Saturday, January 24, 2009

Woe is Me

I'm feeling sorry for myself this weekend. Tuck has been sick with a viral infection. Temperature, fussiness and, of course, breathing problems. We've been giving breathing treatments around the clock, which is exhausting, and then we canceled our birthday dinner for this evening. I just couldn't thrust my sick kid on grandparents, kind as they may be.

On top of all of that, I feel way behind at work. When does a girl catch up? I love a fast pace, but it would be nice to feel like all projects are moving forward. I hope I don't drop any of the balls I'm juggling.

Then, I start to worry. I begin to panic. Fear sets in. I let myself sink into this rut of self-loathing and, against my better judgment, I break out my best china for a pity party. No one is invited, of course. Just me. Exhausted. Mean spirited. Ugly.

It's only when I look outside of my own life that my thoughts start to gain perspective. I see others that are struggling with things I cannot imagine -- extreme poverty, death of a child, cancer, losing a job. It's eye opening. It makes me understand that we all have fears, something that scares us terribly, that makes us want to hide from under the covers.

This poem by Dannye Romine Powell says it all.

Everyone is Afraid of Something
Once I was afraid of ghosts, of the dark,
of climbing down from the highest
limb of the backyard oak. Now I'm afraid

my son will die alone in his apartment.
I'm afraid when I break down the door,
I'll find him among the empties---bloated,
discolored, his face a stranger's face.

My granddaughter is afraid of blood
and spider webs and of messing up.
Also bees. Especially bees. Everyone,
she says, is afraid of something.

Another fear of mine: that it will fall to me
to tell this child her father is dead.

Perhaps I should begin today stringing
her a necklace of bees. When they sting
and welts quilt her face, when her lips
whiten and swell, I'll take her
by the shoulders. Child, listen to me.
One day, you'll see. These stings
Are nothing. Nothing at all.

Feeling sorry for yourself is worth nothing, I've discovered. I still do it, unfortunately. Tonight is a perfect example. I'm feeling better though. I really am. Perhaps getting these feelings out is all I needed. And some sleep. Sleep would be nice, too.

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