I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about my No Negativity November (or, as Dave and I have been calling it, Yesvember). Most people are telling me that I’m not negative at all. I think maybe it’s not quite that I’m negative but more defeatist. I do spend a lot of time thinking I can’t get anything done because I’m too tired and overwhelmed. But what’s the point of just feeling tired and overwhelmed? Why not just do something about it? It’s like when I was pregnant: if I sat around thinking, “I feel sick, I feel sick” then I would feel so much worse, but the minute I got out of the house and did something I felt much better. I’m not likely to get any more sleep, but I can get up and try to do things and not lie around in my tired soup. Yeah, so, I’m overwhelmed, but the best way to alleviate that is to, again, do something, be active, knock more things off the perpetual to-do list.
On day 1 of Yesvember, I woke up at 5:30. Zuzu, teething, had woken up about four times during the night, and Eli twice. So I got up six times, and probably got a total of three hours sleep, and not in a row. I knew Zuzu could sleep more, and I was trying to nurse her and get her to fall back asleep, and the boys were wrestling and yelling on the spare bed in her room. I kept telling them to get out of Zuzu’s room because she couldn’t fall asleep if they were being wild. They would comply for 14 seconds before going crazy again. I looked at them and said, out loud, “I can’t do this!” And then I realized that was exactly the sort of thing I wanted to stop saying in Yesvember. So instead I said, again, calmly and firmly, “You’ve got to get out of here. Go to your own room.” And they did. And Zuzu fell back asleep. Normally I would then go downstairs and say something to Dave like, “Last night was brutal” and general complain about the unsustainability of getting no sleep. But instead I got dressed, went downstairs, and cheerily said, “Good morning!” It did feel a lot better to do that than to complain.
Then Sunday, Dave was constructing the last section of the railing for our new back steps. Kids were everywhere. The boys were needy and demanding, as they often are on Sunday afternoons. Dave kept rushing and making mistakes on the railing, daylight was fading, and he was freaking out. And then he said it: “I can’t do this! What am I supposed to do? This is impossible to work like this!” Now, he made no Yesvember promises, and I certainly didn’t want to get all high and mighty on my new positivity horse, but I did point out that he most certainly could do it, and not to worry about it so much, and saying those things weren’t going to help at all, and he was almost done for goodness sakes, so let’s just do it and finish. Which we did, with a few more mishaps, but it did get done and looks great.
So, yeah, I’m probably not the world’s most negative person, at least not the way you’d expect. I’m not particularly whiny. I do have a sense of humor. But, believe me, I do definitely get stuck by thinking that I can’t go on, that I’m too tired to function, that I have so many things to do that I can’t even start on one. Those are the feelings I want to change this month, because I think I can get much more done, and be much happier, by not singing my sad song of sleeplessness.