Posted by: mindyourknitting | January 22, 2010

I got nothin’ (to complain about)

I’ve been writing half-posts all week, and inevitably they fizzle out because I can’t really find a point to them.  It’s been pretty much business as usual around here, with the marked addition of a head cold that has left me feeling like I have a large foreign object permanently lodged behind my nose.  I’m pretty sure that this cold is a direct result of the hours I’ve been logging on my thesis in addition to the time I spend on, oh, the rest of my life.  The proverbial candle has been burned down to a bare nubbin.  I’m a bit better today, after taking two sick days off work (which I don’t think I’ve ever done before, oh the guilt), but when I went in to work this morning I promptly got sent home.  There was some muttering about the “Angel of Death,” and “contagion,” and “take a hint.”  And you would think that with all this leisure time this week, I would have had time to write something.  Oh as if.  You don’t want to know the list of household chores I did on my first sick day, before 10am – somebody’s mama has forgotten how to chill out.  I should have been laying on the couch watching crappy daytime tv, or reading a book, drinking hot chocolate, and generally pampering myself because I am never at home by myself (that’s right, my kid was scheduled to go to my mom’s those days, and I let her go! And felt totally guilty and picked her up early…isn’t it nice that mom guilt goes both ways?), and I was legitimately, miserably sick, but instead I did household chores.  I even BAKED.  And I took Abigail to her 18-month appointment (22 lbs 15oz!), and never asked about the small animal lodged in my head.  And I have remained sick, fully losing my voice tonight  *and there was rejoicing in the streets…*  But there’s a lesson here, no?

So over the last few days I’ve sat down often to write a post complaining about my cold, or the fact that January has been less than kind to us  – running tally: broken furnace; broken cat; paying tuition (okay I knew that one was coming, but it still sucks); the family member who fought breast cancer last year now has to have heart surgery; head cold; Abigail had ringworm AGAIN (even writing that makes me picture my kid as a dirty street urchin – “please suh, can I have some moh?” – which she totally IS NOT) and Erik fell down the stairs this morning, holding our daughter, by tripping over a cat.  But when I provided my husband with a version of this list tonight at dinner, in a half-joking kind of way, he came back with the following list: he got a promotion; Abigail is finally getting her third tooth after months and months; work is going well and I’m making progress on my thesis.  And Erik and Abigail survived the tumble down the stairs pretty much unscathed except for Erik’s bruised butt, although Stella  is lucky not to be homeless at this point.  Pretty good list.

And really, the reason I couldn’t bring myself to write a post that was essentially one long gripe about inconsequential things is because of what I’ve seen unfolding in the news since the earthquake in Haiti just ten short days ago.  In the face of that devastation, that human suffering, how can I complain about anything?  I have a home, my family is safe, and I am very lucky in that.  My thoughts are with the people of Haiti, who have lost so much, but, as with most people, my thoughts are also closer to home.  My everyday complaints should wither on my lips, because really, what do I have to complain about?



  1. Finally, out of the shadows.

    T – I agreed, agreed, agreed with every word of your post. There have been several events recently that have included tragedy for others and that have me thanking… what? my lucky stars? a higher power? the fact that I always try to stay on top of the laundry? It is quite amazing the tally sheets I can invent in my head. The score sheets that I hope somehow, someway will prove that I have been good and that I deserve m life. But each of these other people was good, great even – at the least, better in my mind than me. So it seems to me, that perhaps my score sheets don’t work. I need to understand that unexpected diagnoses, friends who’ve passed away, disasters in other countries aren’t about staying on the good side of life or ticking the right boxes. But if I decide to believe that, then I have to really give up any and all control I have in my (slightly compulsive?) brain. And that is scary. Just like life feels right now.

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