Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Tantrum

I've hesitated to put this up because it's just me rambling on, trying to work out my feelings, and moralizing, again. Who wants to hear that? But than I recalled it is my blog for me now and my children's blog for family history in the future. So, my dear reader[s?],--Hi Mommy!--you can skip this long read and come back soon for the regularly blogged Cute Kids And The Sassy Things They Say.

Note to future Martins: Kidlin's let it be known that your mama tried...

A Serious Case of Frump
Sunday, September 13 2009

Maybe it’s because my car won’t start, or because I can’t keep my house clean, perhaps it’s because my arthritis is flaring up, or that I’m still living the rent-a-duplex-student-life at 32, possibly it’s because Willa is teething, or that I only have one bathroom the size of a broom closet, it might be that David ate my last fudge bar, or because I live next to some pretty creepy people, it could be that I just lost every Wednesday night to the Boy Scouts of America for the next 20 years of my life, or that winter is coming…, coming…, coming… but I’ve been in a major frump as of late.

Now I am fully aware that I live in one of the richest and freest countries in the world. I understand that my children are happy and healthy and that my marriage is strong and loving. I acknowledge the beauty the world has to offer. But so?

A frump doesn’t need to be justified. Nor does it want to be reasoned with. If I want to kick at rocks because some people have attached garages while I go without any garage at all and I have health insurance while some people go without essential medications, then I can do that. It’s my life and I can live it as I choose.

Sometimes, despite all the good and the bad in this world, and all the unfairly distributed wealth and squalor, a body just has to pout. To mourn what could be if only…
If only I were smarter. If only I were leaner. If only I were richer, faster, meatier, better organized, healthier, unattached, stronger, more patient, didn’t love ice cream so much, and lived in Santa Barbara’s eternal sunshine.
And that’s it. That’s why I’m in my frump: Life's. Not. Fair!

It is so amazingly unfair! I feel like jumping up and down and screaming “IT’S NOT FAIR- IT’S NOT FAIR- IT’S NOT FAIR- LIFE'S NOT FAIR!!!!!” I’ve never traveled anywhere outside of the country! Whole villages don’t have clean water to drink! My walls actually get dirtier the more you scrub them! Civilian casualties! Thesis papers! It’s SO NOT FAIR!

Today in church (which I got to late by bus after walking 7 blocks thanks to an unknown “detour”) I stood in front of the primary children choosing which child would perform parts for our small play. I tried my best to pick the children who needed the parts the most, but I overlooked one girl who so badly wanted to play the “little sister.” She put her head down and cried. I tried to offer her a different role, but the damage was done. All I could do was sit next to her, hold her and cry too. I felt her pain: Life’s not fair.

Then tonight during dinner with my super great, ultra fantastic sister-in-law (who just announced that she is getting new widows for her beautiful, spacious, garage-attached home) and her husband (who shares that house with her)Emma stood up and tried to squeeze behind Calvin's chair, pushing his round belly slightly into the table (did I mention my house is small?). Calvin burst into sensationally frenzied tears. But because I was feeling sorry for myself, I felt sorry for Calvin. His tears expressed my inner being. So instead of rolling my eyes at him and telling him to "buck up boy," I carried him from the table to the stairs for a snuggle and learned that Emma’s accidental bump had actually given Calvin's finger a nasty little pinch.

At that moment, it struck me, I was grateful for my frump that embraced his tears. If it hadn’t been for my mood I would have unjustly dismissed him from the table for being excessively dramatic.

Could my frump actually make me a better person then?
Slower to judge?
Empathetic?

While sitting on those stairs, holding a soft but sad boy I recalled a talk in General Conference that highlighted the scripture:

"But behold, because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, because of the exceedingly great length of the war; and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depth of humility." Alma 62:41

Now my life is no war zone. And my frump hasn't even been “exceedingly long” but this scripture does point out that while I have no control over the fairness of this life, I do have this choice: go hard or go soft.

8 comments:

Reuben said...

Yes! Now we're Blogging! More of this, please!

The JNJ Hasleton's said...

You know, if you started selling your awesome "rants" you can probably make enough money to buy a house with attached garage.

We miss you guys!

Jen said...

I love your honesty and the way you are able to put words to emotions. Thanks for making me feel not alone!

Diana said...

Let's stand together and scream about, "IT'S NOT FAIR!" But I promise it does get better, it just may take until you're 35 and have 5 kids. I was going hard for a long time but eventually I tried to go soft, still not easy. Hang in there!

Camille said...

My heart goes out to you, who is one of the most caring, loving and honest girls I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Hang in there!

James said...

Thank you for sharing this Lisa!

Lisa said...

Thank you Reuben, you're always so encouraging.
Ha! Jennifer, Ha! My reading demographic is about as poor as I am. We miss you too.
Jen, we're in this together. Solidarity!
Diana, don't worry I'll be at least 35 with at least 5 kids when this is all over. Hanging in there is about all I can do.
Hello Camille! Don't worry. I like to talk (complain) big. Then I'm happy again. And thanks. You make me blush.
Is that you Jimmy? How are you doing? And, you're welcome. Thanks for stopping by. You know, it's never too early to think about Thanksgiving.
You too, Reuben and Jen.

Belle of the Blues said...

Great post, Lisa! Good to see that 13 years and five kids later you two really are looking good. Hugs, Chantel