So I’ve been staring at this for an entire hour trying to find the perfect sentence to start this off, but as with everything else in life, nothing is perfect so I’ll just get right into it. Here goes nothing…
Hello there. Let me introduce myself. I am an overweight, underappreciated, sleep deprived mom. You know me, the kind of mom who hasn’t showered in a couple of days. The kind of mom who hasn’t gotten her act together. The kind of mom who is always judged, even if without words but with ‘looks’.
‘Aahh look at her, she used to be so pretty’.
‘Wow is that her, she used to be so smart. She had a lot of potential.’
‘Ohhh (long pause) .. are you okay?’
No I am not ok. No I don’t have my act together. And no I don’t appreciate your condescending comments or long stares.
So last night, at 8:17 pm to be precise, I had a revelation. See we just moved into a new house so we didn’t have our TV connected yet. Kids are finally asleep and the baby seems to be comfortable enough after a long bout of asthma. Finally quiet household, turn to my husband desperate to have a grown up outing or even a decent adult conversation just to keep my sanity intact. And before I say any word, my dear dear husband says, I’ll just go out for a bit, the game is on and I want to catch a bit of it with the guys. You’re ok right? Kids are sleeping and its calm here, you’re ok right?
Riigghttt .. yes I am ok, perfectly ok, sane and all, everything is A ok.
So after going round in circles trying to find something to do in this eerily quiet new house of ours, going up the stairs coming down, checking on kids, and getting angrier at my husband with every passing minute, I realized something; an epiphany maybe you can say.
I cannot expect my husband to make me happy. I don’t think that’s fair to him and puts a huge strain on our relationship. I cannot expect anyone to make me happy really, my happiness cannot hinge on someone or something, it has to come from me.
Tada, my happiness/sadness is my own responsibility. It’s all on me. Ok … now what? And how?
After going up and down the stairs a couple of times again, popping into kids room again (they never really wake up when I want them to do they), and walking around in circles again, I finally sat down in front of the internet. My 7 year old always says ‘ask google’ when there is a thing we don’t know. So I am taking her up on her advice and will ask google.
Me to google: How to be happy?
Google: Don’t start with profundities.
Hmm what is profundities? No idea. Ok off to the next one.
Google: Fake it till you feel it.
I wish there were emoji’s that I can type. You know maybe the one where you laugh till tears come out, or some other ones as well.
Google: Buy some happiness.
Ok this is not working. Another question.
Me to google: How to help sleep deprived mom?
Google: “Practice good timing. To help prevent insomnia, avoid eating heavy meals right before bed (insert laughing emoji here), don’t do stressful tasks at night (double laughing emoji)…”
Bad idea, another question.
Think, stressed out sleep deprived mom, think: What makes you happy? My husband, my kids. Ok what makes you calm? Reading. I used to love reading but now never have the time for it. Good job mom, you finally got a useful idea.
Me to google: novel to read for a mom
Google: bunch of lists of ‘must read books’ for moms
No thank you. I don’t need a ‘self-help’ book that will only pity me, I don’t need an ‘expert’ telling me how to best raise my kids (I got plenty of them here thank you very much), and I don’t need a ‘hilarious expose on the reality of motherhood’. It doesn’t get any real than what I am living through every day. But good try mom, you’re getting there.
Me to google: best novels to read
Google: Along with lots of lists, one list grabbed my attention: “100 novels everyone should read” by telegraph reporters. Hmm this looks interesting. It claims to have the “best novels of all time”. Maybe, just maybe, this will work. And it will help validate that my brain is not going to mush after all.
In the 100th place is the Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. This got me a bit worried. I saw the movie, didn’t like part one, part two was good, and don’t really remember if I saw part 3 or not. What if I read the book and it wasn’t my style? It will be very easy then to just give up on this entire initiative, especially with all the home works and projects and a screaming baby.
So what’s the most logical thing to do? Scroll all the way down the article to number 1. The book that got the coveted first place is Middlemarch by George Eliot. The article says “One of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” (What does that mean exactly? Don’t know but will find out.)
Open new tab, Amazon of course, I always trust their reviews. One of the reviewers said “Yes, that is a strong statement, but I believe Middlemarch to be the best novel written in English.”
Sold. Bought. Done.
Can’t go wrong with this one. Its number one on the telegraph’s list and an amazon reviewer vouched for it. I can’t mess this up, no excuses anymore.
A journey of 100 books starts today.
(Or really when amazon delivers the book.)
And .. it begins.