Quit Quitting.

I have start stopped start STOPPED the blogging. So many many drafts in the draft folder. Nothing, it seems is quite right.

I. Must. Stop. Editing.

The joy of this blog for me has been the first draftness of it. Write to know what I think. Post to know what you think, repeat. Somehow I began editing.

I am going to write the rest of this as if I don’t have a backspace button. Which of course I don’t because in apple world it is delete.

I was reading a recipe for kale. And in the post the author (Catherine Newman obviously) talks about the dark side of the moon of the blog. Her venn diagram of life (an image I use less frequently than my pie chart, but more frequently than never) had her happy spring self almost completely overlapping with the dark side of the moon. Which I interpreted to mean her sort of slightly depressive side.

Then I began to sense the beauty of everything. The absolute right ness, that felt a bit like five weeks on ecstasy and caused Steve to say over and over what is that SMILE on your face? As if I only grimace or eye roll the rest of the time, it is gone. If you press me I know that “just rightness” is still there. I felt it. It is real. But more real is the I QUIT feeling. And honestly, even I am bored of this feeling. So bored that I wish to quit quitting and just live in the moment again.

As long as that moment is bed+TV.

My little Leo. He has been a messy mess. I mean, he is still sunshine for big chunks of the day. Case: this morning getting dressed he flicks his hair and says. “My hair is annoying me right now.”  “Maybe you want to cut it?” I ask. Honestly not invested in either answer. “no.” He responds strongly. I told you no. Why do you keep asking that?” Strong and curious, not strong and annoyed. I understand I tell him. I have this circumstance with my mother. I just want to tell her about whatever my problem is and she wants to fix it. I just want to talk about it. I just did that to you. He gives me a smile. Yes, you don;t need to fix it, Im just telling you my hair is annoying. I reach out and brush his hair back. “Maybe a headband?” “mama, he says in a patient tone, you are trying to fix again.”

And so I was.

Less fixing, more listening. Less judging, more noticing.

See. I don’t want to finish this. I am boring myself. This jumpy antsy feeling, which is different from the quitting feeling has a similarity in that they both keep me from tuning in. They are also similar because they both suck.

So Leo’s messy mess ness led to a phone call with vicki who told us one liberating thing and one fucking shit thing. Leos fits reliably come during dinner time. So she told us to blow up dinner. No more prep, cook, sit down, have meaningful conversations. If he sabotages them each night just ditch those dinners. So dinner as we knew it is done. At least for now. It was interesting how I clung to it tooth and nail. I gave up baths and teeth brushing, but dinner. Come on, all families need a good sit down meal together. The studies all say so.

The harder one is training him in self soothing away from the iPad. It is the one tool in his tool box. I wonder why? Plugging in is my unplugging. When I am run down it is how I try to charge back up. After 39 years I know that it does not in fact energize me, but sinks me deeper and deeper into the tempurpedic. So this is what Leo knows. Steve has lots of other outlets, hockey, beer, OK well at least two other outlets. Leo is too young for beer.

So when I am doing well, seeing beauty, engaging, not even thinking of quitting I don’t watch much TV. I can tell you all the things I do that give me energy. Yoga, walks, iced tea, meditation, chatting with friends, sketching rooms, even writing. I don’t need tips for those times, and when I do need tips I have already quit. A quitter doesn’t walk. A quitter watches TV, eats, and shops. Like the cardiac paddles the consumptive inputs try to get stuff going.

I started a list of things I find beautiful. Things that don’t have calories, cost money, or come over the airwaves. (OK smart ass the flowers might have calories)  Right now it is short, because I quit on it. But I’m sure there are more. I sort of remember them.

  • Dappled light through spring leaves
  • Lennon and Maisy singing
  • rununculuses
  • this one plate I have at home
  • Oliver’s eyes
  • Leo’s back
  • The way the two pillows on my red couch look together
  • One floor board in my bedroom
  • That one view of mountain layers headed south in Charlotte on route seven. After you turn.
  • ice cubes in a sturdy tumbler
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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

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