Day Late SPS and What Kind of Snake is That?

Sorry, Tina, I forgot. Here I am on Saturday evening, ready to go. I had an amazing time.

Sorry for the glare, the flash was fierce, and I was needing to get out the door!

So, I am enjoying the creative non-fiction class I am taking. But I am writing about a lot of the stuff I used to blog about. I reckon this lastest piece can do double duty, just like the Crazy Shit piece. In this exercise, we had to think of something we were optimistic or hopeful about and something we were pessimistic or fearful about. Then we had to use fear to transition between the two. I used the opportunity to expand on a recent facebook status.

What kind of Snake is That?

I’ve been living alone now for 3 years, just me and six of my children. I have been trying to spend time with them and encourage them. I have been trying to go to school and make good grades. I have had my head down and my hands on the plow— so to speak. I have been busy doing what needs to be done and thinking really hard about all the things that happened to get me here. I’ve got that part pretty much figured out, so the next burning question is where do I want to go from here.

I’d like to have a pulled together house, a pulled together me, and just enough romance in my life to keep a smile on my face, but not enough to distract me from current goals of being a good student and mother. I’d like to feel competent and capable and get up each morning ready to go after the day, chase it down and make it mine.

But here I sit, not quite so fresh as a daisy, wondering how that’s all going to work. So far, it’s not going exactly well. I get up and start running, but it feels like I just fall further behind. The laundry and the bills and the responsibilities keep piling up, while my resource supply stays constant. I still have just 24 hours a day, and my budget is nowhere near balanced. The kids always seem to need a new thus-and-such, or extra help with their homework. My professors keep assigning papers and giving exams, and I am beginning to feel like the sword juggler at the circus. I dare not drop one, because I wouldn’t be able to get out of the way before it impaled me, but my arms are getting really tired. Really, really tired.

As for the romance part, that’s even more doubtful. The competition is stiff. There are lots of prettier girls, richer girls, girls with fewer responsibilities and less baggage. Fewer responsibilities and less baggage translate directly into more time. How do you find time to whisper sweet nothings when it’s hard to wipe your own ass without a constant barrage of knocks on the bathroom door? More importantly, how do you relax with and enjoy a man when you are constantly watching him to see if he’s too much like the ones that messed you up so bad you ended up single with six kids at home in the first place? How do you laugh with and invest in someone when you are trying to figure out if the snake in their pants is also the snake in the grass?

Sitting here being afraid isn’t changing anything, and if I don’t start moving in the direction I want to end up, I will stay right here. My children will grow up and leave home, and I will finish school. Then I will have crazy amounts of time on my hands, and I don’t want to spend all that time alone. After I shovel out the house and file my last term paper, I’ll be wishing I had someone to whisper to in the dark.

Accordingly, I’ve written myself a new version of the serenity prayer, at least in regards to men:
“Dear God, please grant me the serenity to know my own mind, the courage to be curious instead of scared, and the wisdom to appreciate beauty wherever I find it.”

This is my choice. I’m ready. Bring it.

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