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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Mediocre Me

I'm not at my best right now.

When I was in primary school, around the age of 6 or 7, there was a time when Mum would drop me at school, and I would immediately start to cry. She would ask, “What’s wrong, Doll?” (Doll was an affectionate nickname for me when I was a kid.) “I don’t know,” I would reply, and continue to cry. And I really didn’t know the answer to that question. Still don’t. I was a bit of a Mummy’s girl, I guess. So perhaps I felt some anxiety about Mum leaving me? I’m not sure how long this went on for. Perhaps it was days. Perhaps it was weeks. But eventually, it did pass.

Towards the end of my final year in high school, I also experienced what I would call a “slump”. I woke up every morning feeling down. I felt it hard to motivate myself to do anything, and I would weep at the drop of a hat. I couldn’t pinpoint any one particular reason for this, but I would guess a broken relationship, a strained friendship, and coming to the end of my schooling without any idea as to what I would do next, may have had something to do with it.

Then one morning I woke up and I was fine. Slump officially over.

Generally, I’m a fairly happy, upbeat person. I’m jokey. I like a good laugh and a good chat. I’m social. But I have off days. Doesn't everyone? And mostly, you wouldn't know. I can hide it if I want to. Sometimes I can't. But mostly, you would think I'm my usual happy self.

Yesterday, around lunch time, I started to have a “moment”. It actually started with a lovely, positive email from someone I admire. Feeling not so great about something I had written that this person had read, I wrote to her in relation to my writing, “I’m just going off to crawl in to a corner now...” I was joking, of course, but then I received her lovely reply, in which she wrote, “No crawling anywhere at all! Your article was great…out of the corner and back to the writing desk!”

I don’t always cry at things that upset me. I can cry when someone compliments me, or encourages me. I’m not a cry baby, but there are days where I can feel more emotive than others. And the slightest thing can set me off. Yesterday was one of those days.

And so I did write. For some reason, I had the sudden urge to write about my sister, Valda, who died when I was 7 months old. I wrote 1500 words incredibly quickly. The thoughts and words just flowed. I had always planned a post on Valda closer to Easter, and in my mind previously, I had written it over and over again. But this post came out quite differently. It was almost as if I wasn’t writing it. I’m not saying my sister had hold of the keys (typing was not her thing!), I’m just saying that I had no particular power over the words. They just popped in to my head and I had no choice but to write/type them down.

I cried. It’s an emotional subject that I can sometimes talk about without feeling any kind of sadness, and other times with an acute sense of pain. The pain is because of what I didn’t have, rather than what I did have with her. (And I will post about this at some stage, just not now.)

Later that day, and still feeling fragile, I logged on to Mamamia to check what new posts were up, and Kerri Sackville had a guest post. I love Kerri’s writing. I never miss a post of hers. I can relate a lot to what she writes, and particularly so to yesterday’s post, because it was (partly) about her sister who had died suddenly two years ago. Writing my response to her post, the tears flowed again.

And to be honest, they haven’t stopped. But it’s not just about my sister. And it’s not just because my Mum is going in to have an operation next week. And it’s not just because my 3yr old has been home unwell since last Thursday night, and I haven’t been anywhere. And it’s not just because I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed with all I have to do. And it’s not just because another P&F member at my P&F meeting last night suddenly went to criticise me for something (but was, thankfully, cut off – because last night I could not have handled such a confrontation, even though her opinion is in the extreme minority).

I mean, yes, it’s all a little of that. But it’s more. And just like when I was in primary school, I don’t know why I feel sad. I thought a good night’s sleep would do the trick. Often, it does. But not this time. I woke this morning feeling the same heavy heart. I’m still crying at the drop of hat, regardless of the wonderful support I experienced from my 7yr old last night, when he noticed my red, puffy eyes and said, “Are you ok Mummy?”

I said, “I’m fine, honey. Thank you for asking. I’m just tired. That’s all.”

He asked, “Have you been cutting onions?” I had to laugh.

“No. I just have sore eyes,” I replied.

“Maybe you should lie down?” he suggested. Now that would be nice.

And then I received a lovely, supportive email from a Blogger and Twitter friend asking if I was ok after seeing my response to Kerri’s post. And when Hubby came home and asked how I was and I cried again, he was supportive and sympathetic. And when I cried again to a friend after the P&F meeting last night, she put her arm around me, and held me tightly for support. And then Hubby hugged me again on my return and asked if I was ok. And when I told him I feel mediocre right now. A mediocre Mum. A mediocre wife. A mediocre daughter. A mediocre friend. A mediocre writer. Just ok at a lot of things, and not really good at anything, he disputed it and told me it wasn't true. And that's why he's my husband. And my best friend.

The first thing he asked me this morning was “Are you ok?” My answer was. "No, not really." Because I’m still feeling awfully sad. And I still don’t really know why. I’m hoping it passes soon. Maybe it will last 3 more hours. Maybe 3 more days. I hope not 3 more weeks. But I know it will pass.

I just hope it’s soon.

Until next time



AJ said...

I shouldn't have read this at work... I got a little teary, Jodie!

A huge *hug* from me, I hope you are feeling happier soon.

Brenda said...

Oh honey, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way at the moment. I wish I've got the right words to say right now but I've got none.

Here's hoping that you'll feel better sooner. xxxxxoooooxxxx

april said...

Because sometimes sad is happens and yours is ultra justified.
I want to come and give you a hug but i can't - so i too hope you are feeling better soon. Very soon. xxx

MegsyJ said...

You have expressed exactly how I was feeling the other day. I was just sad. At everything. And nothing. Just wanted a good old cry (all the time).

And you are NOT mediocre at anything you do. You are the opposite of mediocre - AWESOME!

*big hugs*

Kylie L said...

Hugs.. hope it lifts soon.

Taryn said...

Oh dear Jodie! I hope you weren't crying because I haven't stopped by in a while!

You are just inherently human (thank god) and we all go through bouts of this kind of *stuff* every now and again.

You are a wonderful mother and wife. Not mediocre by any means! Don't be so silly. You have a wonderful blog and we all enjoy your posts. You are an excellent cook too! What sort of friend would CREATE AN ENTIRE blog with her recipes for everyone?? Not a mediocre one.

Sending you HUGS. Hope u r feeling better soon x

Jayne said...

Oh Jodie, big hugs. I think with all of our choices today there are times we feel overwhelmed. I spread myself too thin most of the time and end up feeling crap at everything. But, my mantra is the old chestnut, 'this too shall pass'. And back up on the horse I get, all guns ablazing. But I do also believe that when these feelings take hold it's important to sit with them and see which direction they take us in. Sometimes the detour ends up as an amazing one. Hope you are feeling better super soon. XX

Ami said...

Oh Jodie, I'm sorry you're feeling this way. Feeling down sucks at the best of times, let alone when you have a sick child and plenty of other things to do. I really hope it doesn't last long. It sounds like you have a lovely support network. Even when you think you're mediocre, (which you're NOT!) you come out with a lovely heartfelt post.

Thinking of you. xxx

Thea Smith said...

I'm going to DM you about this one. xxx

jessica said...

You might be suffering from real depression. I would recommend talking to a therapist, who knows. It can't hurt. I suffer from chronic depression and have for many years, it helps a lot. We're here for you. I'm here for you. You can always write me and we can talk.

Aussie-waffler said...

Oh hon, Aside from the fact that I didn't lose a sister, I could have written that very same post. I have been feeling exactly the same way lately. I couldn't even face Twitter or my blog, I have been feeling over-whelmed, under pressure and teary at the drop of a hat, which I find annoying because I like to smile and make lame jokes to make other people smile. *Hugs* my luv, I hope you pass the slump sooner rather than later. xxx

Bern said...

Thanks for writing this. I guess the thing is it's OK to feel sad. I haven't had the chance to fall in a heap yet but am kind of waiting for it and will actually embrace it. That is if it doesn't overtake me. I've never done that, but then again a run of shitty things like this has never happened either. Hugs to you x

Sarah P said...

I totally understand this feeling. Writing about the death of my brother a little while ago had a profound effect on me. You aren't mediocre, you know that and I know that. But feeling that? I get that. It will pass. That feeling. And until it does, I'm holding your hand (metaphorically speaking) xxxx

Simone said...

A hug from me. x

Michelle said...

I used to get even more upset feeling that I had no reason to be sad in those down times - now I know that the sadness will pass. It's not nice to be in that place and I hope you do get past it soon. xx

Jo said...

Mediocre is the last word I would associate with you Jodie
You are funny, gorgeous, friendly, caring, helpful, honest, clever, and inspirational. (plus you have really good hair!)
Remember it is ok to be down sometimes.
luv ya
Jo H

Fiona said...

Hi Jodie
Feeling "Blue" is very natural. How dull would life be if we were all happy all the time. We would never truly enjoy those great moments in life that make us roar with laughter and burst with joy. Life is in colour! Importantly you have friends that care for you dearly and notice when your feeling down even if they don't always read your blog. You are an A One terrific Chic and your funny.