Christmas & Dishes

I’m sitting at my dining room table currently, slighty distracted by the mess which is our home.

It’s a lived in mess, but it’s a mess none-the-less.

Taking down the sewing stuff helped tons, but the buffet still has the remnants of Christmas dishes (yes, I have them) on it.

In the corner where our tree was, stands the boxes ready to be packed into our storage unit in the basement.

The kitchen has clean dishes in the drying rack and dishes ready to be washed in the sink.  Our dining table has decorations for the windows sitting on it, along with books that we received today as gifts.

It’s a mess, but it’s home.

I’m not perfect by any means. Actually, I walked into the apartment from a coffee date this afternoon and was fairly perturbed that the husband was hanging out in his “gaming chair” playing video games and hadn’t touched the few dishes out or the Christmas decorations, which he was supposed to do today.

But, I take a deep breath and I think, “Okay. That’s okay.”

It is and it isn’t. I can tell you, dear internets, that the most common disagreement in our home is that my mister doesn’t do his fair share, in my eyes.

He cooks amazing dinners, which means I don’t have to. If it were me, I would probably eat grilled cheese, pimento on celery, and maybe a salad on occasion. Or Chipotle. However, for example, while creating* dinner last night, he used:

  • three plastics bowls 
  • two baking pans — a pie pan and a baking sheet
  • four knives 
  • a cast iron pan
  • two cutting boards.

Not to mention the silverware we used, the cups with water sporadically around the house, and the dishes we ate from.

So, I walk in and sigh and shrug him off when he comes to hug me because I’m frustrated.

And, when I’m honest, he totally gets the short end of that stick, whether it’s frustration with him or with the world in general, and typically it’s both. But, I don’t really know how to fix it. I want a clean house. I want dishes put away and Christmas decorations out of sight, since we took them down over a week ago.

That’s me.

And yet, I don’t have time to do it.

But I’m tired of throwing the cutting words out. For example, when he was trying to pour out something in the sink so that I could wash it, I threw out: “If you wanted to do the dishes, you should have done them while I was gone.”

Oh, that’s lovely. And sure to keep our marriage stable and strong.

There is true feeling in those words.

I’m often met with a hurtful gaze and the words hang in the air, imaginary words like, “You should just tell me to do it.” But, love, I did tell you. I asked you to. And it didn’t get done. So, yes, I’m frustrated.

So, what’s a girl to do?

*He really does create food. I promise.

#reverb10 — Day 21

Today’s #reverb10 is kind of a cool one.

They asked us to write about where we see ourselves in 5 years from today.  However, I answer that question on a nearly daily basis (hazards of being in graduate school).  The flip side to that question was write a letter to yourself 10 years ago.  Most bloggers (well, the ones I read) are in their late twenties and early thirties. However, I am not. Ten years ago, I was 13 and I was headed out of and toward some pretty traumatic stuff, so I decided to write that letter. 

Dear 13 year old me:

Did you know that you’re beautiful? You really truly are and you will appreciate your beauty more once you turn 23 and look back at all those photos that you hate having taken. You have a lot going on for you right now.  You’re at the end of the middle of your 7th grade year and you are totally lost and hurting and confused and scared.  I know, I remember. And you’re not taking care of yourself.  You’ve also made some fairly shady friends in that big world of yours and that’s going to bite you in the butt. But, for now, they’re loving you and celebrating you and making you feel wonderful, and I’m glad you feel that way.  You don’t get to feel that way often enough.

But, darling, I wish you would tell your truth.  That’s what is eating you alive and what is making life really hard for you. I know it’s scary but I think it might help you.  I understand why you don’t, I know that the thought of what has happened is just too much to bear and lying about everything makes things feel better.  And it will, for a little while.  It’s how you’re coping right now, and that’s okay.  Life is tough and sometimes it gets better and sometimes it doesn’t.  But, I want you to know you are love.  You don’t love yourself and there are only a handful of people who you think love you, but I promise you there are more. More and more than you will ever know.  Did you know that you have even inspired some people? Yes, you. There’s even someone who looks up to you, but you won’t know that until later.  That’s how amazing you are. Even when you’re lost and terrified, there are people who look up to you and people who you inspire.  Isn’t that special? Aren’t you special?

I know, now, that our truth won’t be told for about 12 years. That’s a long time and those secrets hurt us a lot.  But, love, when you do decide to tell, you tell an amazing woman.  A woman who won’t judge you for anything that happened. A woman who tells you to love yourself and forgive yourself, because none of it was your fault. Did you hear that? None of it was our fault.  And none of it is worth the pain that you put yourself through. It truly isn’t.

I also want you to know what amazing intuition you have.  You feel it in the bottom of your belly.  It kind of feels like when you’re thinking about crying (and you should cry, way more often) and you get those tingles in your spine and in your belly? That’s your intuition.  And it’s almost always spot on.  Listen to it, because it would help you get out of some jams you find yourself in. 

Also, you’re an amazing judge of character.  You really are. You can meet a person and decide who they are and you’re almost always right.  Listen to that.  There’s only one person you’ve ever been wrong with, but you ended up marrying him so that’s okay. And he’s amazing, by the way. He’ll help you love yourself, so trust him when he comes along.

You’re also searching for god. You’re looking for him because you ache and you wonder if he could even be real. Let me tell you that your questioning is core to who you are. As of now, you haven’t given up on God, but that search that you have just started, that search makes your faith deeper and stronger and more beautiful.  You’re open to so many new ideas and ways to see things, and that helps you make some amazing connections, because, I know that you’re striving for connection to somebody. A connection that will shake you to your core and you are looking in all the wrong places.  That connection comes for you, love, listen for it.

More than anything, my dear 13 Year Old Self, I want you to take time for you. I want you to let your mom take pictures of you when you’re happy and when you’re sad.  I want you to know that life gets better.  I want you to know that you do end up in Ph.D. school (and it’s amazing), and you do make some amazing friends who will honestly support you, love you, and celebrate you.  I want you to know how glad I am to be on the other side of all that pain and to know that you will get there to. Life is worth living, and you genuinely make this world a better place because you’re here.

Your 23 Year Old Self.


The cursor is blinking at me as I try to figure out what to write.

I’m tired. I’m stretched too thin.  I did too much, volunteered for too much, and there’s so much more I want to do.  I haven’t had a good nights sleep in I don’t know how long.  Apartment is too cold.  One of our pets died. There’s so much going on.

Tonight, we’re hosting Belated Thanksgiving at our apartment.  It’s not cleaned. It’s not dirty, but since the husband and I are “setter downers” (according to him), it’s cluttered with papers. We’re not unpacked.

I have a meeting at 2:30 and another at 6:30.  The dinner begins at 7. 

I have homework to do. Lots of it because I fell behind.  I have two tests to prepare for.  I have two papers to write, and 5 chapters to read, mostly buy tomorrow.

I’m stretched too thin and that makes it hard to write, even though it’s what I love doing.

For now, I’ll do as Dori does and just keep going, hoping for a respite soon.