Monday, December 2, 2013

November blues

It has been a few emotional weeks for me with issues I cannot tell many people about. Luckily I have a few very good friends here in Stockholm (yes, it happened, I still cannot believe it but it happened) who are of tremendous support to me and who do not flinch when I have a day where I cannot speak without tears in my eyes or have to walk out in the middle of a meeting. My lowest low was the hour I spent crying in a bathroom after walking out of a teaching course I have to take, because I realized just how much I did not want to be there, but wanted to be somewhere else. In my panic I managed to do even more damage, which I spent the next week trying to counter-control. I think I'm back on track and I learned a few things: 1) Have a glass of wine in the morning before a difficult (mentally draining) day. I promised myself that this is a once per year thing because I don't want to end up an alcoholic, but still it worked that day when I desperately needed it. 2) Don't send off emails or text messages when you are really upset, call your mom instead. 3) People who you think are on your side can flip in a blink of an eye and people who seem to find you despicable, have their own issues that are even worse than yours, and their seeming judgement simply reflects their own grief. 4) I'm capable of pulling myself together and run a two day conference for 25 people with a smile on my face despite my aforementioned breakdown.

How much turkey can a 3 year old eat?
Finally, I learned not to feel guilty as a mom. I'm doing my best with Zoe and that is pretty okay. Our life is not streamlined, or in any way normal; yesterday she went to dance class in a shirt full of rice from the previous day's sushi dinner and with leftover candy for breakfast, this morning we spent the time wrapping a present for her dad, whose birthday it is in a couple of days when she is with him, instead of eating breakfast. But she is also the three year old that I can bring to a Thanksgiving dinner who will play and entertain the other guests for four hours while I enjoy the company of other adults. And she is the three year old who plays "let's go flying" when other kids play they are going on a road trip. She is also the three year old I can take into a toy store and walk around with for half an hour until she proclaims, "oh, no more toys, let's go" without asking for a single thing. She really wanted to buy her dad a laptop sleeve with sushi on it for his birthday, but I had to tell her it didn't fit her daddy's laptop. She then carefully selected something else. She painted a cup cake on a card for him and tried to write her name but only O's came out. She might not be in bed at 8pm every night after home-cooked dinner at 6pm but I think that is simply not for us. And as long at I'm okay about that, she will be okay.

Hopefully the final weeks of the year will be better. I'm looking forward to a week's holiday with Zoe in Copenhagen and then a fresh start.

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