I'm not very good at being a mess. There's this part of me that has decided to not hold it together anymore, the me who wants to shut down and no longer be a functional member of society, but to everyone else I still seem pretty normal. I just can't let myself be a mess. I don't have time, dammit! But I still want to...
This morning I woke up with my to do list in mind. I got as far as making breakfast when I decided that I don't want to do anything on my list - I just want to sit in my pajamas and play Bejeweled Blitz for the next six weeks. (I love that game because while I'm playing my mind is completely focused on the stupid little jewels. I can't think about or feel anything else. It's a HUGE waste of time, but the best escape I've found that doesn't involve any mind-altering substances.) At the moment, I would welcome another Snowpocalypse (did I say that out loud?!) so I'd have a good excuse for doing nothing for a very long time.
The way I feel this morning reminded me of an experience I had about a week before my kids died. I was in a bad mood, feeling sorry for myself (apparently this is a long-standing pattern in my life) because a guy I was dating was being a jerk (or maybe he just wasn't that into me - which, in my mind, makes him a jerk). I felt like I was gonna end up being single and unloved for the rest of my life so I decided to stay in bed and mope. This kills me now because my kids were alive then - they were there with me and I was being selfish. I was taking them for granted and now I would give ANYTHING to have that time with them back and to be focused on them and not on some dude.
Anyway, it was a Sunday...I got up and made breakfast for my kids and told them they could watch as much tv as they wanted because I was going back to bed. Every few minutes, one of them would come into my room and ask for something and I felt like saying, "can't you see I'm trying to be depressed in here?!" I don't think I did, but I really can't remember.
After about 45 minutes of my attempt to block out everything and disappear into my bed, Peter came in and said, "Look, Mama...I'm Mr. Yuk!" and he made this face:
And that was it. The end of my moping and wanting to be a hot mess. I cracked up hysterically and got out of bed, thanks to my little man.
In the most difficult way possible - by losing my kids - I learned a lot from that experience. I know now that nothing is guaranteed. I would honestly do anything to go back and change so much about how I spent the time I had with my kids. I spent so much of that time focused on stupid, non-meaningful things because I took them for granted and just assumed they'd always be here. And they're not. And there's nothing I can do about it.
I can only change how I act from now on. I realize that sitting in my pajamas and playing Bejeweled Blitz for the rest of my life would be a dishonoring of my kids. In order to make their lives mean something I need to take what I've learned from them and use it to be a better person, no matter how much it hurts - because the pain is truly indescribable.
Even though I may not want to, I know I am capable of helping other people and so I must. I also need to be as present as possible and spend all the time I can with the people I love and who love me because, as I mentioned, there are no guarantees. And if possible, I don't want to have anymore regrets.
In a related story, at Kate and Peter's wake and funeral everyone - and I mean EVERYONE (even the priests, nuns and choir) - wore Mr. Yuk stickers in honor of Peter. We also handed out little princess magic wands for people to carry in honor of Kate. So I think for the foreseeable future, at least until I'm out of my current funk, I'm going to wear a Mr. Yuk sticker and carry around my magic wand to remind me that the present is all we have. We need to make the most of it.