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Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"

Why "I am NOT a VOLCANO!"
click the volcano for the due explanation
"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." — Gordon B. Hinckley
Exaggeration is the spice of life

Book I am Currently Reading: Peter and The Shadow Thief

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm not a pioneer.... So I can complain.

So, everyone here knows that I'm LDS. (A "Mormon") If you know anything about Mormons, you know that those of us in the "Mormon Capital of the World" (Utah) have roots deeply seated in the Pioneers. The ones who traveled first from New York to go to Ohio and/or Missouri. Through much persecution and abuse, they left from those places and went to Nauvoo in Illinois. From there, they experienced unspeakable crimes committed against them- tarring and feathering, eviction in the dead of winter, rape, murder, and so on, and left the beautiful city they carved out of a swamp to come to Utah, which was, in 1847, still technically "Mexico"- they left the country.

It's a rich history that, while tied impeccably to my religion, is not in almost any way connected to me by genealogy. I'm the third generation born in America, but on either side, my family comes from Holland and Sweden.

It doesn't matter, though. My whole life, I have heard stories about the Pioneers. People get up on fast Sundays and bear testimonies about the pioneers and tell stories about their pioneer ancestors (during which time I sit and listen and feel extremely guilty about my state of absolute apathy toward the situation.) and how they were amazing because such-and-such, and eventually (read: 45 minutes later) climax their story with a tale about how they were led by their ancestor's spirit to find their records. (To be clear: I'm not saying i don't think it's TRUE...just that I am generally too bored to care.)

Once, I had a really truly amazing opportunity to go on what we call "Trek"- where we dressed in authentic pioneer clothing, petticoats, aprons, bonnets and pantaloons to boot, and pulled handcarts full of our bed rolls and buckets full of clothing and journals and all those Mormon-y things.

We slept in the grass under the stars, had Ho-downs where we square danced, cooked over camp fires, and battled terrier sized mosquitoes.

We also really had some very wonderful, enlightening and spiritual experiences, including the "women's pull"- where the men were marched off away from us women, the same way the men in "The Mormon Battalion" were marched off to fight in the Spanish American war, leaving their women and children behind to continue their journey without them. Then, without our men, we had to pull our heavy handcarts up a really huge hill while the men had to stand by the side of the road at the top and watch. It was tearful and touching.

Of course, though, our whole lives, and especially on Trek, story after story after story was told about the Pioneers- especially Pioneer Women and their incredible, strong, faithful spirits. Women who walked through waist deep snow with their 6 children, nothing but the clothes on their back and buried 4 of them on the way...(This ain't your daddy's "I walked to school up hill both ways rain, snow or shine..." story. They're REAL stories.) ...and the kicker? They NEVER COMPLAINED.

Seriously, there is story after story after story full of tragedy and, after MUCH tribulation and trials, miraculous events. Throughout these stories, the women suffer through everything from losing their homes, husbands and children, walking across planes of snow or sweltering heat and ended up broke, alone and sick without ever muttering a frustrated, angry or lamenting word. Ever.

The moral of the story: Always remain faithful, even when everything sucks beyond belief, and by "faithful", they really mean just don't say anything because you don't want to burden other people with your problems, do you? DO YOU?!!!

Well, the way I figure it, God didn't make me a Pioneer Woman for a reason. I'm a big wuss. I like to have my babies in hospitals with epidurals. I like to be warm in my bed at night, and there's no way in H-E-Double-hockey-sticks that I would be dragging my little kids through a giant, never ending winter storm to go ANYWHERE- unless it's just a few feet my car, which I can quickly heat. Surely, if I were a pioneer woman, every other word out of my mouth would be about how badly this sucks, how much I hated it, and how I swear I'm at the end of my rope. There would probably be a lot of swearing, buckets of tears, and tongue lashings. I'm 100% certain there would be no inspiring stories about me and MY journey- unless it was because I was a bad example. I can hear it now... "My great great great great great great great great great. ~whisper counting the "greats"~ GREAT grandmother sure was a SPITFIRE! MAN, she had a tongue like bitter chocolate!"

Yeah, I'm not like that. When crappy things happen, I blab my mouth all over the place about how badly it sucks.

And really, you'd think I'd learn my lesson already- because EVERYONE. AND. THEIR. DOG. has to tell me how lucky and blessed I actually AM and that I should be grateful and that OTHER people have it WORSE - perhaps I should PRAY in my moment of contempt, and "Hang in there- there's a light at the end of the tunnel!" - Well, yeah, there is...but I'm pretty sure it's a train. (BTW- I'm pretty sure that being 'grateful' doesn't mean you actually have to LOVE the situation. I'm VERY grateful. It doesn't mean the situation is still undesirable.)

So, yesterday, Brandon got a new job.

YAY! Rejoice! It's a blessing, right!? Well, sure, I suppose it is. I can't contest that. It's a blessing that solves one problem....... and causes a dozen more.

Because it's a SECOND full time job. And yes, it has to be full time because it makes the same amount of money as he makes at his current full time job...and we're currently making HALF of what we need to make ends meet. So, 80 hours a week it is.

And I think I'm going to die.

Back to waking up without him, back to going to bed without him. Back to making breakfast, lunch and dinner without him. Back to going to church without him, back to going to family holidays without him. Back to putting all the children to bed without him. Back to doing EVERYTHING alone.

This is a big problem for me. For real. It's the main reason we got out of active duty military. Being alone for 6 months at a time, every 6-9 months and missing the births of his babies was not okay for me. Then, of course, we came home and he started school. So he was gone all the time anyway- and I hung on and hung on and hung on until he was done with school, fighting off the panic attacks and the esophagus spasms because I knew it was a necessary evil, clinging to the thought that it was in preparation to make our lives BETTER.

The joke's on me! How wrong I was!

Brandon's been working a day job and coming home at night for a total of 3 months. That's it.

And now, being alone with 4 children, that means that homework, reading, projects, extra-curricular activities, bedtime and so on all rests on MY shoulders and my shoulders only. It also means that there is no time for me to do any community theatre, which is a GIANT passion of mine, and there were several plays I planned on participating in this year. It means no girls nights out, it means no book clubs, it means no relief society meetings, it means that when i go to family dinner on Sunday nights at my mom's house, I'll be going by myself with my kids, and coming home to an empty house.

Now, all those people who have contempt instead of compassion and feel that I should look at the bright side of things would tell me that it's not going to be any kind of picnic for Brandon either. When will he sleep?

Well, frankly, I don't care. He might have to sleep for 4 hours in his car between his jobs every day, but that's about the same amount of sleep he's getting anyway, and he already has a built in addiction to caffeine that should come in quite handy.

He also gets breaks, occasional lunches provided by his work, adult interaction, "me" time, and if he wants to be alone, he can go to the bathroom and close the door and take a dump BY HIMSELF- which is something that I haven't done more than a hands worth of times in the last SIX YEARS.

So forgive me if I'm bitter. I'm just kind of starting to think that God has a pretty twisted and masochistic sense of humor.


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Lacey said...

Well, I don't blame you for complaining. I'd be complaining too. I'm lucky enough that David has had a stable job for the last ten years, and that he is home with us every night. He actually works from home a lot now too, and I wish he would go into the office more often because it throws our routine off, but I DO like the comfort of having him home. I don't like when he has to go on trips and leave us. I don't like being the only one here to feed, bathe, and put the kids to bed at night. I can't even imagine how it would be if they were in school or played sports or something. So I say, complain - get it off your chest so it's not all stuffed down inside, because then you will erupt - like a volcano, and scare your daughter.

Michael Ann said...

Ok, first I love the way you started this with talking about how you could never be Pioneer woman. High five on that one sister. I'm right there with you on all that.

And next, Yep, I'm with Lacey and I won't berate you either. This is truly awful. My husband doesn't have two jobs but he is gone ALL the time with his one job. I'm raising "just" two kids but I feel I've been pretty much a single since my first was born. I feel a lot of resentment and regret.

And, our marriage sucks because of it. We are strangers to each other. What was the point of all this? I'm glad my kids were born. They are the light of my life. But I have no partner, no companionship and I'm lonelier than I ever thought I'd be. It's not good.

I feel your pain. I won't try to cheer you up or tell you to "look on the bright side" or "count your blessings." Some things are just not good, period.

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