Friday, July 9, 2010

Reality Bites

It would be really easy for me to sit here and go through all of our photos from our trip over the last couple of weeks and post a few for your viewing pleasure. Eventually I will, but there’s something else on my mind and quite honestly, I don’t really feel like sharing it for fear that it will be judged in a way that I don’t intend. Nevertheless, there’s a nagging part of me that wonders if there aren’t a few who might benefit from knowing that sometimes Vern has bad days. Not in the, “I got a flat tire, earned a speeding ticket, gained 5 lbs and was called ‘Sir’ by the checkout lady” kind of way, but in a, “I feel like Eeyore on valium reading ‘Angela’s Ashes’” kind of way. I’m blaming my vacation. Not because it sucked, but because it was so, SO good.

Before we left I had been feeling an anxiousness to get out of my house – to see something new, do something different, be someplace where (FOR THE LOVE) something besides dishes, laundry and Disney channel were happening. And so we did. It had been planned for a while to reunite with Cory’s family, venture to Teton National Park, spend a couple of days in Yellowstone and then head to Montana for extended R&R. It was glorious! I couldn’t get enough. My SIL and her husband housed all of us in their home and they were unbelievable hosts. We launched water balloons, ate dutch oven desserts, played on the trampoline, bonded over the Wii, set off fireworks and played games. With seventeen people under the same roof on floor to floor air mattresses, I don’t recall a single tense moment or argument that broke out. We went to Jackson Hole (mountains!), Grand Teton National Park (more mountains!), Arby’s (curly fries!), and Yellowstone (don’t pet the bison!). We saw Old Faithful, watched real cowboys sing and play the banjo, ate homemade ice cream, rode bikes and roasted s’mores. Short of holding hands in a circle and singing Cumbayah, it was an All American road trip.

And then we came home. It was nice at first – familiar, comfortable. It smelled nice, looked nice, and other than the elevated temperatures due to being closed up for two weeks it felt nice. But once the laundry was done, the car was cleaned out and the kitchen was back to looking lived in, I sort of sank.
Everything has turned gray and flat. I don’t want to return phone calls, check my email, or get dressed. Dressed for what? So the boy across the street who’s ringing my doorbell incessantly at NINE FREAKIN’ THIRTY IN THE MORNING (has no one defined the rules of summer break to the child?) can go, “Hello Mrs. Vern. I see you took the time to apply a little mascara today.” I think not.

It’s not that I don’t have plenty to do, it’s that very few things I do fill my emotional/spiritual/intellectual reservoir; like eating a bag of marshmallows on an empty stomach.  I can’t shake the feeling that there has to be more for me, which is confusing because I have everything I need and a lot of what I want, so what the heck does “more” even look like? What is my problem? Am I just high maintenance? Ungrateful? Spoiled? Pessimistic? Impractical? How does a girl with everything she could possibly need in this life still find a way to be dissatisfied?

I told you. I should have just posted a shot of Old Faithful.
P.S.  Congrats Ganelle for being the contest winner!  I'm curious though, when the internet votes you as the ugliest, do you still feel like a winner?  Oh well, nothing that Olive Garden breadsticks can't fix.


rocslinger said...

Please don't be scared but I understand how your feeling. It's temporary and you will be fine.

When I was in my teens and early twenties I used to try and avoid having a good time because I knew that afterwards my mood would plummet. The problem with this plan was that I would not experience having a good time (duh). Hence I developed plan B. I decided to live life well and than I would give myself permission to feel bad for just one day afterward.

After trying to supress my emotions for years I now try to live with them. What is important to realize is that everything changes including how you feel.

Mom of Three said...

I get that too, the having everything you want but still feeling a bit empty inside. Maybe it's just the routine of life and having things depend upon you to get done. I've decided that I really don't like to clean and do laundry. I do them because they don't get done by themselves. I feel this way about my job too, even though I really do like what I do, I just get tired of having to do it week after week. There is something about breaking away from the expected and playing with an abandon that we haven't experienced since we had no responsiblities other than who to hang out with that night after our school work was done (major run on!). There is that sense of not caring how many calories go into the mouth, how much money is spent, and what time the kids need to go to bed. It is a pure abandon. I can totally understand the coming down crush of post vacation.

Thelissa said...

Hi. You don't know me, but I check in here sometimes. I have experienced this feeling as well. In fact my hubby and I are preparing to leave in a few weeks on a trip and I already dread coming home. Weird huh. I am actually dreading the trip in a way too because although I am desperate to get away from kids, laundry, etc., I'm afraid and sad to leave my kids and all at the same time. So either you're normal, or we are both weird!:) I think the first!

Rachel said...

Love you Vern. Thanks for putting this all into words.

I think the emptiness you're feeling is because you haven't written your first book of essays yet. Get to it.

I'm only sort of kidding. 1) I want to read a book of your essays and 2) it's "bigger" and you should do it. What do you think?

I hope you start to feel better either way.

Stefani said...

Akkk, I felt this way 2 weeks ago. But not from a let down from an awesome trip (which I have felt before too) it was from HAVING nothing to look forward too. This is a pretty boring summer, but still plenty to do. And everything was going fine. But NOTHING excited me, my motivation was low, my spirits were dampened. I got stuff done, but with no enthusiasm. Here's the good news... it went away, it took a couple of weeks (a long time for me) but it DID go away. Today I'm actually excited about cleaning out the garage. Go figure.

Heather said...

Um... yeah, totally felt crappy after our really fun time a few weeks ago. Have you read the last "post"? lol.

Everyone gets down now and again, so hopefully it will pass soon. But if not, i hope you'll find some way to help you cope with all you are feeling. We want you well!

The P*dunc's said...

post-vacation depression
a little dose of valium should do it until those vacation hormones go away, maybe when your done nursing the good memories.


there are some ladies that after they have babies, cook, dry, grind and ingest their placenta to help with postpartum depression (sick). Maybe you could cook up a souvenir or two and eat it??

ganelle said...

I hear ya. On the drive home from our recent trip, I was already talking about where we were going next. Helps me to just have a plan.

ganelle said...

Oh, and I'll take winning and walk away feeling like a champ. Ugliest or not.

I'd like to thank:
-My mom for cutting my bangs all crazy.
-The optometrist for allowing a little girl with a big dream buy glasses more appropriate for a 70 year old man.
-The photographer at Sears who managed to eek out a very bizarre smile.
Thank you all!

lynette said...

It reminds me of the lyrics in a song...

"Just as soon as I get what I want
I get unsatisfied
Good is good
but could be better"

And I can TOTALLY relate!

It was really hard on me once we moved back to the States after living overseas for almost 3 years. Funny thing is, while I was there, I longed for home. Then, once we moved back, I was ready for another overseas assignment. I think it's normal to always be looking for something more. My goal is to try to be content and satisfied now. No matter where that is.

Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon!

Jill said...

Do you know what would fix this? I nice trip to Montana.

violyngirl said...

Dear Vern,
Maybe a new hobby or project that you're really good at. Like shutters? OR, you could come to my house and pretty it up. But seriously, hope you feel better soon. School will start, things will get better. At least you still have your wit.

Bryn said...

Yes you are right, there are some people out there who would appreciate this post and I am one of them! Thanks for sharing your "Eeyore" feelings! I can relate! And have wondered a lot about these kinds of feelings. Having never done drugs I can't say this from experience but I've wondered if a fun and exciting vacation is almost like a high from which we crash afterwards and then crave more? I've read a very interesting book called "Wanting More: The Challenge of Enjoyment in the Age of Addiction" by Mark Chamberlain and in it he talks about how it takes people's brains a long time to reset to normalcy after they've hooked it on drugs or other types of addictions.
Then again Gordon Livingston said in his book, "And Never Stop Dancing" that the three components to happiness are "Something to do, someone to love and something to look forward to." Maybe you are just lacking the "something to look forward to." The neighbor boy knocking on your door in the morning wouldn't cut it for me either.
Thanks again for your post!
Thanks for keeping it real!
And when these feelings pass, what about a follow up post about why, when and how?
I've got a vacation coming up in a couple of weeks, which now I'm dreading (Ha, ha) so I could use the advice!!

Emily said...

I find that when I feel "eh" like that (in fact, that was my FB status just last night) that more curly fries are the answer.

Nicole said...

Is it the dog days of summer? I am all blah like that too right now. But we are headed out for vacation this week so I hope it gets better when we come back!

Nicole said...

OK Ganelle, I just read your acceptance comment. That was hilarious. See, your mom was looking out for you! She just knew that picture would come in handy!

Amy said...

I don't think you should ever be afraid to post about this. I for one am tired of the "LOOK AT ME I AM PERFECT" blogs. I prefer a little dose of honesty and reality.

We all have these moments where we question what we do each day and whether it has any meaning or value to us. That's usually when I realize I am not doing anything to nurture my soul.

Anyway, I can relate, and I am sure there are many others who can as well.

Kara said...

I totally feel this way after a long vacation. Pretty much every time. Good to know I'm not the only one!