I was going to post, but instead I will just watch another episode of Nashville

I try to visit the blog once a week whether I write something or not, sort of like how I approach the gym, just get my body there and see what happens.  Sometimes I work out and sometimes I just walk on the treadmill for 15 minutes reading a magazine.

I had lofty hopes of crafty a witty blog post about violence and videogames or rather violent videogames, but the kitchen looks like a tornado went through it and I really want to find out what happens next on Nashville.


a poem for today 12/14/12

I conceived of this post several days ago while reading another blog post about the ethics of international adoption.  It was meant to be a long post detailing power structures in place in the world that make something that should be a welcome event (a single parent or couple raising a baby that is not for whatever reason able to be taken care of by its biological parents) is instead an intricacy of corruption and exploit.

At the end of the post a person posted the poem below.  When I read it that day it helped in much the same way it did today.  It is both a celebration of the life we do have and a reminder that it could have been and will be different from what we have now and that it is in fact different for others today.  I take comfort in its submission to the unlikely-ness of us, the uncertainty of it all and yet for now, and only for now, we are alive together.

Alive Together
LIsel Mueller
Speaking of marvels, I am alive
together with you, when I might have been
alive with anyone under the sun,
when I might have been Abelard’s woman
or the whore of a Renaissance pope
or a peasant wife with not enough food
and not enough love, with my children
dead of the plague. I might have slept
in an alcove next to the man
with the golden nose, who poked it
into the business of stars,
or sewn a starry flag
for a general with wooden teeth.
I might have been the exemplary Pocahontas
or a woman without a name
weeping in Master’s bed
for my husband, exchanged for a mule,
my daughter, lost in a drunken bet.
I might have been stretched on a totem pole
to appease a vindictive god
or left, a useless girl-child,
to die on a cliff. I like to think
I might have been Mary Shelley
in love with a wrongheaded angel,
or Mary’s friend. I might have been you.
This poem is endless, the odds against us are endless,
our chances of being alive together
statistically nonexistent;
still we have made it, alive in a time
when rationalists in square hats
and hatless Jehovah’s Witnesses
agree it is almost over,
alive with our lively children
who — but for endless ifs
might have missed out on being alive
together with marvels and follies
and longings and lies and wishes
and error and humor and mercy
and journeys and voices and faces
and colors and summers and mornings
and knowledge and tears and chance.

Pick me up, chill me out

Caffeine in the morning, alcohol in the evening. It is a simple regimen that gets many (most?) people through life. For parents, it makes even more sense. Perk up in the morning after months/years of sleep deprivation. Mellow out at night after a long day of multiple, competing responsibilities. A cup of coffee, a glass of wine — they make a day doable. But lately, now that I need them most, I find myself physically unable to take advantage of them.

I have always been sensitive to caffeine and avoided it even through college. The appeal never outweighed the bowel bedlam, tidal waves of anxiety, and crash that often ended in tears. But 15 months in to motherhood, working full-time and waking before 6, it feels impossible to get started without it. My intake has crept up, from green tea, to two English breakfasts, to half-caff, to a single espresso, to a small coffee, and I’m now pondering the large. I have noted a linear correlation between the number of zits on my face and amount of caffeine I drink. The stomach acid, nervousness, and crying are getting worse, not better. But I need it.

Then there’s my friend alcohol. I was the person who announced her pregnancy to friends by saying, “No beer for me tonight.” A half bottle of Napa cab used to be called Tuesday. And let’s not forget that this blog is named after a cocktail. Now, wow. I feel it the next day if I have had one drink. Uno. Beyond one, it’s a full-on hangover, even if I never felt tipsy. I know I’m not in my twenties anymore, but can’t a momma enjoy a second margie without paying dearly?

I guess I am in the denial, anger, bargaining, and depression stages of grieving the loss of these substance in my life. (Is there a whining stage?) I keep caffeinating and drinking though I know it makes me feel worse instead of better. I feel it’s “unfair” that my body can’t handle these things, even in such small amounts. I feel I “deserve” to have them, and I’m pissed that other people can. I don’t want to let them go, my comforts, my crutches, especially at this stressful juncture of adulthood.

My husband jokes that if I really “work at it,” I can make my comeback, push through the pain to a place where self-medicating feels good again. But we both know that acceptance of my limitations will be the better route. I’m rolling my eyes and making gagging/vomit sounds as I type this, but I’m betting I’ll find new pleasures to replace these old comforts, snuggles and baby smiles my new drugs of choice. (Bleeeeeehhhhhhhrrrgh.)

Post script: off the coff for a week now and feeling much better, thanks.