I have been a little overwhelmed with everything I have in front of me (AKA totally freaking the hell out over every little thing. Is so much fun for Ryan). In summary:
The obvious: Bravo, the dissertation, potty train now or wait?
The subtle: price of milk, eggs, and gas, are we saving enough for retirement.
The trivial yet frustrating: maternity clothes (adjusting to living with five shirts, four pairs of pants, and one dress), the endlessly messy house we just can't stay on top of.
The existential: Will I ever have a job? Should I have a job? I feel like a huge financial leech on our family when I'm not working and agonize over buying every bag of Oreos knowing I will eat most of them and they are not a crucial food purchase.
All of this came to a head yesterday morning when I could not find anything to wear to church that I hadn't worn a million times already and that didn't make me look ridiculously frumpy. I was exhausted, having not slept well for the fourth night in a row, and this clothing issue seemed symbolic of so much that had been frustrating me (I need clothes, but earn no money because of my dissertation, so what right do I have to spend even more money on myself? OMG MY DISSERTATION PANIC PANIC PANIC, SWEAR, THROW SHOE, CRY).
My emotional state was precarious enough, but then at church they did a slide show where they showed the pictures of the babies (who to me all looked like Charlie in early nineties baby-wear) and then the corresponding senior picture while one of the seniors sang "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. And then I was a freaking disaster. No dignified tissue dabbing here. Fat hot tears, loud sniffing, little red half moons in my palms where I dug my nails in trying not to completely lose it.
But then we got home Ryan made a nice lunch and encouraged me to go look for some maternity clothes that I felt good in. I hit the jackpot at a secondhand store and came home with three shirts, a pair of shorts, a skirt, and a dress for $50 (and brought the total of times I have changed my clothes in the car this pregnancy to TWO). I went home and took a nap and then played outside with Charlie. I started to feel a little better.
Ryan was putting Charlie to bed when I decided to check airfare prices again to see if we could fly to Philadelphia to attend my cousin's committment ceremony (which I really REALLY wanted to attend). We had already decided to skip our planned vacation to New England to visit my family this summer in the name of dissertation finishing and money saving and I didn't feel like it would be right to attend the ceremony but not visit everyone when we were so close. So I went and got Charlie's puppy calendar off the wall and outlined a nice little week-long trip, beginning with the ceremony in Philadelphia and ending in Boston a week later (unfortunately we won't have time to spend in Boston like we did last summer and promised ourselves we would do this summer in lieu of living there through, what, three Nor'easters, when we decided to move to South instead).
By the time Ryan came downstairs I had an itinerary and a surprisingly affordable budget (only about 25% of our tax return/stimulus check, which was only going into general savings anyway. The other 75% will still be saved). Ryan was enthusiastic about my plan and it felt so good to talk about something that will be so enjoyable instead of ho hum "Would you buy milk on your way home?" "Does your car need gas?" pleasantries we have settled into because I have been such a grump. He sat down at the computer and researched all the options and we finalized the itinerary, called the family, and bought our tickets.
I cannot tell you the difference this decision has made in my mood. I woke up happy, thinking about seeing my cousin's ceremony and all of my family, going to my grandparents houses, how much Charlie is going to love the beach this year now that he can walk (see below), how happy both grandmas sounded on the phone when I told them we were coming. I may be working during my vacation, but at least I'll be in a pretty place with people I love.
Charlie on Cape Cod last summer. Not crazy about the waves.
It's less than a month away. I can't wait.