The Storm, or Why You Will (or Won’t) See Me at BlogHer
By stephbernaba on July 02, 2012
It’s no secret the past few months have been rough. Rough. Since we bought this house, our life has literally been a laugh-a-minute (if you choose to look at it that way, which I haven’t).
There have been mechanical, legal, safety, pest control (to the tune of hundreds of dead hornets in the walls, and more!), and plumbing issues, and that’s just what I can immediately recall. Our home, routine, and bank account have been turned upside down and inside out, and we’ve been left hanging, by a few stray threads, hoping another strong wind won’t take us out.
I fondly recall a few short months ago, my husband and I playfully searching for wall art online, wandering around stores, certain that new house glitter was being scattered in our wake, bantering about the height and location of our decorations, completely unwitting that storms were brewing above, below, and all around us.
We were so naïve. That’s what people did, right? Decorated their new homes? That’s what I saw on House Hunters at least.
Long story short (and, trust me, it’s a long story), I put my life on hold completely during this time. Not so much on purpose, but to ensure our survival. I’ve been up nights crying, calculating, researching, and just plain old tossing and turning, hoping things would right themselves with the rising of the sun. And they haven’t.
A few days ago, I decided to unhook myself from the bull’s horns and try to regain control over this house, this life, this mess.
I had bought a ticket to go to BlogHer ’12 very early on, before chaos created the tempest before us. Bought the ticket, booked a room, and moved on. And, in grand 2012 fashion (because, oh my, has this been a year so far), I developed a babysitting issue. And by babysitting issue, I mean the person whom agreed to watch the babies during the time I (and, for a portion, my husband) would be away, unagreed. I bartered and begged and negotiated to no avail. Apparently, three toddlers for more than three days was a hard sell, a fact I understood all too well.
We went through several different scenarios, and at each point, someone new was dissatisfied with the arrangement. The, ahem, shitstorm had already started at our new house, and, frankly, I was too tired to fight about this.
I sold the ticket and gave up the hotel room.
The decision picked and picked at me until I decided to purchase a one-day ticket. Surely, that wouldn’t be a problem, right? Then the skies darkened further and the winds kicked up again. Plumbers were called, pest control professionals were brought in, items that had been delivered broken, damaged, and unusable had to be picked up and returned, problems were temporarily or partially solved, and, bottom line – money, money, time, stress, stress, money.
So, like a confused, drugged rat in a maze, weighing all possibilities and unsure of any of the outcomes, I decided to sell the one-day ticket.
And it was over.
Reluctant to give up on what I perceived to be living in spite of the mess around me, I didn’t quite let it go. I couldn’t let go of having anything to look forward to in the upcoming months besides service calls, messes, leaks, invoices, and dwindling savings. I was losing my will.
Among the, “Did you know there are termites right here, right outside your house?” the, “Hey, well, looks like this toilet is leaking, too,” the, “This entire window screen just fell out onto the deck,” and the, “How come nobody noticed our front door was rotted right through?” I started to lose it. Being overwhelmed with three babies is generally enough. Being overwhelmed with three babies, trying to maintain some sort of quality of life for them, and trying to hold a new house, that was beginning to look like a swirling void of poltergeist activity, wasn’t doing it for me.
I needed an out, even if it was an imaginary or a difficult-to-actually-materialize out, so I started to take some action. I bought tickets for my husband and I to see Gabriel Iglesias in September. I continued to ponder seeing Il Volo. I conjured up a weekend in Florida for my birthday. I twisted the sitters’ arms, almost literally, until they could see the pain and exhaustion in our eyes. And this time they saw. And, after what felt like a lifetime of deliberation, I again bought a ticket to BlogHer.
And all this among a newly broken windshield and learning we needed to replace our front door, like, yesterday. Will there be a trip to Florida? I don’t know. But if there is, that bad boy is going to be fully refundable. Will I have the time (or energy) to prepare myself the way I normally would for a conference? Not sure. Will I try like the Dickens? Absolutely.
So, I guess the brass tacks here are I’m going. Everywhere. Soon. (Or I’m totally delusional, in which case, just leave me to my psychosis.)
In order for any of this to happen, though, a few of these lingering issues must be satisfactorily solved. And is that going to happen? I’m not sure, but I’m doing everything I can to help them along.
So, I’m rolling the dice, and crossing my appendages, and will take any good juju you have to spare. It’s about time we laugh, and look forward, and see some bright spots on our radar that aren’t lightning.
I am going to be somewhere, at some point, before the end of this year, even if it’s clinging to the flotsam, with an umbrella drink in my hand. Pardon my saying so, but I deserve it. And because I’m reasonably certain my kids, and everyone around us, are totally clear that we’re spent.
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