in town today so we have a live-in nanny for almost two weeks, AND Nate and I are going to get away for a night next week. Fuck and yes. We both really need a helping hand right now.

Ta-ta for now, thanks for being here.

Join in the fun on Facebook and Twitter!


  1. I love how you transitioned straight from donkey sex to your mom. That is why I love you, friend. Because you are so classy.

  2. Re:Mexican prison. Just take some USD and you'll be fine to bribe your way out of it. Ask my husband. He had to spring me from handcuffs after I got pulled over by the police while riding a scooter for a) speeding b) turning left while in a left lane (you need to be in the right to turn left - I don't know, it's fucked up), c) going through a red light, d) failing to stop (I assumed they were lighting up some criminals, not little old me and carried on my merry way. For 2 miles).

    On second thought, it's good I'm not coming on vacay with you, right?

    1. There will be actual bottles of liquor mounted to the wall at our disposal. It ROCKS!

    2. Two miles... wow. Yeah, I'd venture to say it's a good thing you'll not be along! ;-)

  3. I remember when Rudy G. went on SNL with 9-11 rescue workers and deadpanned about being funny, "why start now?"

    I don't have any great love for that guy, nor is he all that funny...but I appreciated the sentiment that humor is a (worthwhile) coping mechanism, and that everyone deals with tragedy in their own way.

    1. Very true, Neal! I also remember how the show "Friends" was contemplating not airing right after 9-11 out of respect, but decided to because they recognized that people needed humor and needed a sense of normalcy to return, and the days after were their highest ratings or something like that.

  4. Love how you keep it real with emotions and yet manage to make me laugh.

  5. This went straight to my head & heart. Thanks for sharing. My family would always say some shit like "when you are feeling bad, just think of everyone else that has it worse." It doesn't resonate with me like realizing annoyances and complaining are really gifts does. Love to you, your family & all of Santa Cruz right now!


I love comments! And feel free to share any post you like or if you know someone who would like it, too!