I'm Happy, Dammit (10 Reasons Why)
I am morphing into a grumpy old woman as I approach 40 and I have mixed feelings about this.
I am enjoying stepping up my sarcasm a notch and being able to return things in a shop with a defiant “So what? I didn’t bloody like it… refund please?” attitude.
The flip side is that I am being a total bitch to everyone in my house and not just once a month (although this is a time of high alert for my husband and 3 boys). I am drowning in a sea of unwashed jocks and socks, unemptied dishwashers and a demanding tiny army.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed and under-appreciated and I have often cried (silent tears full of pride) and railed against my self-inflicted imprisonment. To my inner teenager’s surprise I have become a nag, I scrutinise my husband’s movements, seeking some irritation so I can tut at him and raise my eyes and say “men”. I’m not proud of myself and I’m in mortal danger of becoming my mother, whom I love fiercely, but she is the first to see the bad in someone and patented the tut/eye-raise. So, I am going to make a list of things that make me happy that I can laminate and read in times of rage or domestic slavery. They are not in any particular order... clearly I don't rate candles and grooming above my kids (most days).
- Candles; I love them desperately with Jo Malone being my holy grail (I had one once as a push present from a kind friend). My husband asked me a few years ago what I wanted for Christmas and I said all I wanted was a Jo Malone candle… He was delighted until he checked the price and I got a speech on how people were starving in the world and he couldn’t justify spending €50 on a candle (I think he learnt this speech form my mother). How could I answer without sounding like an entitled middle class snob so I rolled my eyes, tutted and said “men”. I can’t wait to get to a stage where I can light a candle without one of the kids gleefully blowing it out or getting a fire safety awareness speech from himself.
- Grooming; remember those days when you had hours to prepare for a night out? Shaving, plucking, manicuring etc? It has become a chore to be scheduled. My nails are currently jagged and chipped and I meant to do them last night but the youngest came into my room crying that he had had “a good dream” in a misguided attempt to get into my bed. As I put him back, I had a feeling this would be a repeated nocturnal tactic and may result in smudged nails, best leave them.
- Free time; even if it is strolling with casual abandon around Aldi, chatting with random strangers and giving sympathetic looks to harassed mothers. Alone time can never possibly be appreciated if you haven’t peed solo in 8 years. Nights out are seldom but treasured and polished in the memory for weeks after. I recently attended a wedding with my husband and the days leading up to it were filled with domestic disharmony and there were times when I had to resist the urge to punch him in his always-right face. While in his arms dancing to I had the time of my life, I couldn’t have been more in love and the weeks that followed we were nauseating and couldn’t keep our hands off each other.
- My kids; yeah, yeah I spend 90% of my life giving out about them and they thoroughly deserve it but they are unique and make me laugh. When they play nicely together I freeze on the spot (it’s so unexpected) and watch them and feel that I’m right where I meant to be until the “it’ll all end in tears” moment. There is no better feeling than the swell you get in your heart kissing them as they sleep, sweaty and innocent. This spiritual moment is tainted with memories of me losing my shit with them earlier and I almost want to wake them and beg forgiveness for my Joan Crawford ways…. almost! (On a serious note, wire hangers are a bad idea unless of course you need to fish something out from behind a radiator and realise that all you have are colourful, plastic Ikea hangers).
- A new Stephen King book; I have got to stop spending so much time on social media and return to my book loving ways. But I do love Mr. King and his books are phenomenal and yet I won’t sleep much when I read them. I made the mistake of telling my 7 year old about Pennywise and he now shares my terror of clowns.
- Changing my hair; I am blessed with a hairdressing sister who begrudgingly panders to my whims. In the last year it has gone from red to blonde and long to short to “trying to grow it”. I am embracing granny chic at the moment and am displaying my grey roots with pride.
- Netflix binges; My absolute favourite thing to do after the kids go to bed is to get into my own bed with a cup of tea and play sudoku on my phone while half watching Community (my current binge). This brainlessness is the perfect antidote to a day of school runs and surprisingly difficult 2nd class maths homework.
- Sleep; I have mentioned this many times but I love my bed. I have a thing for flannel sheets and my bed has an amazing memory foam topper that is the bomb. I have spent years sharing my nirvana with kids but now they're in their own beds and I can sprawl.
- Talking to adults; If someone calls to my house, they will be kidnapped and forced to make conversation as I get on with the tasks I have put off all day. In work, I am happiest when I can work beside someone as it makes ridiculing the customers so much more fun. I love a good bitching session and I always wrap up the conversation with “I’m going to hell”. The problem is that as the kids get older there's a chance that they could relay the information back to the poor sod I was slagging and I would faint.
- Buying stuff online; There’s an Argos up the road from me and I am constantly browsing their clearance sections for stuff to reserve… it’s a problem. I’m also a huge book depository fan and have piles of books stacked beside my bed begging me to put the laptop to one side.
Reading back over that I realise that I’m a materialistic, lazy bitch... but I will own these qualities and wear them well… the glass is half full and if it isn't, I'm returning it!