Jan 03 2007

the obligatory new year stuff

Published by at 10:50 pm under amy's head,daily,likes & irks

hi there 2007! buh-bye 2006.

i look back on the old year as a good one. personally, i took a lot of really good healthy steps.

i definitely have some demons that i battle from time to time. it’s hard to even explain what gets me down. when i’m in an ok place, i don’t mind james disapearing downstairs to play World of Warcraft. Not even a whit. However, when I’m not, I want to throw his computer and that game into a big long pit with big firey spikes sticking up all menacing at the bottom. I want to gouge out his eyes with shrimp forks for leaving my side, but then when he does stay with me, i glower and pout and make life miserable.

When I’m in a funk, it is because I don’t like who I am, or how I am perceived (or rather, how I imagine others are perceiving me) or that these titles that are tagged on to me don’t feel at all like who i am.. (mother.. wife.. woman, working mom, responsible adult..). The things that I love and hold most dear are the very things that turn into shackles that bite into my skin as I rail against them. Somehow these things are the things, the “reasons” that I am unhappy. Somehow in my head things like having children living in surburbia equates to me being a boring surbuban house frau, or it equates to me being weird and strange and different from my neighborhood friends who seem to have it together, more together than I, which in turn makes me feel like a cat wearing a dog costume in a world with no cats.

I realize I’m rambling. I realize I’m making no sense. And it really makes no sense when I get all in a funk, and try to explain to my husband who just wants to do something, ANYTHING, to help me feel better. And I just can’t put it into words, that feeling of inadequacy, the sinking pit of dhoom that won’t give me up.

I’m rambling because I just have such a hard time expressing the dark places my brain sometimes puts me in, especially when I haven’t been there for a while, which I’m glad to say, I haven’t.

Why haven’t I? This is what I’m reflecting on. I think it’s because of something that I always knew I was supposed to do. Everyone knows that you have to take time for yourself. We’ve all read it and been preached at about it, but do you actually DO it? New parents especially are always told that you have to take some time for yourself, PLAN OUT time to spend together as a couple, blah blah blah. New moms, be sure to treat yourself to a nice luxorious bubble bath, take care of yourself, blah blah blah. I think the big steps I’ve taken in the latter half of this year have been taking care of myself. My inner self.

I love reading crafty blogs and seeing the creative awesomeness that comes out of these bloggers heads. I’ve recently disregarded any self deprecation and have started doing it myself to the extent that I have even decided to cater to this hobby a bit and set up my own table where my sewing machine and supplies live. I didn’t worry about the cost (which was dumb, because ikea is cheap) and the weirdness of making my front room into a craft room (it didn’t have anything in there anyway, so hello! good use of space!) and just went with it so that I could have some space to work when the mood struck and not have to be constantly moving my shit on and off the kitchen table. It feels good to “own” this. I may still be a sucky beginner, but I LIKE to sew and make things. I think I never really liked the thought of what this hobby would do to other people’s perceptions of me. Which is pretty stupid, because I LOVE and ADMIRE the crafty people I come across. It was just some part of me denying that I could/should do it.

I wanted to become a better photographer and kind of strong-armed james into getting a new camera. I have tried to carry it with me as much as possible and taken a photo safari class specific to my camera and while I wouldn’t say i’m fantastic, I am happy exploring this side of my artistic self as well.

This one is kind of dumb, but I’ve given up any weird notions I had about my hair and am back to using it as an ever-changing palette that I can alter as I want and use to show the world that I may be a suburban mom, but I’m not afraid to mix things up a bit (more on my further attempts at blonde-ness later). I’m no longer wondering or caring what others will think. It’s hair for heaven’s sake. it grows back.

I really didn’t care and just up and WENT to an indigo girls concert by myself.

I’ve had so much fun planting and growing things in my garden, despite my lack of knowledge or experience.

It’s like I’ve been lost. It’s like I had forgotten things that I loved, or the old things I loved didn’t have any appeal for me and nothing had taken it’s place and it left me all empty and hollow inside. I had some online addictions for many many years (ahem. met james online, so it was good for something, thanks) but after i left them behind, i never replaced them with anything else.

Honestly, now that you’ve read this, it makes me sound like the pre-Amy was a martyr mom who catered to everyone else’s whims and wants, and this just IS NOT true. Anyone who knows me can say that I am a fairly outspoken gal who does what she wants and has no qualms with taking time for herself. What I am trying to point out is that I didn’t really know want I wanted, I didn’t really feel as if I had a real purpose, just FOR ME. I was always looking at the things other people loved to do and thought, “how cool for them,” but really had nothing for myself. I think I really did lose a part of myself in becoming a mom, just being home with other small people who need your constant care and supervision can do that to a person, and in the last 4-6 months, I think I’ve found myself again.

And so for 2007, I resolve to carry on. Now that I’ve found her (ahem. I found myself, that’s who the “her” is, stay with me!), I’m not letting her go. More creativity in 2007, and hopefully in more ways that I wish I had the time and nerve to do, like:

finding a choir or chorale to sing with/in (a vocal jazz ensemble would be soooooooooo awesome)
jazz piano lessons (this might fall under “too much effort required” as i’d have to practice and shit)
sewing classes
knitting classes and groups
more crocheting
painting would be fun. i used to paint quite a bit
learning more about my camera/photography
more crafty stuff with my kids
more READING READING READING
maybe finally do the Artists’ Way for real (shut up linda! I KNOW I KNOW!)

I used to read all the time. I used to carry a book with me everywhere and read while I was walking. when I was little, i would read from my bed by the light of the hall (hello ruined eyesight) until my mom turned it off, and then i’d read by a flashlight under the covers. i definitely need to get reading back into my life. how in the crap it ever left my life (oh yeah, babies. that’s not true though. i got a lot of reading done during nursing time) i’m not sure, but it’s time to bring it back.

so there you go. i’ve been mulling all of this over for the past month or so, and it’s good to get it out there. What about you? Any new years resolutions? What do you do that is just for YOU?

happy new year to you, and may you take good care of your inner self :)

-amy

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “the obligatory new year stuff”

  1. Chrison 05 Jan 2007 at 11:33 am

    Take care of yourself too! I wish you a successful 2007!

  2. Lindaon 06 Jan 2007 at 2:31 am

    “Shut up”?? I didn’t even say anything! Yet. ha. And p.s. MS. Cameron has a NEW BOOK out, about which I am all kinds of excited! It’s called Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance. It’s another step along the artist’s path. But you have to finish the initial Artist’s Way first, OK? Then do her second book. Then get to this one. OK, now I’ll shut up. xoxo