Ever find yourself riding so high in life, it seems you'll never come down? And then one, or two, or seven things all seem to compound at once to change your outlook? I'm generally a positive person, and I've been riding a wave of contentment for several weeks now. Playing the stoic, tough wife, tough mom, tough business woman. I've been doing a pretty bang up job of my roles, for the most part.
I just got back from a short business trip. From start to finish, things could not have gone much better than if I'd planned it down to the minute, myself. Two flights took off on time and got in early. Weather cooperated - cold, but the sun shone each day. No stress. Got time to see some of the sights. Hotel was great. Had great meals. The company I kept was exactly the kind of company I like to keep. Kids were cheerful when I talked to them on the phone. "You're the best mom in the world." Even talked to the husband.
The sun set. And my plane landed. Seattle was cold, rainy, and dark. I arrived home to an empty house. The dogs seemed excited to see me, but really just needed a quick run out back. Then they proceeded to track wet, muddy pawprints all over my recently cleaned house.
The kids arrived home - I got one hug, then the fighting began. "He hit me." "He kicked me in the privates." "I don't want to eat there." "How come he always gets to pick."
The au pair arrived home. Son #1 had been beastly over the weekend, countering her "No, you can't stay at your friend's house" with "I hate you. You're the worst nanny in the world." Plus a bunch of screaming, door slamming, and other unpopular behavior. I understand where he gets his emotions and passions; I don't think I raised him to take it out on others. So now she's had it up to here with my family.
The holiday is not a saving grace either. We are only casual observers for this one, with Hanukkah having finished over a week ago. Normally, we are an introspective but happy little family unit, operating with little to no stress in our non-observant household, keeping each other company and enjoying the sheer lack of any responsibilities. But that is when the good Dr. is physically present. And I don't have a 5-year-old asking me why we don't have a Christmas tree every two days.
I even thought a bath would be a good mood enhancer. Except I didn't fill the tub high enough, so that after I turned on the jets, and was into my relaxation phase, the water level dipped below the front jet, creating this weird water turbulence, which caused the jets to spray me directly in the face. Relaxation is no longer possible at this point.
So what is a girl, in this state of mind, supposed to do? You turn to someone you love, and share with them, and they make it all better. Except someone I love is not here with me. Circumstance keeps me from that someone, and that someone from me. Tonight, after so many nights of being just fine, I am lonely.
I don't want my self-pity to overshadow people with real issues. After all, my husband sleeps alone in a trailer in the desert and goes to breakfast armed. Our good friend's baby just spent his first week of life in the NICU. Other people I love are struggling with big life choices that are of far more consequence that my dirty pets or irritating children. And I know I'm not the only person in the world who is lonely, or without the person they love.
I just wish bad nights came with a survival kit.