Yeah, I know. It's been awhile. I've been avoiding Typepad like it's a pile of guilty bills, or the hospital statement for Chloe's jaundice treatment that we still haven't paid because who the hell signed us up for out of network doctors anyway? I'm annoyed with myself, because I haven't been writing and I've gotten all rusty and out of practice. And I find myself writing only updates instead of the more interesting, meaty stuff that's happening, like my ongoing breastfeeding saga, or my sneaky push to have another child, or MP's blossoming as a big sister.
So here's the other part to my not writing: A smattering of depressive self-pity, the ugly, soul-darkening kind. I've found out that many of my friends from graduate school--the ones that I got my masters in writing with--have published whole books and are teaching writing at colleges. And I try not to hate the fact that I do not have a book, and I do not write daily like I always promised I would, and I am not even close to currently writing a book. And then I found out that my old, very very best friend from when I was 15 is a famous fashion designer who has had six runway shows (successful) and whose house is featured in magazines ("we got this antique, wall to ceiling mirror from a flea market in Paris, and had this piece shipped from Bali"). I'm thrilled that things worked out for her the way she planned: At age 13, we hung out on her bed and planned out our lives together. We were going to live next door to one another in awesome mansions, and she would design clothes while I, her top model, wrote in my spare time (when I wasn't strutting the catwalk, of course). This happened for her.
Well--yes, of course I'm thrilled for her, I adore her, even though we haven't spoken in a number of years. I will always adore her. But using all these successes--books published, fashions designed, houses decorated with gorgeous objets d'art--as a measure of where I am in life in terms of my career is not doing me any good in the self-pity department. I am nowhere near writing a book; I can't even drag my ass to the computer to write on this blog. I am way, way too fat to be even a fashion model for plus-size clothing (breastfeeding worked with the first thirty pounds but has not been able to shave off the twenty remaining...which if lost would STILL put me in the pudgy department). And I lost a beloved job right before I gave birth last year, a job that I was so proud I had, thought I was good at, and had no idea I was about to lose. At a place that I still, unfortunately, work at, and have to face the fact that I failed every. single. day. that I go to work. (This kills me so much that I am trying to transfer now, from a place that was my second home less than a year ago.)
But none of this is really important, right? I keep telling myself that. So much else is going on--the kids are so, so good; my mom is getting better; my marriage is still strong. I count those as successes, and really, they are the ones to count. The career thing, that would be nice, though, if that could work out.
Since I last wrote, my mother has had surgery for kidney cancer. The doctor removed a tumor and her kidney, and she made it through well. The kidney cancer is gone, apparently; it hadn't spread. Next up is the lung cancer--a different cancer that the doctors found in her lungs. They will operate in late January on that and remove tumors and part of her lung. This will, supposedly, render her completely cancer free. Such good news, so far.
So this post leaves me with a question for you: What do you count as your great successes in life? What have you accomplished? And what do you do when you see everyone else getting somewhere, leaving you behind? Does it inspire you, or leave you wilted?