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Friday, January 28, 2011

Lost in Space

Last week I had a long conversation with an old friend, during which I confessed that I've been a little out of touch these days.

"I'm not sure where I've been, lately.  Just lost. Mentally lost in space."

I've been bored. Restless. Snowed in. Tired. And did I mention...bored?

"You've just been so...itchy," the Husband said a couple weeks ago. Which is quite an interesting word choice because we celebrated our seven-year anniversary last August. Could this be the Seven-Year Itch? I'm pretty certain my restlessness doesn't have anything to do with my marriage.

Before I track down a DVD of the Marilyn Monroe film for research...maybe I should revisit Betty Friedan's classic, The Feminine Mystic, in which she discusses the "problem without a name," a sense of dissatisfaction experienced by American housewives in the 1960s.

Is my current state at all similar to that of housewives 50 years ago? Educated women spending their days at home with dirty dishes, dirty diapers, and dirty laundry? Isn't it different for us now, after the Second Feminist Wave, now that Dads are more involved, now that we have the Internet, Facebook, and cable TV?

Anytime I mention my boredom to another at-home mom, I am invited to another play-date. And while I'm so grateful for their generosity, for their offering of time and company (really I am), I think the last thing I need is another play-date.

But what do I need? That is what I don't know.

So what do you think? Is this just the winter blues? Is it time for me to go back to work? Or, is it time for another baby?  Maybe I should just blog more, and whine less.

Truth be told, I am bummed about a few things: Keith Olbermann's split from MSNBC last week was a bit disconcerting, especially considering the fact that I was not tuned in last Friday night and didn't even get a chance to witness the live goodbye. I have been a Countdown viewer for nearly three years, and now, with little warning, it airs no more.

While I'm on the topic of politics, I've got to admit I continue to be bummed that during this time when our nation faces such huge problems, when so much is at stake...I live in a state where both Senators seem more interested in the agenda of their political parties (GOP and TEA) than the welfare of Kentuckians. Seriously, I never hear either of them say anything to the national media about what they intend to do for Kentucky. It's all "Tea Party" this and "ruin Obama" that. McConnell is scheduled for Meet the Press this Sunday, and I intend to tune in and see if he has anything -- anything at all -- to say about Kentucky, or if it'll be more of his grumpy talk about ensuring that Obama doesn't get a second term.

Like any good wife, I can also "blame" the Husband for bumming me out. I've got two beefs with him right now. First, a few weeks before Christmas, anticipating the flood of new toys, the Husband turned our dining room into a playroom. It is magic, pure magic, to have the Bear gated in there, flipping through her books while I'm working nearby. But it is also devastating (just a little), because my dining room is now a friggin' playroom!!! It's as if we have admitted defeat. We have surrendered, and the toys won...the kid stuff won!

My second beef with the Husband is that he put us on a money diet. It is just what we need after the gluttony of the holidays; it is just what we need to pay for college (ours first, then the Bear's) and reach some other financial goals. Generally speaking, I enjoy a little belt-tightening and penny-pinching, and I am well aware that people all around me are struggling financially in ways that we have never struggled. But when your personal allowance is slashed by tend to feel a bit devastated (just a little). And so, if teasing the Husband, (say, calling him the Rand Paul of the household) helps ease that devastation....Well, it does.

All in all, I love my life. I love, love, love the Husband and I love, love, love the Bear. My gut just keeps filling up with a mix of euphoria and dread, with this sense that there is so much to do and say...and yet, I'm not acting on it because I'm not sure what it is I am supposed to do or say...

Any ideas?



  1. Women's book club. With wine and/or tea. At least once a month. Some friends started a group a couple years ago...many of them have small children to escape...I have never laughed so hard or so long as I do with these women. We'll read anything, from "The Life of Pi" and "The Year of Magical Thinking" to "Twilight." We've decided to read a trashy Amish novel this summer if we can find the right one.

    I just read in the New Yorker (so it must be true, right?) that joining a club that meets once a month increases your happiness as much as doubling your income. Which, if you do the math, doesn't quite make up for the allowance slash, but gets it back up to 66%! :)

    One of my friends is part of another women's "book" club that has, for many years, skipped the books and goes only with wine.

  2. This winter has been awful. Seems like everybody is down in the dumps. I think the book club is a great idea, and who better to organize one than our neighborhood librarian!

  3. Kirsten, it is so nice to hear from you! Great suggestion! I have always wanted to be in a book club...Please, please, please share the trashy Amish novel title with us!

    Wow! I have trouble believing in that stat from the New Yorker. But...I think if your income doubles (and this has only happened to me once...when the Husband started working after law school), it might make you feel happier in the beginning, but that usually fades as you adjust to the increase. Now a monthly date with friends....that is a gift that keeps on giving...every month! Okay, so I guess I can believe the New Yorker stat!

    Laura...I didn't realize everybody else had the winter blahs....good to know I'm not alone!

  4. Oh, a neighborhood book club! I LOVE that idea!!! and, by the way, we are pretty blah over here too.