4.27.2011

The Anatomy of A Breakdown


Have you ever seen the movie Ponyo? The girlies are completely obsessed with it...love it...watch it non-stop. I, on the other hand, am completely irked by it. Specifically, I'm completely irked by Sosuke's mom in the movie, Lisa. She's a complete basket-case, careening down seaside cliffs in her car in the pouring rain, leaving her five-year old son to fend for himself in their house during a tsunami and, upon learning that her husband will miss dinner because he has to work an extra shift on his fishing boat, throwing herself on the floor face-down in a heap of sobs...but not without popping open a can of beer first. (By the way, this is an animated movie, in case you're wondering.)

Come on Lisa...pull yourself together for God's sake!

Every time the girls watch the movie (did I mention they watch it a. lot.) I throw in my two-cents on how lame Lisa is...I just can't help myself.

So it was perhaps the lowest moment of my mothering existence when, after finding me face-down on Audrey's floor sobbing last night, Millie declared, "hey, you're just like Sosuke's mom."

No, if I were Sosuke's mom, I'd be drinking a beer too, thus feeling a lot better than I feel right now.

Why was I sobbing, you might be wondering? Well I'll tell ya (finally...sorry about the long intro). On Monday, just as we were finally settled in, unpacked and organized post-vacation, the plumbing leading to our toilet sort of well...exploded, spewing water everywhere, for a long, long time. Bryan came home from lunch to find our master bedroom, the hall and various other spots in the back of the house (+ part of the living room) under a couple of inches of water.

Good times.

So now we're in the thick of it, weaving our way through a maze of giant de-humidifiers and industrial fans (needless to say, it's loud), watching baseboards get pried off, wood flooring get ripped up, and gumball-sized holes unceremoniously drilled into the walls. Our stuff is turned upside down, the furniture is all caddywhompus...it's quite a sight really. In the meantime, we've decamped to the front of the house, occupying the guest room and an air mattress in the den. This novel arrangement would be sort of fun if it weren't for all the chaos happening around us. (In fact, I would highly recommend camping out in your guest room or living room a few times a year. It's like going on vacation without leaving home, but I digress.)

I held it together pretty well in the beginning, but late yesterday afternoon a trio of happenings lead to my Lisa-esque breakdown: my OCD firmly kicked in, making the mess my house had become completely freak me out, I stubbed my toe hard on a de-humidifier, and then I bumped into my dresser (which was wedged in front of the laundry room door) and knocked off and broke one of my favorite little vases that was perched on top of it. And then I promptly lost it. It was ugly.


image via my lovely friend Stephanie's fantastic blog, let it be.


Thankfully, the sobbing combined with Millie's damning assessment of the situation seemed to prove cathartic, as I woke up today feeling pretty optimistic. Rest assured, I am still supremely bummed about the whole enterprise. My house (that I so lovingly scrubbed and organized and primped and prepped for that home tour a couple of weeks ago) is a complete shambles, oh and did I mention I'm throwing a party for 30 people on Saturday!? But, somehow, things seem a bit less dire.

And on the upside, the whole experience, has me (yet again) re-evaluating my relationship with all the stuff in my house, if not fueling my ├╝ber-minimalism fantasies -- I'm pretty close to chucking it all and moving into a teeny, tiny abode somewhere... just me, Bryan, the girlies and our ten favorite possessions.

Sounds nice, doesn't it?

33 comments:

j. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather Taylor said...

Sounds absolutely lovely.

Maia McDonald said...

Sometimes a good freak-out is all a person needs, I'm glad your feeling better today though.

tamara said...

mm i think every mama reading knows that feeling. heres to hoping the house is put back in order soon.

i think my two year old son wants to *be* sosuke. i wouldn't mind living in their house on the hill by the seaside.

Jackie said...

i read your blog daily, and consider it my favorite of all the blogs i read, and yet i never comment. today though i just had to stop and say thank you. thank you for being real. and for finding a way to do so that is completely in keeping with the simple and lovely manner your readers have come to expect. it's inspiring and encouraging and really just refreshing. so thank you.

best of luck to you as you deal with this unfortunate situation.

Emma (Glitter and Gold) said...

I am so sorry; i feel your pain . . . I have had a few of those types of days/weeks??? they are unavoidable when we try to be everything, do everything and do it all 150% perfect . . . . I always have the worst downward spirals when i set myself up with expectations . . . glad today seemed better, there will be some unexpected silver lining in all of this . . . hang in there )
xoxoxo
E

Allison said...

Oh, bless your heart :(
This too shall pass, remember that.

xo

jora said...

Big big big hugs to you! I am so sorry you are dealing with this. What doesn't kill us...... xoxo

Bobbi said...

I feel for you. Hang in there, it will all be okay soon.

Gica said...

While what you are going through sounds absolutely horrendous, I think you have managed to capture the essence of what it is to be real and human and completely in touch with everything. We cannot touch everything and expect to stand separate from things...and you show in your writing that you do actively participate in all of your life. It's something I really admire and respect about your work, and I know and your readers know that it is not ever easy. You just keep making it look so darn cool and beautiful :-) Be strong, hang in there, thank you for sharing. My hat is off to you :-) Bravo!

Ana Degenaar said...

I'm so sorry to hear this, Joslyn. I can only imagine how darn annoying that must be, you guys were getting your new pool and going on vacation and right when things look perfect something like this comes and ruins it all. I'm going through the thick of many areas in my life and I have people telling me it's no biggie, it actually IS and it bothers me to no end when people diminish the hurt or frustration someone is going through. I totally hear you - you should be upset and frustrated and sometimes sobbing on your daughter's bedroom floor... as things get better they will see that your cried, you moaned (maybe even cursed?) but you faced everything with your best attitude the next day.
I hope things get better soon and that you are able too fully enjoy all what life is giving you.
Hugs to you,
Ana

Ana Degenaar said...

BTW. I just absolutely hate when I see comments of people who haven't even read your post and they want to leave their two-cents on a matter they are not even aware of. Just saying.

Rachel said...

Oh, Jos. Sometimes you just need to cry it out. Hugs.

jen shannon said...

I've watched Ponyo too many times to count, as my son also loves it. I knew the mother annoyed me and made me feel manic, but I didn't realize exactly why until you put it into words. Ha! I'm sorry to hear about the state of your home. From one OCD person to another, it is good that you remember your sense of humor during times like this. Hope it all gets better very soon!

Mel said...

Cry it out all you want. If it works for kids, it can work for us! And if Lisa from Ponyo is the catalyst, so be it! I know the pressures and high expectations we place on ourselves as moms, wives, women. It all has to come to a head sometime, now's as good a time as any. Ok. It's done. Time to strap on some of those cute shoes of yours skip making dinner and take the family on a date.

sandi said...

i totally understand how you feel--about ponyo (what's with that mom letting him hang out by the water alone and that creepy fish-dad?) and about feeling overwhelmed. just ride it out. you are not lisa-esque at all. now go have a beer--when the kids have gone to bed.

Torrie said...

I hope there's going to be a little wine involved at that party on Saturday. ;)

No, seriously I am sorry to hear that this happened. I used to have a boss that said (when a "disaster" occurred), "We're going to cry about this for about 30 seconds... Then we're going to move on." Your breakdown moment reminded me of this. You got it out, and then you moved on. :)

Good luck in moving on through the damage... and party planning!!

Kelly and Kelly said...

oh my, that sounds just crazy. and anybody would be doing the same put in that situation. I hope you get it all worked out as easily as possible.

Katie said...

Oh no--that really sucks.

I do hope you can get it all--or enough of it--together for your party! If not, I'm sure guests will be understanding. I mean, hey, they'll probably be impressed if you can pull anything together! I would be amazed, personally.

Best of luck to you!

Khali said...

My kids love Ponyo too and I have the same issues with Lisa. So sorry to hear about your disaster - I'm sure you'll laugh about it in time.

stephanie duncan said...

oh man, what a disaster! i thought that i was having a bad day, but you totally have me beat! i wish that i still lived around the corner so that i could bring you a lot of wine and a little dinner too! not that this is going to make you feel any better, but your post today made my day...maybe even my week! it is endlessly comforting to know that even you stumble occasionally! i admire you and the blog so! it is my absolute favorite and is forever inspiring! your link and compliment today made my new little blog feel legitimate! it was thrilling, really! i hope that all goes as well as it can on saturday. and just for the record, i would go to a party at your beautiful home even if it was completely underwater and i had use a snorkel! i bet anyone you ask would say the same. good luck and thanks again for the encouragement!

JWK said...

What a mess!!! Sending happy thoughts your way :)

by Sara Hicks Malone said...

what a sh***y day! Kids have a way of making things better- so glad you have the girls!

gbf said...

oh dear! that sounds awful...i would too feel weak in the knees with the stress of it! hope all dries without too much damage. dayle

Emma at The Marion House Book said...

Uh, this sounds miserable. I remember my parent's having a party for 50 or so people when I was younger and the sewer backed up. There was my dad standing amongst all this fetid water while my mom greeted guests upstairs! They look back and laugh at it now as I'm sure you will one day as well. Hang in there!

Leslie said...

Oh my gosh, Joslyn! How horrible. Nothing upsets me more than living in chaos. I hope everything is restored as soon as humanly possible. Sending hugs from the suburbs.

Carolyn said...

You will get over it, with God's help.

Homeowner Insurance

I eye iye! said...

i discovered your blog through our mutual friend and every time I remember to view your blog, I end up feeling like I am reading a storybook about this great little family that I check up on every once in a while. Your post today made me sit at my desk here for about 5 minutes just thinking about how brave you are. Brave in a really amazing way. Thank you for sharing your down days, as well as your really fancy days. I am sure some kind of wonderful will come from this. yes.
Here is a song I am in love with and always manages to add light to my not so great days and even my great ones, the walkmen, we've been had.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoBGqLt96Pg
Have a better day today!

Fern and Feather said...

geez louise. I am sorry. that sounds like a really doozy of events. I think your reaction was right on... plus I think REALLY sobbing helps things. I hope today is a much better day. ox

Sarah Bradley said...

I'm really sorry to hear about the house. My parent's contractor fell through the roof from the attic 3 days before completion and 5 before the open house! I know it's not the same, but sometimes it helps to see other people are in the same boat. Here's to a new day and things being sunshiny!

Anna said...

Oh, you poor dear. That sort of life chaos really does wear one thin, doesn't it.

And, yes. The thought of an unencumbered life does sound very appealing.

Stephanie said...

so so sorry. we had a similar experience many years ago when i was very large and pregnant. the noise from the fans was awful and depressing.

what an amazing attitude you have. i would have been drinking that beer for sure (you know, given that you aren't pregnant. =) hang in there!

la la Lovely said...

oh i would probably be having a sob breakdown on the hour. So sorry you have to deal with all of that!
xo Trina