(The war between getting a post done and waiting until I can make some sense and do a good job with it is over. The winner is ‘just start writing and hope something good comes out of it’. You’ve been warned.)
It’s been a hard week on the family front. Everyone within these walls is fine and dandy, but there’s a pretty messy situation going down back in the wife’s home town 1340 KM away. Her other sister (not the one mentioned last post) is very quickly alienating the family and forcing them to distance themselves from her and her self-destructive ways. It’s very likely that she’s suffering from mental illness, but she’s in full denial of any problem or wrongdoing on her part. The stress that the rest of the family is dealing with up there is heartbreaking, and being so far away makes us feel very helpless. I can only provide so much comfort to my wife, and the distant situation has left a pall over our week. Tack on the smaller drama of the SIL and Max’s big bump (which is almost healed, thanks for asking). Mix in a hearty dose of money worries and feelings of fiscal inadequacy on my part, and you can see that the atmosphere has not been conducive to weekend fun. Oh, and I have a lingering and infuriating throat infection.
This morning I was at the bottom of this funk, and it threatened to take the rest of the day with it. By mid-afternoon, I realized that nothing good would come from the wife and I both broadcasting sadness and misery, so one of us had to start looking up. Since I have less emotionally invested in the family disaster, I took the role of the optimist, and I chose to have a better attitude. I didn’t start singing about rainbows and sunshine, or offering unrealistic predictions of everything working out. I just tried to be in a good mood. It’s not perfect, but it seems to be helping, and the alternative would be sulking. I won’t lie: the big bowl of Froot Loops helped. And that’s the human survival tactic kicking in again (the optimism, not the cereal). There’s a long lineup of people behind you, generations of ancestors who all experienced life kicking their teeth in at some point, and they all stood back up, brushed themselves off, and found a way to live through it. You can’t wait for optimal conditions to enjoy your life, because you’re just not going to get them.It makes me think of an episode of the Simpsons where Homer and Marge’s romantic life has lost the fiery passion it once held. This is Homer’s response to Marge when she brings the topic up:”Marge, there’s just too much pressure. What with my job, the kids, traffic snarls, political strife at home and abroad. But I promise you, the second all those things go away, we’ll have sex.”
And there were some bright spots in my gloomy rainy weekend. For example, my brother organized a birthday dinner celebration for our mother on Saturday, and it was a nice time with my side of the family. I got to see my wonderful niece and nephew who I adore, and at the end of the night, I had Max and his cousin Riley in my arms as they bombarded me with smootches, and that was pretty nice.