I was sitting in mass today and Father Richard started talking about living in a dark fog. Sometimes, things just keep you down and you can’t see your way through them.
Kind of like how life has been for the last two months. Well, almost two months. I don’t count the two weeks I spent in Texas without the kids, so I haven’t been a mom again for sixty complete days.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been trying, really trying, just to keep my head above water. And its not like I’ve got a ton of stress going on in my life but it’s the stupid things that are bothering me. I hate traffic. I loathe it. It is the ultimate time suck and I have to do fight Fort Hood traffic every single day, because unless you’re up at 8 am, even going to the store involves crowds and lines of cars and bodies all jockeying for a place in the checkout line.

I’ll do anything to avoid going to the store, but especially when it’s busy. Thankfully, my hubby is cool with that, because well, if I’m not in the store, I’m not shopping. Gone are the days when I’d run to Target for a gallon of milk. Nope. I’m using a list and at the beginning of the week, I’m buying everything I need for the week, to include 3 gallons of milk.

I get this tight knot around my chest when I get in crowded places. I start getting frustrated and rude and I don’t like feeling like that. I won’t go to lunch on Ft Hood b/c of the lines and lines of cars 2 miles long to get off post. And no, there is no unused gate. All orifices leading to and from Ft Hood suck.

It’s something so trivial and so stupid and yet, its real to me. I simply won’t do it and will do anything to avoid it.

But its not just traffic. I’m also tired. I love having my kids around. I’m incredible glad to be home and be able to take my kid to school and be involved with her education. I love her teacher and she’s adjusted well to being back in Texas, away from the family up in Maine.

My writing is struggling, as is my ability to think clearly. I’m working my ass off to finish my WIP Monster but, as remains the case with this book, inspiration comes in fits and starts with it. So I’m not forcing it, I’m working on it as it comes. I’ve discovered that the book I sent out to agents has a massive pacing problem, but fear and the worry that I’m going to once more paint myself as an amateur has kept me from contacting them and pulling the project back. I still have hope that someone will take me on and work with me, but if this book isn’t the one to do that, I’m okay with that.

I’m frustrated because I had time in Iraq. I had time to write, I had time to read, I had time to work out. Here, there simply isn’t enough time. I have to get up at 5 every day for workout time. And when my kids are awake, its all mommy all the time. By the time they’re in bed, I’m exhausted. I might be awake for an hour after they’re in bed but by 9, 9:30 at the latest, I’m toast. How the hell was I working 18 hours days in Iraq like it was nothing? I don’t know, but I sure as hell have found the cure for insomnia.

So I’m dealing with a lot and trying to keep up a positive outlook on things. I’ve had days where I would have gotten out of the army if another opportunity presented itself, but I’m a realist and I enjoy being able to go to the doctor when my kid breaks her arm. I want to be published so badly I can taste it but it seems to remain just out of reach. If this book isn’t the one to do that, then all I can do is write the next book.

But at the end of it all, if I’m frustrated and tired and remain unpublished, all of these things don’t matter. What matters is that I’m home. For the time being, I get to be a mom and all these other things. I don’t have to go to the store. I don’t have to get angry when I’m in a store. Fr Richard spoke today of perseverance. Stick with it. You’re going through things now that you might not understand the purpose behind.

So I’ll persevere, even when I feel like crawling into bed and pulling the covers over my head. I’ll keep writing and I’ll keep making things normal for my kids and I’ll keep working on achieving that panacea of all working mom’s: balance. Wish me luck!