family fun · Keepin' it real · Kids · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 181: The summer break of our discontent

You know how they say that planning a vacation is more enjoyable than actually taking that vacation? They’re right. Although that could just be because this vacation kind of sucks.

There. I said it.

True, we’ve had a couple of great day trips. And there was a day, maybe a day and a half, where the weather was warm and swimming was fun. But it feels like a lot of our time here is spent moping around the place doing nothing. This is not how I pictured a month at the cottage.

I was probably operating on the assumption that the kids would want to play in the sand at the water’s edge, that the water would be a comfortable temperature for swimming, and that we’d spend the days on the dock, reading our books in the sun. I imagined giving my kids a few small lessons on paddling technique and then exploring the shoreline. I certainly didn’t expect how windy it would be here; and Mr. December and I both seem to have forgotten that “high of 23” doesn’t mean it’s 23 degrees all day long, but that it will hit 23 degrees sometime between 1 and 2 p.m., and otherwise it’ll be more like 17.

I’m trying to be phlegmatic about the whole thing: some days are good, others are less so. I often tell the kids that boredom is good for them: maybe it will be. I’m trying to figure out things to do that will make our time up here feel worthwhile. But Mr. December goes back to work (online, remotely) tomorrow and his one week of vacation has been rife with whining, complaining, and sneezing (did I mention that I forgot to ask the owners whether their cottage was pet-free? It wasn’t, three of us have allergies, and I spent much of last week vacuuming everything I could.) I feel vaguely guilty about that.

Mr. December has always been keener than I on the idea of planning and scheduling our free time. It’s something I generally do under duress — it does not come naturally to me to make a timetable of how we’re spending every hour of our weekend, and yet I made the effort to do it every week until COVID hit. Let me be clearer: planning our free time goes against my grain and rubs me entirely the wrong way… and yet I try to do it.

The notion that we couldn’t manage to entertain ourselves at a house on a lake, with a dock and watercraft and a fire pit, seemed absurd to me two weeks ago. Now I know better. R has started asking to go home. We’ve said no, because Rosh Hashana is next weekend and we want the kids to be with us. But every time she asks I’m tempted to say, “Only if I can go too.” If it weren’t for the fact that the rest of our stay here is non-refundable, I’d probably start packing up to leave.

Of course, it might be sunny and bright tomorrow and I’ll be back to rhapsodizing about the magic of getting kids out in nature. We’ll just have to wait and see.

blogging · family fun · Keepin' it real · parenting · whine and cheese

Day 173: Moonrise

I’ve never watched the moon rise before, but here I am: sitting on the deck with the moon, big and orange, in the distance and reflected in the lake. A mere few feet away K is soaking in the hot tub with the coloured light feature on. If you don’t count the music wafting over from a few cottages down or the rumble of the hot tub jets, it’s very peaceful.

Finally.

Mr. December and I were a bit frustrated by the time evening rolled around. The kids had been pretty unhelpful yesterday and today, and we were both tired of whining and complaining. Mr. December gave the kids the responsibility of building the campfire, hoping that the promise of s’mores would encourage them to do it quickly and well.

It didn’t.

Mr. December and I sat there, biting our tongues and (mostly) sitting on our hands, while the kids tried lighting the same pile of sticks over and over again.

“Maybe you should rebuild it,” I offered.

“You need more dry stuff that will catch right away,” Mr. December pointed out. “Everybody go look for some.” Ellie walked around and found plenty of twigs. The other three did nothing. Eventually Mr. December rummaged around in the cottage and came up with a bottle of gel fuel for fondue pots. It worked like a charm, and our fire burned big and bright.

We saw fireworks, and then realized how many stars we could see, so we went down to the dock to watch. By this point it was well past bedtime, and the kids were feeling silly. Unfortunately, silly also means loud.

“Everybody, try to be quiet and look for a constellation you know,” I instructed.

“I don’t know any constellations!” R shouted.

“Then make them up!” I snapped. “Look, there’s Billy the cowboy, and there’s Paco, the… other cowboy. And there’s one-dimensional Pete.”

Still, they were hung up on the “real” constellations.

“Eema, where is the Big Dipper?”

“Where’s the North Star?”

“Where’s Cassiopea?”

“Where’s Orion?”

“WHERE’S THE MUTE BUTTON?!?!!?” I snapped. I’m not at my best with kids who are out-of-control silly.

We only lasted a few minutes longer, and then I ushered them all inside. K pulled me aside and begged me to let her sit in the hot tub. Since I still had to write this post, I agreed. Now she’s getting out, the moon has risen, and the post is as written as it’s going to get. Good night, everyone.

bikes planes and automobiles · DIY · education · family fun · Homeschool · Kids · parenting · whine and cheese

Day 150: Elation, Frustration, Experimentation.

E rode her two-wheeler by herself today! She’s been gliding along (sort of like one does on a balance bike) for the last week, and once or twice she got her feet onto the pedals, but this was the first time that she propelled herself and while steering and balancing. It lasted long enough for me to notice, cheer, get my phone out of my back pocket, and snap this photo.

She was elated. We both were. After she had parked her bike in the garage, I held her hands and sang the Shehecheyanu (Jewish blessing on doing something for the first time or reaching important milestones.) At bedtime tonight she was full of plans to ride her own bike all the way to the playground tomorrow.

Mr. December and I have learned by now that when we encounter defiance in schoolwork, it’s usually a sign of an underlying skill deficit. I’m often able to break down the problem to a point where the child can be coached through the lesson, but this time I’m stumped.

N is working his way through level 3 of Winning with Writing (great title, I know. It has companion programs called Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling.) He’s now into the lessons about writing specific types of paragraphs. I was so excited to get to this point in the book because it breaks down the writing process to a few very simple, very concrete steps. K has had a much easier time of writing since she did these lessons. But N just won’t do it.

I’ve offered ideas for topics. For one lesson I actually created a rough outline for him (point form) and he wrote it from there. Today and yesterday he wouldn’t even do that. I’ve asked him what’s going on. I’ve levelled with him and told him how I know he’s frustrated and I am too, and that to my mind his refusal to work just looks like rudeness and laziness, but I know it’s not. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to yell, “JUST DO YOUR WORK!”

The book has already broken the assignment down into the smallest possible chunks, so I don’t think I can make it any easier. Do I drop it and find a different way to get him writing, maybe by having him strike up an email correspondence with his grandparents? Do I stop nagging but continue to apply the consequence of not finishing the assigned work? Do I keep on doing what I’m doing, sitting next to him and combining understanding and support with a reminder that he can do hard things and I expect him to keep trying?

At least he’s produced more written work since April than he did from September to March, so I feel just a bit more effective than school. But holy moly, I’m out of my depth here.


Mr. December decided to turn yesterday’s DIY sprinkler into today’s science lesson. He taught the kids about water pressure and discussed how the sprinkler spray should be weaker the higher up we place it, because it takes energy for the water to flow upward. To illustrate, he tied the hose and sprinkler to a rope that I lowered from the attic window; he turned on the tap and I hoisted the sprinkler 25 feet into the air. The spray remained strong the entire way up, denying Mr. December the opportunity to say, “See, kids? The pressure went down as the sprinkler went up!” Instead he exclaimed, “Wow! We’ve got some good water pressure.”

If memorable experiments lead to better understanding, it was a successful science lesson. And if the kids won’t remember or retain it, at least it was a fun way to pass the time. Sometimes that counts as a win.

community · education · Jewy goodness · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 144: What’s the Point (of going to shul)?

We are not frequent shul-goers. I wish we were a family that went to synagogue semi-regularly, but wishing something doesn’t make it so, and I guess I haven’t wanted it badly enough to make it happen. Still, in the “before times” I enjoyed services for the singing, the feeling of community, and to some extent, the children’s programming. And I won’t lie, I spent a lot of time in the social hall talking to people I like but don’t see outside of shul.

All that has changed now. Our shul hasn’t had in-person services since early March, but according to the weekly email newsletter they’re starting up again at the end of August. Naturally, there are some strict guidelines in place in the interest of public health. In summary: you have to sign up in advance, stay in your seat 6 feet away from everyone else, bring your own siddur (prayer book), and don’t touch anything. Children’s programs and kiddush luncheon have been axed for now. Oh, and no congregational singing — the leader can sing or chant as required, but the rest of us will have to hum if we want to participate vocally.

My first thought upon reading that email was, What’s the point? Everything I love about shul has been stripped away; what’s left is a bare-bones service that my kids wouldn’t sit still for. And they do have to sit still, because otherwise they might get too close to someone not in our family.

Of course everyone attending the service will be wearing a mask. To be clear, I think this is a good thing. I’m a proponent of masks; In 2003 I was a music therapist in a nursing home during the SARS epidemic. I wore a mask for four hours straight while I sang all the hits of the 1920’s and 30’s. No harm came to me. I’ve been assuming that mask-wearing would be fine for me in 2020 as well — until I went to Lowe’s last week with K. After wearing the mask for forty minutes, my chest was hurting from the effort it took to breathe. The upside was that obviously my mask has a decent seal and is keeping stuff out. The downside? Some of the stuff the mask is keeping out is air that I need to breathe, and my lungs can’t work that hard for that long. I think curbside pickup is going to be my strategy for a long, long time.

Back to the synagogue thing. On one hand, going might be nice — I’d get to see friends at a distance and hear the familiar melodies again. On the other hand, breathing might be a problem for me. On the other other hand, it’s only 90 minutes long, as they’ve cut away all of the preliminary songs, six-sevenths of the Torah reading, and the superfluous-seeming repetition of the silent amidah (for all of my non-Jewish readers, our Saturday morning services usually run at least three hours.) And on the other, other, other hand, it will not be the shul experience I enjoy nor the one I want my children to know and love. If I take them and it’s just depressing and boring, will they go with me again? Or will COVID precautions ruin shul for them forever?

It sounds an awful lot like the debate around returning to school in September. For the record, one of Mr. December’s major reasons for not sending the kids back to school is that he thinks it’s going to be a sucky experience all around. I’m feeling that way about shul right now. I know that some people go specifically to pray and to hear the Torah, and others are in mourning and need a minyan so they can recite the mourners’ kaddish. It’s kind of true that my presence there will help to ensure that there is actually a minyan for the mourners, but realistically it’s not likely to be a problem. So I ask myself, why go to shul? What’s the point?

blogging · crafty · Just the two of us · Keepin' it real · Kids · love and marriage · whine and cheese

Day 134: Just for me.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about taking time for myself. Homeschooling during COVID (i.e. can’t really go anywhere or do anything) is a recipe for burnout if I don’t take a break. The thing is, I’m not sure what that break would look like. I mentioned it to Mr. December and he informed me that a break looks just like what I’m doing now.

“Your blog is time just for you,” He pointed out. “Why else are you doing it? Who else is it for?”

Hmmm. It’s true that I blog because I want to, but it still doesn’t feel like rest and relaxation to me. I suppose that it’s time just for me in the same way that quilting was, once upon a time. But it’s not the kind of “me time” I’m thinking of. So what is?

The reality right now is that I just want some quiet. I need everyone to stop talking at me for just a few minutes… ok, fine. A few hours. My ADHD is not the reason why I can’t finish sentences or remember what I was doing. Those problems are caused by moments like this:

I’m talking to Mr. December: “So the home insurance quote came in and it looks wrong to me. I’m wondering if they know –“

“HUG ATTACK!” N launches himself at my midsection and squeezes me like he’s a python.

“Right,” I plow on ahead, patting N on the back as I talk. “As I was saying, they have the alarm on there but they’re ignoring the –“

“UNDERBELLY ALERT!” E sashays into the kitchen holding her shirt up, inviting Mr. December to nibble her belly.

“Not now, E,” he says. “Go ahead, honey.”

“EEMAAAAA!!! I thought you said you’d get me some oatmeal!”

“IN A SECOND!” I call back. Then to Mr. December, “What was I saying?”

“Somebody’s ignoring something,” he supplies.

“You mean our children are ignoring everything we ever taught them about interr–“

“You guys, there’s food stuck in my expander and it’s driving me crazy! Have you seen the syringe?”

I grit my teeth. “Sweetheart, can I see you in my office for a minute?” Without waiting for an answer I pull him into our tiny pantry and slide the door shut. The kids are giggling on the other side. We look at each other, giggle, and kiss. The kids, hearing silence, try to peek into the pantry. I hear R say, “Ew. Gross. They’re kissing. Let’s go play.”

Now, what was I saying? Who knows? This is exactly the reason why I long for the time, space, and silence to think my thoughts from start to finish. The only reason I’ve got this post done tonight is that the kids are playing a computer game with Mr. December and I’m alone on the back porch. Sweet, sweet solitude.

And now I can hear the door opening. A tiny voice wafts out, “Eeema! I’m baack! And I’m hungry!”

Oh, well. It was nice while it lasted.

blogging · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 117: A Numbers Game

I’ve always enjoyed crossword puzzles. Six years ago I added Sudoku to my list of pen-and-paper pastimes. And this weekend, E suddenly became fascinated with the puzzle page of the newspaper (only when I was doing the puzzles, naturally.) As I filled in the crossword she stood beside me asking, “Is there one that I would know? Ask me one!” When I did, she got it right. Every time.

Then tonight I was minding my own business, doing an “Evil” Sudoku (so named for its level of difficulty, not its morality,) when E climbed up on my lap and asked how it works. I began explaining and she was so interested that I flipped to an “Easy” puzzle; we ended up doing the whole puzzle together. I asked the leading questions, she checked what numbers we were missing, and I wrote down the answers she gave me — except for the ones and sevens, which she feels she can do neatly enough by herself. Do they have Sudoku books for five-year-olds?


In other news, our nanny developed a headache and cough on Monday; her doctor advised her to wait a day, then get tested for COVID. On Wednesday the testing centre staff told her the results would be ready in three to five days (am I the only one who’s surprised by that? What happened to 24 hours? Wasn’t that a thing?). Today was day four, she checked the website she was given at least five times, and there was no result available. There was a phone number to call… but not on weekends. Given the fact that we’re all in quarantine until she gets her results (assuming the test was negative), you can understand why I’m so impatient with the system. I can’t help thinking this could all be done more efficiently.

I’m not particularly worried: one of my Facebook friends just posted a link to a database of COVID cases in Toronto. Searching by neighbourhood and then by postal code, there seemed to be only sixty cases in our area since March, and no active cases currently. Very reassuring. Less encouraging is that the website was clearly created by a thousand monkeys coding on a thousand computers for a thousand hours. Mr. December and I both tried and failed to sort or filter the data; I finally resorted to a manual search for active cases.


According to the title, today is day 117 since the COVID shutdown began. Do the numbers even matter at this point? Should I bother to keep counting?

“Is it sort of like a post-apocalyptic thing where the people start counting again from year zero?” I muse aloud to Mr. December.

“Yup,” he affirmed, “It’s exactly like that.”

community · education · Keepin' it real · Kids · mental health · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 111: Boundaries

Well, I just got read the riot act by a friend of mine. I was lamenting how difficult it was for me to say “no” to things like playdates; she pointed out that I don’t owe anybody a reason for not wanting to make plans. “No” is, apparently, a sufficient answer.

Mind. Blown.

I grew up with the notion that when you’re invited to do something, you say yes unless there’s a direct conflict. And when you have to say no, you explain why you can’t do it so the other person doesn’t feel bad. Mr. December was the first person I knew who would actually say, upon being invited to something, “No.” And when asked why not: “I don’t want to.”

That was news to me. I could just skip events because I didn’t want to go? Wow.

So back to my friend and her words of wisdom. She said, “Sara, you and I are forty years old. We are too old to be letting people deplete our energy when they’re not even particularly close to us!” Well, when she put it that way, it sounded absurd. Why on earth would I say “yes” to something for someone I rarely (if ever) see or speak to, and then be too tired to read my kids a book at bedtime? How messed up is that? And how messed up is it that I couldn’t really see that for thirty-nine years of my life?

As Ontario gradually opens back up and people are allowed to gather in small groups again, I’ve felt my anxiety level rising. I’ve been very happy in this little cocoon, with my closest family, on our own schedule. Saying “no” to other people is always a bit stressful for me, as if I feel responsible for their feelings if I say no to whatever they’re asking me to do. I’ve found myself wishing more often than not that I could just live this life for a few more years.

The truth is that I should be able to craft the life I want for me and my kids. Mr. December and I had a conversation on Friday (standing in the freezing waters of Lake Ontario) about how we’d like to do something brave or outrageously different, like homeschooling for the year and travelling with the kids. Or something far simpler, like putting a six-month moratorium on evening or weekend extracurricular activities, in order to preserve time for a work period in the morning and family time in the evenings.

Sometimes fear creeps in: If our kids take a year off extracurriculars (dance, choir, etc) will they be very behind most kids their age when they go back? Will they be missing out on gaining skills and mastery in those areas?

Maybe. But maybe they’ll be just where they need to be — at home with us, playing outdoors with their best buddies, spending time with their grandparents, and learning the importance of family, community, and being able to set your own boundaries.

A long and winding road trip · blogging · education · family fun · Keepin' it real · Kids · parenting · The COVID files · whine and cheese

Day 100: Wait, what?

It’s been one hundred days since the COVID shutdown began. You know how people with new babies say, “I can’t remember what life was like without her”? I can barely remember what life was like before the shutdown. I mean, I remember intellectually, but it doesn’t feel real anymore.

E often makes statements that begin with “After the coronavirus…” She has big plans, like a playdate with her friend and eating at a restaurant — things we wouldn’t have thought twice about four months ago.

There is definitely a part of me that doesn’t want to go back to driving, schlepping, extracurriculars, and over-scheduled days. But there’s still this sadness about the possibility that our world really has changed forever (although I’m a bit skeptical about that; major things happen and everyone says the world has changed, and then it just kind of goes back to status quo.)

Today is one of those days where I just need the kids to stop talking for five minutes. I’m irritable and so frustrated by how… slowly… they… do… everything. We played a game of Agricola and by the end I was rushing them along because all I really wanted was five minutes to myself to enjoy a bedtime snack without people watching me eat and sidling up to me with mouths upturned, like baby birds waiting for a regurgitated worm.

“Holy cow, R, just make a move already!”

“I’m thinking!

“You need to do your thinking while other people are taking their turns, then. N, you do realize there are negative points for having empty spaces, no animals, and no crops… right?”

He ended up with a grand total of 8 points (for those who don’t know the game, when good players play they might have fifty or sixty points at the end) to R’s 21 and my 32. Afterwards I wanted them to go to bed so badly that I volunteered to clean up all the pieces — and this game has a lot of pieces.

Anyhow, what I wanted to say was that other than the odd day here and there, I’m actually enjoying being all together as a family — almost like on our road trip, but not quite. On the road trip I had absolutely nothing to do other than be with my family. Everything was pre-planned, mapped out, and scheduled. I got to actually enjoy the things we did. The only way I could achieve that level of enjoyment being with my kids is if I took a full day every week to do all the planning, scheduling, and prep work… which isn’t a terrible idea, come to think of it, but something always comes up.

Like today, when we found mouse droppings in the basement storage room. Time to drop everything, clear out that room, clean up, plug up all holes in the masonry with steel wool and expanding foam, and set out some traps. It definitely took me away from things like doing math with E or reading to the kids.

So it’s been 100 days. Have we learned anything in that time? Well, I learned that my kids had huge gaps in their academic learning; that if I don’t make time for myself (and I don’t, sadly,) nobody else will; that I mostly enjoy having my kids around me; that some of my children function far better at home than at school. I’ve probably learned other things, too, but that’s what I’ve come up with tonight, still running on last night’s six hours of sleep (because I stayed up googling ways to help K overcome some of her academic issues). I guess I could claim that I’m 100 days smarter, if not better rested.

What have you learned in the last 100 days?

birthing babies · crafty · education · fame and shame · Kids · mental health · parenting · whine and cheese

Day 92: Not My Sport

I’ve been listening to The Parenting Junkie Show (podcast) for over a year now. There have been a lot of good topics and episodes, but my favourite by far was Avital’s comparison of parents to olympic athletes.

Her point was that nobody expects an elite athlete to be good at every sport. Of course all athletes are physically fit, but nobody criticizes a sprinter for being bad at swimming, and no skier spends time frantically trying to get better at bobsledding. Every elite athlete focuses on one event.

Parents, on the other hand (myself included here), feel like to be good (or amazing) parents we have to be good at all the things parents are supposed to do. It doesn’t feel like enough to be amazing at planning travel and outings with the kids; We also need to be able to plan birthday parties, do crafts, help with algebra homework, instil discipline, enforce bedtimes, discover and nurture the children’s talents, and foster social skills. Oh, and get a nutritious dinner on the table (and into their tummies.)

Anyhow, Avital pointed out that as parents, it’s okay to have a specialty. I tried to get my head around this philosophy (I don’t have to be good at everything? But I’m the parent! I do have to be good at everything because it all falls to me!) but as much as I’ve tried, I can’t help feeling like a failure when I bump up against one of my weak spots.

Last night I jokingly told Mr. December that I’m considering having a fifth child just so I can feel competent again for a couple of years. You see, I’m really good with babies and toddlers. I get them. I can handle the crying, the constant holding and rocking and shushing, the diapers, the feeding, the spontaneity and the need for flexibility. I understand what they need, and I love providing it. I don’t know if I’d call myself an elite athlete in the baby event, but I’m pretty darn close.

Then those babies grow up and go to school, and it’s not my sport anymore. I mean, I’m not a delinquent by any means, but the school years seem to require so much more organization and consistency, which are two of my weakest areas. I can create systems and organize supplies beautifully, but enforcing the systems consistently? Nope. Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

Do you know why my kids’ school agendas were never signed? Because I only remembered to ask for them once a week at best. Yes, they should be responsible enough to remember to get them signed in the first place, but my point is that I couldn’t consistently reinforce that at home. When my kids were at Montessori they used to bring home a portfolio of their work every Friday, to be returned empty on Monday. After a few months the teachers started giving my kids their homework in a paper envelope; they’d figured out that those plastic folders weren’t coming back. For reasons unfathomable to me, I just couldn’t return them.

All of this to say that these days I’m constantly feeling like I’m failing, or like I should do better or be better, and I suspect it’s probably as frustrating as a swimmer being told she has to pivot and become a distance runner. I could do it, but where all the other marathoners were running, I’d be walking (and then limping) to the finish. And yet these things need to be done, and by and large I’m the one who needs to do them. I have to teach these kids consistency and discipline even though my own is sorely lacking. It doesn’t help that Mr. December is nothing if not organized and disciplined. I look pretty darned incompetent in comparison.

But we’re not supposed to compare ourselves to other parents, right? We’re supposed to have our own events and focus on our strengths. And yet… it’s lovely that I can design a house, build furniture, sew quilts, navigate all sorts of medical issues with aplomb, comfort most crying infants in mere seconds, lead singalongs, plan a fabulous road trip, and read stories with all the funny voices; still, the truth is that right now (for the past three months if not more) none of those skills are in demand. So what’s a mom to do?

education · Independence · Kids · mental health · parenting · The COVID files · waxing philosophical · whine and cheese

Day 91: Having Difficulty

Dear Family,

Today was a difficult day for me. I slept very poorly last night even though I went to bed early, and I mostly walked around in a daze all day today. I’m sorry I wasn’t more available to you. Nevertheless, there are some things that I want you to understand:

I get that it’s frustrating to have a wife or mom who’s disorganized and tired much of the time. Please believe that it’s frustrating to be that wife or mom. I want to be available, on the ball, and organized for everyone, and when I can’t, it hurts – especially when I can see that I’m disappointing the people who matter most to me, and even more so when it’s not an infrequent event.

I know you’re super frustrated to be stuck at home with us instead of out there with your friends. I know that our existence right now is a lot like the movie Groundhog Day, the same thing over and over. But you know what? Our relationship doesn’t reset itself every morning. If you unload all your angst by yelling at me for an hour, I might not want to snuggle on the couch and watch movies right after that.

It’s okay to have to figure things out for yourself. Not sure what you’re supposed to do next in your workbook, and now I’m napping? Don’t you think there’s an excellent chance that what I want you to do next is the… wait for it… NEXT thing in the workbook? Use some imagination here, people! Look for clues! Maybe my 90-minute nap made it more difficult for you to know what to do, but it’s disingenuous to say that you couldn’t do anything without my say-so. Especially when your checklist specifically says “check the calendar for page numbers!”

I have ADHD. I have depression. I have fibromyalgia. I have a concussion. These are not excuses, they are facts. I try my best. It’s often not good enough. It makes me angry too — the me that I see these days is not who I thought I’d be at forty. It’s not who I want to be for myself or for you. On days like today I’m not the mom I want you to remember when you think of your childhood.

I don’t like wallowing in self-pity. I don’t like crying; it gives me a headache. I’m going to bed now so I can be a better me tomorrow; hopefully tomorrow my best will be good enough.

Love,
Me.