[[[ Preface … I wrote most of this in April ]]]
I don’t remember who I was anymore.
Normally, when people say this, it’s a Bad Thing. In this case, it’s mostly a good thing.
Sometimes my girls fight among themselves, for example, over very important things, like if one has been Completely And TOTALLY unfairly assigned to unload the dishwasher.
Sometimes they spring some last-minute plan change on me and I have to choose Faster-Than-Light delivery on Amazon.com for the Gutenberg Bible (Vellum Edition) because they forget to tell me they need it Right Away until the last second.
In the past, I might have been irritated, I might have not. If it interrupted something important I was doing (like working from home), I might have even yelled. *gasp*
These days, I’m much more level-headed. Far more rarely do I stomp around and add “…or ELSE!” to my repetoire. It started because I felt I had to be a calmer dad (not that I was some out-of-control or abusive idiot in the first place). I felt I had to be there for my girls as we figure out together if we’re still going to be a complete family or not. I had to be the stable thing in their lives so they wouldn’t feel abandoned. I just felt it would be irresponsible to not exert more self-control.
And I like it. I like that I’m calmer and less susceptible to getting angry. I like that the girls don’t annoy me as much when they act like, well, dumb teenagers. I’m not super-human (although I do have two super-powers: see here) nor Buddha-like (personality or shape), but I am definitely changed by the events of the last six months and particularly the last three months.
What irks me is that I don’t seem to remember who I was before all this.
[[[ I added the following tonight ]]]
In most respects, I offer no apologies for any inconsistencies in my blog. If I say “X” one day and then something that is the antithesis to “X” another day, that’s because I sometimes flip-flop between coping and struggling. For most people writing blogs like this, they capture real and changing feelings and moods. External events change my path. The pressures of daily life for me now leave me with much less time to be “me”. As an example, here is a part of my schedule for today (Sunday), which I wrote as part of an e-mail at about 2pm:
Made breakfast for the kids, swapped cars with Danielle [blog name for my wife] because the loaner car from the dealer isn’t big enough, filled the minivan with broken cabinet and other things from the laundry, dropped the stuff at the Dump, and am about to mow back lawn before small children get lost in it or the rain stops me from doing it later.
After that, I need to take Charlotte to her school for a Talent show (for a flute ensemble performance), then back home to organize laundry for the bedding, then back to Talent show for Charlotte’s individual piccolo performance.
After, that, I need to do some food shopping, swap back to the loaner car with Danielle, and get back home. I missed lunch so will have dinner after all that. There’s also evening admin tasks to do, like reading all the letters that banks and people send me…
With this kind of schedule over most weekends, the super-calm guy doesn’t make it all the time. It doesn’t help that my number one daughter, Amélie, can be quite trying, bless her crazy heart. “Stressed-out dude” is around sometimes; he’s not completely gone after all. Nevetheless, even though it’s been almost two months since I wrote the first version of this, and around a month since my wife (**) moved out completely, I’m still surprised I’ve made it this far without blowing a fuse. The kids finish school in less than two weeks and hopefully that simplifies my life a little further. Time for sleep…
(**) What I need is a new term for “my wife” because that’s no longer accurate and it’s misleading. STBX (Soon-To-Be-Ex) is used by some people, but that’s for further down the road if/when we file for divorce. For now, there needs to be something less cumbersome than the-wife-who-moved-out-and-left-me-with-the-kids. Any ideas?