I came home the other night after an 11-hour work day in reasonably good spirits, took my dogs out, poured a glass of wine, walked into the bedroom and found a puddle of dog urine on my bed.
This has started to occur with some frequency.
And for a few minutes, I started to melt down. Every self-pitying thought about coping with things alone, and how no one ever takes care of me, and how my life (along with my apartment) is a fucking mess, etc. came flooding into my brain and I sat on the edge of the bed and cried. And then I rolled into a ball (away from the puddle) and lay there wishing my life were different.
And then I went through a litany in my head of all my failings, of everything I need to get done that I haven’t done because I’m always too busy or too sad or too happy or too lonely or too something.
And I lay there for a few minutes longer wishing someone would just take care of all these things for me.
And then … I got my shit together, and started thinking of very practical solutions to my problems which brought that downward spiral of thoughts to a halt.
Everything I don’t like about my life is my responsibility, and I can change it. They’re small things anyway, because most of the time, I rather love my life. Yes, I wish I had a clean, antless apartment all the time and dogs that always behaved and no debt and a car that didn’t make annoying noises all the time.
But I don’t really want someone to take care of everything for me. It’s my life. All mine. I wake up in the morning and every decision about my day is mine to make.
This is not a small thing. I feel like I’ve always put myself in positions where I was relieved of the ability to make choices. (That’s oversimplified and sounds rather dramatic, but it will take another blog post to write about what I feel about freedom vs security and the ability to make choices about one’s life. Next time, maybe.)
And it’s all temporary. I won’t always work so much. I won’t always live paycheck to paycheck and have a ridiculous amount of debt. I won’t always have dogs. (I kid. I love those monsters.) I’ll eventually find a guy who is smart and funny and loving and respects my autonomy who isn’t already married or a work of fiction.
Or awkward. Or predatory. Which seems to be mostly what I attract. One or the other. Possibly both.
It’s a journey. If nothing else, my life is teaching me patience. And I was inordinately proud of myself for jumping off that train of negativity. If I can consistently do that, I’ll be fine.