I have arrived at a most shocking self-discovery. I say shocking, because it was a very humbling and surprising thing for me to discover about myself. But for those of you who know me, and especially my family, this revelation will probably be less of a breakthrough and more a source of amusement.
I was talking to a wonderful friend of mine about a year or so ago. She is a bit older than I am, and she mentioned in our conversation that I reminded her of herself when she was a mom with kids living at home. She actually used the word "high-strung." I was taken aback a little bit, and secretly amused that someone could think that I, of all people could be thought of as high-strung. I remember thinking, "Wow. She really doesn't know me very well at all. I am a totally laid back, spontaneous, roll-with-the-punches kind of gal." Well, it has taken some serious introspection, a few near-meltdowns, one border-line nervous breakdown collapsed on the floor in front of the pantry, and a lot of observing other moms who really are mellow and low-strung. (I don't think that's really a word, but you get the point) for me to finally realize that I am a high-strung person.
Yikes, it actually hurts me to put it in writing. It's true, though. I am not very patient, I am a total control freak, I am a perfectionist, I am basically everything neurotic and insane. The most amusing thing of it is that everyone else has probably known all along! And no one bothered to tell me! Well, come to think of it, I am remembering a conversation in the car with my kids a few months ago that went a little something like this:
Zariah: "Mommy is always grumpy."
Audrina: "Yeah, Mommy!"
Me: "What?! I am not! That's ridiculous."
Fan: "She's not always grumpy, Zariah."
Me: "See! Fan knows! Listen to her."
Fan: "She's only grumpy when she comes home from work. And on Sundays. And if we're getting ready to go somewhere."
Um, thanks Fan, way to get my back. Maybe I have always been so obviously high-strung that everyone just assumed that of course I knew. How could I not know? All along I have been thinking how lucky my kids and husband are to have an ultra-cool, chillaxed, hip mom and wife like me. In reality, it has been I who is lucky to have people around me that understand and love me anyway when I flip out over messy rooms and make threatening phone calls when someone eats the last 5 bites of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and have a cosmic melt down on the Hoover Dam overlook en route to Arizona. Apparently, in my desperation to appear laid-back and serene, I convinced myself that I was indeed a calm, mellow person. I am not. I never have been. I possibly never will be. I am the crazy kind of person that the Rolling Stones were channeling when they wrote Mother's Little Helper. Minus the little yellow pill.
Ouch. It is painful, this self-realization.