I have a lot of conversations with myself in my head. Truth be told, there is a constant dialogue going on up there at all times. I seriously just don't ever shut up, even when I am talking to myself!
I have lists I am running through, things I want to write, books I want to read, my never-ending to-do, to-call, to-email, and to-fold, wash, tidy, pick up, drop-off, lists. And then there are the convos I have with myself about how I am doing. Hey Natasha, how are you being a good friend, good mother, good wife, good daughter, good sister, these days? How is that writing thing going? When was the last time you worked out? These talks are less pats on the back and more how I should be doing better at all of the above. And then there are the conversations that I have about just normal everyday stuff, things that people probably have with OTHER people. Politics, parenting, opinions, philosophical musings, and all that jazz.
The problem that I am running into lately and in hindsight, probably for most of my life, is that all of these conversations tend to stay in my head, I have ideas and I have REASONS and I have needs and I have wants and dreams and goals, and I rarely ever let them out or share them with anyone else. And then I get mad when people don't understand me, don't know what I need, and don't listen to me. (Except, I forget that I haven't said any of these things out loud, so you see how this is a bit of a problem right?)
This realization happened earlier this week, as I was yelling at my kids to GET THEIR BLOODY SHOES ON AND GET IN THE FREAKIN' CAR ALREADY! They were playing and fooling around as kids do and had no idea that before we could actually be on the road to our intended destination, I still had to fill up the car with gas, pick up food for our picnic, and go to the bank to get some cash.
As I continued to tell them how upset I get when they don't listen to me and how I hate that I have to yell in order for them to do so, it dawned on me that I didn't tell them WHY we had to get a move on, that we were on a schedule and had to be at our destination by a certain time and that I still had all of these other things to do. I stopped berating the poor things and told them that I was sorry that I didn't say (out loud) why I needed them to hurry and made a promise to tell them WHY I needed them to listen and do what I ask, when I ask it, from now on.
And then again, the very next morning, as I was MENTALLY going over the list of items they needed for their camp day canoeing down the river, I once again told them to go get their shoes on and get in the car. And then we got to camp drop off and I looked down and saw that my son was wearing his BRAND NEW SCHOOL SHOES and I lost it! I started heaping on to my child all the reasons why this was a bad choice, how he should have known better and that I didn't have time to go back home to get him a different pair. And then it dawned on me (again). I was being an asshole to my kid for not being able to read my mind and know what the checklist was for the trip, the one I was going over solely IN MY HEAD.
I am sure there are reasons for why I am the way I am. Deeply grooved neural pathways carved into my brain that would explain all of this, but that kind of psychological musing and re-jigging of my own neuroplasticity does nothing for me in that moment when I am upset because someone didn't read my mind. I've always been the person who walks around with her heart on her sleeve and figured that everyone would just kind of know, this is me, what you see is what you get. I simply didn't think that while my heart may be on my sleeve and my emotions at the ready, my brain is safely tucked away behind heavy closed doors and keeps a whole lot of thoughts completely to herself.
And while keeping thoughts to myself is not a bad thing, you know, because social filters, and not being rude, and appropriate conversations and all, I'm at a point where I feel like she (my brain) is becoming a bit overbearing and selfish. This safe-guarding of ALL the thoughts in some deep chamber of secrets is actually starting to become debilitating and is affecting my relationships, especially those that matter the most to me. Let's just say that for a person who tends to think of herself as somewhat of a communications expert, I TOTALLY suck at communicating - with actual people (other than my overbearing brain-self).
In an effort to stop travelling along those deep, habitual, groove-paths in my brain, I am going to make a concerted effort to forge new pathways and take these conversations out of my own head and start having them with people around me.
Especially right now. Because as hard as this is for me, at this very moment in my life, I need to ask for help. Our little family is about to embark on another medical adventure (that's happy talk for my son is having major surgery in less than 10 hours) and I know that I won't be able to do everything for everyone ('cause that's what we do right?). The lists are going to have to come out of my head, the keys are going to need to be handed over to helpful hands, and I am going to need people.
And since I now realize that no one can in fact read my mind, I wanted to put together a short list of things that I may need in the next week or so, in case I forget and don't actually say them out loud.
Here it is, a list - NOT in my head:
1. Twizzlers. I blame Tanis for this, but she is right, for some reason, Twizzlers are good "waiting around a hospital while your kid is an inpatient/recovering from surgery" food.
2. GOOD coffee. I am partial to a nice flat white or a cappuccino.
3. Play dates for L. Because hanging out at a hospital all day is not that great for a kid, no matter how much she loves her big brother.
4. Volunteers to help with dog duties. I hate when Willow gets neglected, it just adds to my guilt of not being able to do all the things, and it helps to know that she is getting some love, even if it is not from her mama.
5. Prayers, healing thoughts, funky good voodoo juju, or whatever it is that you like to do when stuff like this is going on. It may sound hokey, but I believe in the power of collective energy.
6. Forgiveness and understanding if I don't answer an email, tweet, text or message promptly or if I don't post anything on social media consistently for the next little bit. I know it sounds silly, but this is something I worry about and I just don't want to right now. Okay?
7. Texts, emails, tweets or messages from friends far and wide. While I may not respond to them (see above), getting them and showing them to C, helps us both to know how many people are pulling for him and thinking of us.
That's all I can think of right now. Because, mostly, I am thinking that I should go to bed, but then I also know that I am not going to sleep, so I may just go watch that silly witch show on Netflix and fold laundry.