Friday, July 12, 2013
Falling Down Around Me
Where to begin?
This last month has been...expensive.
Within the span of just a few days, I had a leak in my basement (my office to be exact) courtesy of my sprinkler system, my dishwasher backed-up and ruined my hardwood floors, and my kitchen faucet broke - not just broke, but shot up into the air creating a geyser in my kitchen. Seriously...if I had been standing just a few inches closer to what I was cleaning, you would be reading a blog about a woman with no nose, thanks to the trajectory of a heavy, goose-neck fixture. Then my daughter told me that she saw two bees coming out of a heating vent in our living room, causing me to wonder if the Apocalypse was actually starting in my little house in the 'burbs.
Yes. I had a complete breakdown in the middle of all of that. And things have calmed down since then, so there is no reason to start preparing for the end of the world.
Turns out that the bees had taken up residence in my house because the kids kept leaving the backdoor open. The kitchen faucet has been fixed (after a week of waiting for a plumber who never showed up). The rest will get taken care of at some point, but as we all know, when you start on one project it has a tendency to domino until one broken toilet paper holder has caused you to repaint your entire house. So I'm taking the rest one step at a time.
What really irritates me about the whole thing is how determined I was to make this summer a good one. Last year, building up to the 5th anniversary of my husband's death, my mind and my body seemed to just fall apart and the result was the worst summer I can remember (other than the one when he actually died, of course).
So when June rolled around this year, I knew that things had the potential to be difficult. But I was determined not to let it completely take over my summer. I told myself from the beginning that I would forgive myself little breakdowns here and there if that's what it took to make it through. But I also made a conscious decision not to let the past ruin my summer with the kids, as I felt it had last year.
Unfortunately, Fate had other plans.
I really think that, when our cluster of dates comes around, we should get a pass on bad things happening. There should be someone or something out there powerful enough to write a note that says, "Please excuse Catherine from any home, auto, or health issues during the months of June and July. In August you can hit her with the whole she-bang, but until then, please do not disturb her."
Otherwise, it's quite possible that I could end up wailing to my parents at 3:00 in the morning (after they have helped me move all of the furniture in my basement and pulled up all of my carpet) about how life isn't fair, I want my husband back, and I'm ready to set fire to my house.
Yes, that did actually happen.
For a split second yesterday, I allowed myself to be a little more up-beat and thought to myself, "Surely the worst must be over." And as that thought crossed my mind, I just about knocked myself unconscious on my soap holder in the shower while I was shaving my legs. So, I've decided that it's okay to be cautiously optimistic. But I still need to watch my back.
So, I have a new plan for next year. I'm going to plan a breakdown for the beginning of June...maybe before the kids get out of school so it won't get in the way of our summer. Whatever those forces are will see it and say, "Okay. She's a mess. Let's move on to that woman in Nebraska who told herself this morning that she can take care of that entire farm by herself. We can screw her up good."
Bad things will skip me next year because I will have reassured them earlier in the summer that I am still a disaster, so they don't need to do anything to actually make me one. Then I will be able to spend the rest of the summer by the pool, reading trashy novels, and drinking smoothies.
Think it will work?
Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of www.theWiddahood.com and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014). She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.