Monday, November 9, 2009

I am not a priority

Last night, at 3 in the morning, I heard someone up. Turning on lights, faucets, flushing the toilet. And then, Iz appeared. While Jack popping in for a middle of the night visit is a common occurrence, I can't think of the last time, or any time at all really, when Iz showed up and said she needed Jon. Jon? I asked what was going on and she answered, "Joe's out." Joe, as in our hamster. The hamster that I gave in to after much begging and sobbing. The caveat was that I would have nothing to do with his care. And that if he ever escaped (I'm a screaming on chairs if there are mice in the vicinity person), he was out. But, he's escaped many times. After much experience, Iz is now a hamster whisperer and she and Jon got him back into his smelly cage. Smelly, because, yet again, a weekend went by when no one bothered to take apart his habitrail and clean it. That was supposed to be a weekly project—it's now down to every other weekend but realistically it's 2 weeks plus by the time they get around to doing it. With constant reminders from me. But that's another story.

I was up at 3 because I couldn't turn off the dreadful week I was about to head into. I now apparently have let go of all hope and positivism and my dark side is running rampant. FLOW goes on sale tomorrow (that note for the one person out there not already aware of the fact). This should be a week of celebrating, a week of reveling in this HUGE accomplishment but instead, every day is filled with extra juggling, organizational challenges, and more for me to stress about. Tomorrow: on sale day. Knowing I'm having trouble taking a deep breath at the moment, my shoulders twisted into painful-to-the-touch knots, unable to eat most of the time, I thought a massage at my favorite spa, with my friend Heather would be the perfect thing to do. As I sat down to schedule, I realized Jack gets out at 11:30 for parent/teacher conference day. I figured out a playdate for him, until 2. Then I'll have him until his conference at 5 and a PTA meeting for Iz, crosstown at 6. Wednesday? No school. I have 2 kids at home which means I won't get anything done except mediate, chauffeur back and forth from play dates and mostly likely lose my temper. Thursday? Jon heads off for a business trip. It's close to where his sister lives, in Ohio, so he'd planned to stay a couple of extra days to visit. That means I'm a single parent until Sunday. While he's watching his niece perform in a local play, I'll be sleep-deprived (I can't sleep when he's not here), and frazzled to the point of breakdown. Projection? Absolutely. I excel at that.

We had gone to bed early, trying to catch up after a couple of too late nights, but as I lay there it hit me. This, aside from giving birth, was the biggest event I'd ever been through. As I ranted and raved before we went to sleep about him being away exactly when I need him here most, he said that since none of my other book releases were a big deal, he didn't think this one would be either. Shit—if not now, when do I ever come first? That was the final straw. There was no way I could sleep. I realized then that, yet again, I'm in this by myself. That this huge accomplishment for me is a not a game-changer for anyone else. My expectations of pomp and circumstance are a pipe dream. If anyone's tooting horns, it's me. And that my current level of stress and angst will only make my regular life worse. This morning I was already brutally ripped into by Jack, who's stance is that my focus on FLOW makes me the WORST MOTHER IN THE WORLD. Last night, as I stole an hour of much needed solitude getting a pedicure, I received my first ever "I hate you" text. The sender will remain nameless but let's just say tween drama figured in.

My stomach is in knots. My hair is waving uncontrollably. I feel exceedingly fat but while not being able to eat anything. I crave my regular schedule, but there's not a day for the next week when things will just be normal. Right now I have to be super human when all I feel capable of is a dramatic crash and burn. But, I can't do that. Who would do the laundry?

Day 37 is feeling really sorry for myself.


Word Geek said...

it's just the Pre Menstrualbook Syndrome kicking in. Have some evening primrose. And a large brandy.

Jeremy said...

Well, regardless of what anyone else thinks, you have a whole community of people out here (blogosphere, FB, Twitter) who know that FLOW is a huge accomplishment, a monumental feat, something to be extremely proud of. We are overjoyed for you.

That may not make tween drama or hamster-search-and-rescue missions any easier to deal with, but hopefully it is at least a small, brightly shining light.

Joy said...

Elissa - Bravo to you for saying what wives and mothers everywhere feel. While I own my own business and do a great job serving clients - it is me who is back-burnered while the hubs puts himself first. Imagine my shock when, last week, while down with the flu, as I started to come out of it he took some extra time to help me. That shock was followed with the desire to scream at him "Where were you when I was REALLY sick?" and "Don't think this gets you off the hook for another time!"

I know where you are right now and it's a dark place. While I have not yet had a national book release, I organized and had to pull of e big fundraiser locally - not for a client, where I could hide behind the name of a company, but for my own project. Where failure would have my name written all over it. And while I had help, that night, as I was rushing into Wal Mart to buy cups in a beaded cocktail dress because no one else could trouble themselves to do it I muttered under my breath the entire time about feeling like shoveling the ocean back with a teaspoon.

My event was a success, just like FLOW's arrival into the world will be. You've worked hard, waited patiently and most of all, put something out there that people need and want. Success may not feel present immediately, but just you wait, girl!

jane said...

You should line up friends you love for Friday and Saturday night and play apples to apples or left right center or watch some movies..the kids can join in or not...haven't gotten the I hate you message yet but sure it is coming.

I will be in the city with my kids on wed. I think we may go see Astro boy with Kathy Hardy and her kids- Not sure my 12 year old wants to see it but she is going. let me know if you are up for a meet and greet at the movies! Jane

Elissa Stein said...

PMBS. That's working for me.