1. I started this post a couple of weeks ago (as will be obvious from the later items in this list), and didn’t finish it, because… well. Because that’s where I’m at. And have been for some months, really. I am in a state of blob. External circumstances have had some influence, but basically it’s just me. And it sucks.
2. I’ve finally joined a gym, for the first time in six years. It’s a very basic one (no classes, just equipment), but it has the following things going for it: (a) it’s really cheap, so I don’t feel like I’ll be forking out Fr20 per workout for the few times I actually manage to find time to go; (b) it’s close to spielgruppe, so I can drop Pumuckl off, run to gym (warm-up!), do some quick training, run back home, shower and still have time to do a little work before fetching him again; and (c) it’s quiet, unpretentious, and has beautiful big open windows on both sides of each room, so I can look out at the hills while I work out. Sooooo much better than MTV.
I still resent having to give up MY TIME to work out. I do not, instinctively, consider gym to be “me time”. And yet. I get to be alone, listening to music, in my head and my body – and enjoying the exercise; and enjoying the feeling that, moment by moment, I am un-blobbing myself. Taking steps to regain some strength and energy. It actually is pretty great. Even if I have a little secret sulk every time I put those gym togs on.
3. Mother’s Day is the worst holiday. The worst. It’s hated by those who have lost mothers or children, by those who don’t have a great relationship with their mothers, by women who don’t have kids and want to, by women who never want kids but are made to feel lesser as a result, by single mothers who don’t get any extra appreciation or support on that day. It was hated by the woman who founded it. Me, I don’t hate it, but I certainly don’t love it. In my family growing up, it was a day of stress and resentment – my mother had a pretty terrible relationship with her own mother, but cards and visits were certainly expected, so I absorbed the message that Mother’s Day was about gritting your teeth and making duty phone calls and griping about the artificiality and commercialism of it all.
This makes life easier for my family now that I am a mother, I guess, because Armin and I always agreed that – like Valentine’s Day – it’s a contrived mess and doesn’t need celebrating. I don’t expect anything and I certainly don’t want any cards or gifts. And yet. Being someone who has found motherhood way, way, WAY harder than I could have imagined (even though I always did expect it to be hard, knowing how hard it was for my mom), deep down I do sort of wish for some special acknowledgement. Which is silly! Because Armin is fantastically supportive and well aware of how hard it can be, and very appreciative all year round, as it should be. (And, for the record, I totally pulled the Mother’s Day card when it was bathtime and the kids’ hair needed washing. Also, Elfling made me a quick card when she suddenly realised it was Mother’s Day.) But still. Wistfully I dream of children growing up and suddenly, spontaneously deciding to take over the cooking for a day. Honestly, I’d love a little extra attention and appreciation. Who wouldn’t? But I resent how this one day makes me feel just a tiny bit UN-appreciated, simply because we have chosen not to celebrate it, when I know full well I am very much loved and appreciated.
I am clearly ridiculous. But Mother’s Day sucks.
4. We did something celebratory on Mother’s Day anyway – purely by coincidence. We went to the circus! For my first time in at least 30 years, and the kids’ first time ever. It was of course wonderful. I could have lived without the animal acts (so many horses! zebras! camels! llamas!) but the trapeze, acrobatics etc were glorious. One of them was this Ukrainian duo, whom we’d seen on Youtube before, so it was an extra thrill to enjoy their brilliant act live.
5. Coming back from the circus we passed the cantonal Schwingfest (traditional wrestling competition; that links to an image search because the shorts-grappling is hella funny). There were cows (and goats, and a horse) penned outside, because why? They were the prizes. I love Switzerland. (I don’t know why the tractors were there, but later on they were joined by a really cool vintage red one.)