Monday, August 30, 2010
Get up off the couch, Tuttle! Your kids are playing Zingo together on the floor. They're not fighting and neither of them has smacked the other yet. There are dishes to be done and a living room to be picked up. Tomorrow's lunch to be packed, the laundry to be rotated. They need baths, you sent them to school today smelling like the woods, remember? Smelling like wild animals, if you're going to be honest. Isn't honesty what you're all about? Isn't your dream to stand for truth, like Tori Amos? You sent your kids to school smelling like camp smoke and matted fur. That dutch apple-scented hair detangler you sprayed in their hair made no difference. You're not fooling anybody.
You have things you need to do. You're supposed to volunteer at two schools now. There are fundraisers already, coupon books to be sold. You wanted to start volunteering for a non-profit this year so that by next year you could be working for one. So that you can afford that excellent education for your daughters next year, because you can't count on any scholarships coming through again, remember? You wanted to launch your freelance writing career. You were going to polish up some blog posts, work up some mock reviews, send out queries to content editors. Send out a resume offering to do anything from make copies to write blog posts for your non-profits of choice.
But you decided to let that go, didn't you? Remind yourself why again so that you don't feel guilty: some little voice in you kept clearing its throat and "hem hem"ing, like Dolores Umbridge at her worst. Something quietly insisted you finish your book first, before you go exploring the non-profit or the freelance thing. You decided to listen, remember? Because Tuttle: what else have you got? You are running on instinct here. You are feeding on raw hope. You believe in little voices. That and omens are your new thing. You didn't know you were on the right track until you started to veer off it. Be glad you didn't veer any farther.
Because maybe something will come of it, and maybe something won't. Maybe your spirit will benefit from finishing it, maybe your pride and your bank account won't. That's fine. Remember what matters more, Tuttle?
Your kids have stopped playing Zingo. They've moved on to the Wii. They're half-naked, dirty-faced, changeling babies. What kind of mother are you? They're eating candy again. They ate apple sauce and bananas and ham and croissant sandwiches for dinner. Call it smorgasbord if you want. Remember again: Still not fooling anybody.
Don't worry, Tuttle. It's better this way. Better if no one is fooled. Try this: Sleep a little more. Worry a lot less. Eat more salmon and spinach, blueberries and dark chocolate. Make time for ritual. Read to your kids. Lie down with a book. Listen to your spirit. Listen to your gut, too. (Especially when it tells you to lay off the ice cream). Forgive yourself. Waste no time on guilt. Believe in the bright side. Be thankful. Remember you are cherished because of who you are. Not for what you do.
Just a gentle reminder, Tuttle.
Who are we kidding? This is a note from your own underground. You don't do gentle.
Tuttle, those are orders.
I am Vesuvius and I edited a pimple out of that photo.