So I just read this article, and finally have a label for the problem at hand. I cannot unwind. Ever.
The list of things that has me wound so tight is never ending. The house is disgusting, and because we are always here, I cannot even make a dent in the gross. There are ants all over the kitchen sink and hairs all over the living room floor and piles of clean and dirty laundry everyfreakingwhere. I could spend a three-day weekend just putting things where they belong — and then the house would still be dirty. I ate a peanut butter sandwich for dinner last night because the minions ate dinner without me while I worked. This happens more often than not. Even though work should be winding down because of the holidays, it is not, and I finish each work day with knotted shoulders and a stiff neck. The baby is teething and also learning to eat solids, and as such is alternately adorable and irritating and my breasts are covered in scratches. I’m currently not speaking to my father and things are tense with my mother, and I don’t really ever get to see anyone else.
That doesn’t even get in to my frustration with my leaky, moldy car, or my leaky, moldy house, or my leaky, moldy bank account.
To top it all off, I don’t even have a vice to indulge myself in. I gave up all of my vices but sugar already, and gorging myself on candy only tends to make me feel worse. I don’t smoke and I can’t stand the taste of alcohol and I no longer have the energy to stay up til 2 a.m. binge-watching television; I fall asleep somewhere between 9 and 10 most nights listening to Alton Brown describing in detail how to cook foods I don’t eat. My vices are going for walks by myself and showering by myself. I don’t get to do either often enough.
Driving used to be a way for me to unwind, but driving is different when you have kids. The other day, I left early for the doctor — 45 minutes early. I was having the kind of day in which I had cried my eyeliner off by 10 a.m. and needed with every fiber of my being for the kids to nap for 20 minutes. So I put on the sleepy Spotify playlist and took the longest way there, and of course the little buggers didn’t nod off until 5 minutes before we arrived. Which means my drive consisted of my daughter questioning every single thing in existence, three times over, while I tried to lower my blood pressure with belly breathing and at the same time worked to keep the baby from eating the various tiny toys his sister’s filled the back seat with. I’ve had worse drives, but that one did nothing to soothe my nerves.
R occasionally tries to give me shoulder rubs. I appreciate the gesture, but I have at least one kid attached to me almost 24/7; if I have the opportunity to not be in physical contact with another human being, you can be damn sure I am taking it.
I no longer know how to unwind. And even if I did, I don’t have time to unwind. There is always, always something I have to do. Something that is more important than me.
So…yeah. I’m wound kind of tight, too.