I hate to admit it, but I've reached the end of my rope. It's thin, frayed, and very, very well worn. It's exceptionally long and has supported me for 43 years. It has many thin sections, many knots and loops (none yet big enough to get around my neck), some glue and duck tape and nearly every color of the rainbow represented. It's stained with tears. I've climbed it, swung on it, done all manner of tricks with it and now I'm dangling at the end wondering exactly what does one do when they've reached the end of their rope?
You'd think I'd have reached the end years ago. Life's events certainly test the strength and resiliency of one's rope. Marriage, a baby, postpartum depression, a miscarriage, twins, the death of a child, divorce and the loss of dear friends and a life turned upside down should've been enough to take me to the end of my rope. Somehow, I managed to climb back on, maybe after swinging for a while at the end, but I inched my way back to a place of security and comfort and confidence. My strength always surprised me.
Desire should be enough to inspire me to climb back up again. I've done it before, surely I can do it again, right? I'm not sure I have the strength now. At least not today. I'm not sure I have the desire. The temptation to let go and fall into whatever lies beneath me is strong at times. What's down there? Under my rope? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps it's the dark abyss, depression and death. I always said I won't rest until I'm dead. I need rest...
Maybe it's a really pretty place with a soft landing. Maybe it's warm and sunny with a lush landscape and a gentle breeze. Maybe there is peace, quiet and joy, perhaps even enlightenment! Maybe there is a world where I don't feel overwhelmed. Where my kids actually LISTEN and are respectful, responsible and accountable. Where I don't have to coordinate the lives of 4 people but only need coordinate mine because they all take responsibility for themselves instead of waiting for me to remind them or tell them outright what to do or to do it for them. Where they ask what they can do for me for a change.
Maybe there is a place where my house is clean, I actually have the time and desire to eat and even make healthy meals for my family. Maybe, in this place, I will even have time for ME. You know, to nurture myself. What would I do? Sleep. Read. Be crafty. Meditate. Pursue metaphysical studies. Reiki more. Exercise, regularly and completely instead of this half-assed bits and pieces inconsistent pattern I have. Finish all the scrap-booking and jewelry projects I started years ago. Organize my crap. Write a book or two. Devote more time to Meghan's Hope. Tend to Meggie's special place the way I want to and should. Further my passion and my dream business. Travel. Experience a low-stress life. Spend time with friends and family at non-party events. Did I mention sleep?
Maybe it's a place where things start and end on time and where there is a respect for a parent's time and commitment to their children and their activities and a shared responsibility for raising and transporting them on all levels. A place where soccer didn't consume all my non-work hours. Where schools didn't have unreasonable expectations of parents. Oh, how wonderful it would be if that place was a place of no stress, where everyone is equally nurtured, supported and respected. Where needs are anticipated and met before having to ask. Where....
Right. I know, crazy. I have been accused of being an idealist. A girl can dream, can't she? It's all I have between me and that abyss right now.
I've tried to create that dream environment. Really, I have. I've failed. Miserably. I don't know what else to do. My kids have every tool at their disposal to foster their independence and responsibility. They don't use them. They don't drive, so I'm responsible for transport. I'm a fool for having expectations because more often than not, they are not met and I'm left scrambling.
I do still need to work full time, so the bottom line is in order for me to not lose my job, I have to pick up the pieces the kids don't. I am a master organizer and multi-tasker and I'm failing there, too, because I'm overwhelmed and I can't manage it alone. I'm forgetting important things. This is not like me. It's making me crazy and frustrated. What choice do I have? I've enlisted all the help I can, it's sparse and inconsistent and unreliable. I still always have to have a back up plan and it's always me. Always.
I don't wanna! I quit. *insert tantrum here* I'm done. At least for now. My solution? I slept an unprecedented 9 hours last night. Escapist? Hell yes. It was either that or completely lose it on my family. As a practical matter, I needed the sleep. Should I have done at least some of the gazillion things on my to do list? Made my kids dinner? Made sure they fed the cats? Yep. Do I care? Not today.
My solution? I'm on strike. Yes. Mom is on strike. It says so on the white board on the fridge. I wish them good luck. I'm not doing a damn thing today to help them or facilitate their success. I'm leaving for work at 8. If they are not up, oh well. No camp for them and hell to pay for missing it. If they don't pack their lunch, they'll be hungry. If they don't have their swimsuit and towel, they won't swim at camp. If they don't pack their soccer stuff, they won't go to soccer. I'm done. D. O. N. E. They can cook, clean, launder their clothes, organize their own lives and find their own transport. Maybe it'll just be for today. Maybe it'll be indefinitely, or at least until they step it up.
Selfish? Yes. I'm not sure what that's like. They seem to like it. Maybe I will, too! I think I'll leave my crap all over the house, not clean my room, expect my clothes to magically appear clean and in my room when I need them and play with my electronic gadgets for hours on end. I'll text all my friends stupid nonsensical stuff. Seems to be all the rage these days. I'll ask them to make me food, to take me places and to remind me to do my stuff. Then I'll keep playing with my electronic gadgets and not do my stuff. Divine, eh?
Not sure that will help my rope any, but it seems desperate times call for desperate measures. Maybe some self-nurturing and absolving myself of responsibility will fix my rope. What do you do with the end of your rope?
Or I could dip the end of my rope in wine and suck on it! Wait, if there is a vat of wine for dipping, I'll just let go and fall into it! Maybe there is chocolate there, too...