Stop, Rewind, Let’s Start the Day Again

Some days are like that aren’t they?

I mean you’re out of bed for like a total of five minutes and you already wish it were the end of the day and you were crawling back in.

Buddhism explains that this is wishing our lives away, wishing the moment away. That by wishing our suffering away, we are depriving ourselves of living in the moment. Of living our lives. Of being present.

That immersing ourselves in our suffering, not fighting it, not wishing it to be anything other than what it is, this is where we strengthen our spiritual practice. That by living in the moment, and not trying to make it something else, should part of your daily practice. They say meditation is all fine and all, but life, life is where the real spiritual practice is at.

I feel like that when I’m drinking vodka. I never wish the moment were something else. I never fight the moment, and I never try and make it something it isn’t. I am a true reflection of Buddhist philosophy when drunk.

I just need to work on it sober.

I reminded myself not to make my suffering more suffering by exacerbating my suffering by focusing on my suffering as I opened the pile of bills that had accumulated on my kitchen table.

And as I peeled open envelope 45, this one from the motor registry office, I did that double take thing. Where your brain reads information but doesn’t understand its content. So, in my case, I opened the letter and noticed that my car registration was up for renewal on May 11.

May?

May?

I stared dumbly at it.

But we were in June. Could I honestly have been driving an unregistered car for over a month?

I called Richard.

No answer.

I put the notice into the BILLS TO BE PAID PILE.

(Now a rather hefty look’n pile).

Richard I knew had been paying bills; I’d get an email from him with a copy of the mortgage payment. Or a foxtel paid email would pop up in my inbox. I had no idea how he’d worked out what needed paying and what didn’t. Perhaps vodaphone sent him emails? Because one of those Vodaphone paid accounts also arrived in my email inbox from him.

And so, naively, I opened most of the bills thinking they had already been paid.

I opened perhaps the tenth AGL Electricity bill..

Bla bla bla.

And I supposed that Richard must have paid that one too. I don’t know why. Perhaps I thought he was working on intuition. Or using The Force?

But as I delicately put the 10th or 11th AGL Electricity notice in my pile the doorbell rang.

I wandered down the hallway and opened the door.

There stood a rather pleasant looking man who handed me an AGL account.

“Could I leave this in your capable hands please Madam? It needs to be paid.”

And I took the piece of paper from him and smiled.

Who knew AGL hand delivered outstanding accounts to be paid?

And what a coincidence I told him, “I have about ten of these that I’ve just opened.”

I gave him a smile and shut the door.

Imagine, AGL hand delivering bills.

Well wonders would never cease.

I picked up my cup of tea and prepared to address the rest of the pile of unopened bills. I glanced at the photocopy of the bill still in my hand.

It was a disconnection notice.

The lovely man had come to disconnect me.

His letter was to tell me, I was disconnected, that I’d need to pay $99 to reconnect and then pay the outstanding bill to boot.

Right.

Nice.

No electricity for me.

I took the Buddhist view. All things pass, the very nature of suffering is that it is fleeting; it moves only to be replaced with a new suffering. Rather than immersing myself in this suffering, I should instead let it float on by, like a cloud, watch it, and let it go.

I put the disconnection notice on the table and resumed my envelope opening safari.

No point getting upset about it I rationalised. After all, getting upset wouldn’t put the electricity back on.

Cuba woke up from his nap.

Whinging.

Hot.

Clingy.

And only after 20 minutes.

Since we’ve had the Baby Whisperer come in and fix his wagon (teach him how to sleep) he always sleeps for two to three hours.

I was not impressed by this 20 minute effort.

Nor was I impressed by whinging, crying baby who was cranky and not letting me finish my pile of letters.

God was it any bloody wonder I never got to open bills when I have a baby that whinges and carries on like a pork chop the minute I put him down to do something for myself.

God.

Honestly.

I took his temp.

Not well.

And that annoyed me too, I mean after all, antibiotics are supposed to fix you. He was almost at the end of these and he seemed worse than ever. And bloody hell, I had work I needed to get done and he’d only slept for 20 minutes.

He refused any food, and shoved all offered morsels off his high chair tray onto the floor.

Which was also bloody annoying because I’d only just swept it and now it was covered with sloppy kid food.

I picked him up and tried to carry him around on my hip.

But look. Cuba is no small fry. This little monkey is 11 kilos.

And carrying a cranky, hot, 11 kilo beef burger around while you try and open envelopes is no fun.

Oh I know.

I should have been nicer to him. I should have been mrs cuddly mummy. But I wasn’t. Ella first got sick a week ago, followed by Cuba, followed by Lola. I have been up to three sick kids every night for over a week, followed by looking after three sick, whinging kids all day. OH MY GOD it’s all I could do not to dig three holes in the back of the garden and stick them in it!

If pick up one, the other one cries because she wants carrying. If

I pick up the three year old, the one year old loses it. Then I find the five year old slumped over on the lounge almost dead and I drop the whingy ones and dash to her aid. I feel like Florence Nightingale meets Egyptian slave. And on top of all the mummy nurse time, mr husband has worked late almost every night. So I’ve had sick kids all day and then had to put them all to bed every night on my tod.

Honestly, at the end of the day I’m ready to book flights to Mozambique and be one of those mummies that just went for a walk one day and they never found her again.

So when Cuba woke up, sicker, and even more whingy. Well I wasn’t impressed. And his whinge. Well it’s like a buzz saw. It’s at that exact pitch, eeeeeee, eeeeeee, eeeeeeee. Drills into your brain…. eeeee, eeeee, eeee.

I tried to give him Baby Panadol and he threw it across the room.

Don’t get me wrong, I really dig that my kids are spirited. I like spunky kids. I like kids with personality. But I do not dig kids who throw stuff all over my CLEAN kitchen floor.

And before you know it, I was suffering in my suffering.

I was wallowing in my suffering.

Why me, as I looked down and the little snot monster grabbed my leg, “eeeee. eeee. eeeee.”

I picked him up.

I ditched opening the rest of the letters and decided to go for a walk.

After all, the sun was shining for the first time in weeks.

Why not get some fresh air, and I wiped the fresh snot from my jumper where Cuba had rubbed his face into my chest.

Yes fresh air.

Perfect.

I took a deep, long, slow breath.

Must remember not to wish my life away. Must remember not to wish he was 18 and moving out. Must remember to enjoy the moment, or at least to accept it. Must not try to make it something it isn’t.

I was going to have to walk to pick up Lola from Pre-school and walk to get Ella from school. Which meant leaving over an hour earlier to do the round trip. Damn bloody car for not being registered.

Tried Richard on the phone again.

No answer.

I bundled Cuba into pram.

He screamed his head off in protest. (Cuba not a fan of the pram.)

I took deep breath, don’t wish life away.

And I walked past our car, lifeless, unusable.

What I wouldn’t give to strap QB into a car seat and drive around the block til he fell asleep and then pull up in the sunshine and read a book.

Instead I looked down at my little man, face scrunched up letting out his Tyrannosaurus Rex scream.

Must not wish moment is anything other than what it is.

I glanced at car rego sticker.

Expiry date: 30 DEC 2009.

December 2009????? I had been driving the car unregistered since December last year? Holy Farkamoly! Almost 6 months!

I could drag you thro the rest of that day. But why torture you as well. And frankly, I’ve already lived that day, why torture me as well.

I called my friend up and explained that I was going to have to ditch meditation class tonight as I really needed red wine.

I decided I needed a moment (well several hours if truth be told) of participating in an event where I would genuinely not be wishing it away. And consumption of red wine fitted that description well.

After all, it is easy to be Buddhist and spiritual and not wish moment away when one is actually enjoying moment.

I informed her I would be on her doorstep at 7PM with wine and packet of cheese and onion chips (nice to bring dinner as well I thought).

I cheered immeasurably as I prepared dinner for the three sick urchins.

I even took it in my stride when Cuba dumped the entire scrambled egged contents of his bowl on the floor.

I even smiled when Ella pushed her plate away and said “I hate scrambled eggs.”

And I even hugged Lola when she knocked over her glass of water, soaked the table, the floor, all of her eggs and half of her dress (I note hugged as opposed to strangled).

Because you see, I was going to be enjoying bottle of red (I had just mentally upped one bottle to two bottles) with girlfriend in just over an hour. I could do it. I could make it thro horror day and get out the other side.

And then Richard called to say he was working late.

LATE?

On my wine and cheese and onion chips night?

On my disconnection of electricity night. My car is unregistered for 6 months night. My children are sick going on 7 days night. My I’m about to have a nervous God damn break down night?

I mean how nice for him.

Working late.

Here I was surrounded by screaming kids all demanding my attention, food all over the floor, water spilt from one end of the kitchen to the other, trying to administer antibiotics and baby Panadol, trying to get Cuba in a clean nappy as he tried diligently to grab his own poo. And where was husband? Richard, Richard, why he got to sit at work in a nice quiet office, doing nice graphic, design, artistic stuff, whist I was in the fucking trenches. I was in World War Two and he was quaffing champagne aboard the Love Boat.

Where was my LOVE???

And so I digged deep.

Well you have to don’t you.

You have to dig deep to find strength, compassion, spare change to buy bottle of Absolute.

And I gathered my snotty, whingy little clan and dumped them in the bath.

Took chai tea out of overhead cup’d and brewed self a cup with two teaspoons of sugar (let’s face it, I needed sweetening up).

And I must say I felt far better after sending nervous breakdown style text to husband. I figure why suffer alone? (Think this needs to be added to Buddhists texts.)

And soon, all three were in bed. And I was happily ensconced in front of tele watching MasterChef. Ignoring incoming phone calls from Husband (obviously worried about my repeated references to digging holes in garden), I felt myself cheer immeasurably. The day was finally over.

I have however decided, next time I wake up like that, I’m skipping Buddhist philosophy, and getting straight back into bed.