April 10, 2008

Woe Is Me

I'm afraid I'm not myself lately. This has been a tough week and a half.

A while back, our family included Callie, one of our two cats. Callie was the sweetest animal I've ever known. She'd literally lick me to sleep. And she always purred. I don't mean she purred a lot of the time. I mean always. Later in life, she developed a kidney problem. We had to do some pretty terrible things to her that really probably weren't so terrible but they felt awful to Beth and I because we loved her and didn't want her to be miserable.

Now, I'm in no way comparing our kid to our cat but we're in kind of a similar situation here with Mia. And it sucks. Really sucks. Like, rip out your heart and stomp on it a few times then get a gigantic buffalo with an attitude problem to stomp on it for a while too and then, just for good measure, get the entire cast of Riverdance to do one of those Irish clogging jig things all over it for a few more minutes sucks. You get my drift. Going through that this past week and a half has really colored my view of the world.

Meanwhile, I'm just a little stressed about other stuff since, it seems, the universe has conspired to make April the single most stressful month in this history of time.

I get a lot of comments from you guys about the ways I spend my time or, more specifically, how I cram so much into so little time. I read, write, work, I'm a parent to two kids, I'm a husband (though I suspect a pretty miserable one lately)...the list goes on. I'm not sure how I do what I do. For a while, I even thought I was invincible. But every superhero has an arch-nemesis, every Chandler has a Janice, and every New York governor has a high-priced hooker. Me, well, I finally met my match. Time, it appears, has evened the score.

So, while I'm working through all of these things, I try to keep the good stuff in mind - my kids, my wife, a good job, great friends (you guys included, of course), the internet, anti-depressants, Starbucks, a home with electricity and running water, food on the table, home shopping, evening reruns of The Colbert Report because I'm not allowed to stay up late enough for the real thing, Skittles and the random goodness sprinkled throughout the world that gives me hope that this, too, shall pass.

Thanks for hanging out through the rough patches.

Posted by Chris at April 10, 2008 6:57 AM

Ugh, I am so sorry to hear about the stress, especially Mia's troubles. That is the worst, isn't it?

Hang in there, buddy.

Posted by: jen at April 10, 2008 6:33 AM

I'm sorry Chris :-( I'm in the middle of a rough patch too. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that they always do end, eventually. Sending happy thoughts your way, or something :P

Posted by: Heather at April 10, 2008 6:54 AM

Aw, I'm sorry you're going through a rough patch, and are not feelin' like you. Going thru that a bit myself (is it the fact that winter has hung on for like 5 months bringing me down? That's probably part of it). Here's hoping the good things continue to bring you enough joy to outshine the stuff that is sucking.

Posted by: Sarah at April 10, 2008 6:56 AM

Sorry you are having a rough time. I understand. Sounds like you are not alone and I wanted to add that I am in the midst of a suckfest too. Which is why I haven't commented in a long time. You know, the old "if you don't have something nice to say...." adage. Except it wouldn't have been mean, just depressing. Anyway, sending good thoughts your way. Hang in there.

Posted by: donna at April 10, 2008 7:04 AM

We're rooting for you, and hope that this time passes quickly for you. Hang in there!

Posted by: Bridget at April 10, 2008 7:05 AM

We're rooting for you guys, and hoping this time passes for you quickly. Hang in there. I'm keeping Mia in my thoughts.

Posted by: Bridget at April 10, 2008 7:07 AM

Hope things with Mia get better soon. It's never easy to see you child suffer and sometimes the things we have to do for their benefit just SUCK! I've had a sucky week too. First ride (and hopefully last) in an ambulance for my 11 year old....

Hang in there!

Posted by: Lisa at April 10, 2008 7:23 AM

I'm sorry things are rough right now. (Poor Mia!) Please treat yourself gently and let the little things slide. Take care of yourself and your sweet family and let the rest go hang!

Posted by: Sam at April 10, 2008 7:34 AM

*HUGS* that is all.

hope things start looking up soon, and in the meantime smile b/c you have no idea what's going on ;)

Posted by: Kris at April 10, 2008 7:39 AM

I wish I had some wisdom to give you other then I hear you, in the same boat and this too shall pass (hopefully quickly rather then not...)

Posted by: Christina at April 10, 2008 7:48 AM

My inbox is open if you need to ramble/vent/whatever. Things will look up eventually but in the meantime, Starbucks + antidepressents + teh intarwebz = good, good times. :)

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at April 10, 2008 7:49 AM

Good Luck!

Posted by: Jo at April 10, 2008 7:55 AM

Good Luck!

Posted by: Jo at April 10, 2008 7:56 AM

Sorry you're going through some tough times; I can identify. But you totally made me laugh out loud with the Chandler/Janice bit. I love Friends; I watch the DVDs when I'm in a bad mood and I always feel better.

Posted by: claire at April 10, 2008 8:16 AM

I'm sorry things suck right now. The internet is here for you, go ahead and unload it all here. We care and are thinking good thoughts for the Cactus-Fish household.
I must thank you for the Chandler/Janice reference, Friends re-runs are often a pick me up for me.

Posted by: Diane at April 10, 2008 8:25 AM

I think this time of year is rough for a lot of folks. I'm sorry you're having a hard time hon. I'm sending prayers up for you all. (Yes, I'm southern. Why do you ask? :P )

Just remember, "No man is an island." We're all out here for ya to vent to if/when you need to. (I SWEAR blogging is the best, cheapest therapy in the WORLD.)



Posted by: NotAMeanGirl at April 10, 2008 8:29 AM

Every Chandler has his Janice...that's classic. Sorry things are high on the suck scale lately! When I hit a rough patch I always think "Hell, it could be worse, I could have no legs". So long as you have legs, it's a pretty good pick-me-up.

Posted by: Mymilabean at April 10, 2008 8:33 AM

I'm sorry you're having a rough patch. I hope you all get through it soon.

P.S. I love that even in the midst of stress you can come up with a gem like "every Chandler has a Janice."

Posted by: bad penguin at April 10, 2008 8:39 AM

I'm sorry you're going through a rough patch. You know what's good for the blues? Extra baby snuggles. And sugar.

Posted by: Fraulein N at April 10, 2008 8:45 AM

I hope things get better soon! Hang in there! And we love you too!

Posted by: lilfootsmommy at April 10, 2008 8:47 AM

It tough when you have to do things to your kids, for their own good. And you stand there with tears in your eyes and throat and heart.
Hang in there, and hugs, dear friend!

Posted by: Maribeth at April 10, 2008 8:50 AM

Sending good wishes your way.
Every cloud has a silver lining, as cliche as that is ti really does hold true. Just hang in there and you guys will get to yours!

Posted by: Kelly M. at April 10, 2008 8:56 AM

did you get my skittles yet? I mushed them through the .net

Posted by: Holly at April 10, 2008 9:01 AM

Dude, how you maintain your sanity on an hourly basis, much less all the time is awesome to me.

You're a rock for your family, and this too shall pass.

Posted by: Michelle at April 10, 2008 9:15 AM

I will be thinking about you. Hope things start looking up. Don't have much to say...just don't want to be a fair-weather commentor :)

Posted by: Leilani at April 10, 2008 9:17 AM

Sorry to read that things are rough, hang in there.

Posted by: Katherine at April 10, 2008 9:22 AM

Thinking good thoughts for you. I hope you're feeling more yourself soon.

Posted by: alison at April 10, 2008 9:26 AM

I hope your rough patch ends quickly! Keep your sense of humor, and remind yourself that everything you are doing for Mia is to help her.

(2008 seems to be the year of rough patches, so far, but at least mine has a definitive end date...end of the semester).

Posted by: Krush at April 10, 2008 9:35 AM

It's good that you're in touch with and even willing to admit you are stressed. That way, you can properly manage it. Be proud of yourself, and be nice to yourself.

As all things do, this too shall pass. You do seem to be pretty good at keeping things in perspective. You have a lot of people who love you- that's an awesome thing.

Posted by: jessica at April 10, 2008 9:45 AM

ps I hope Mia is better really fast.

Posted by: jessica at April 10, 2008 9:46 AM

Take time to smell the roses.

Posted by: Amber at April 10, 2008 9:50 AM

Take time to smell the roses.

Posted by: Amber at April 10, 2008 9:50 AM

I'm sorry things are sucky right now. I hope they get better soon! <3

Posted by: patricia at April 10, 2008 9:53 AM

It's been a shit week here as well. I wish both of us peace.

Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen at April 10, 2008 9:57 AM

As long as there are Skittles in the world (and Effexor), everything will be A-OK. Eventually :(

Posted by: GreenCanary at April 10, 2008 9:58 AM

In spite of the fact that I am not very happy that you mentioned Skittles because GOOD GOD I WANT SOME NOW, I do hafta agree that, eventually, things get better. Or at least semi-normal.

So sorry to hear you're having a whale of a week. If it makes you feel any better, you're not alone. If I could take the last month, crumple it up into tiny little pieces, and flush it down the toilet, I would.

Posted by: C-Rah at April 10, 2008 10:27 AM

I'm so sorry you're having a rough time. Sometimes life sucks, doesn't it.

Posted by: ann adams at April 10, 2008 10:37 AM

And it all started with the darn curb!

The same things you listed keep me going everyday too, except I hate my job and have never heard of The Colbert Report but am thankful for my DVR.

Since life is partly cloudy at the moment sunshine is closer than you think!

Posted by: Steff at April 10, 2008 10:52 AM

So sorry to hear that things got shitty on you. April will pass... and May will be better. Best wishes to you and yours.

Posted by: Brad at April 10, 2008 11:04 AM

T.S. Eliot had it right. April IS the cruelest month. I'm raising my Starbucks in salute to you and hoping things look up soon.

Posted by: rebecca at April 10, 2008 11:20 AM

Awww, we love you Chris! It'll get better, it always does :)

Posted by: Shannen at April 10, 2008 11:36 AM

I hope things get better soon!

Posted by: Lisa at April 10, 2008 12:01 PM

I hope things get better for you soon, because that blows. April just needs to give everyone a break. (Plus, I've had to do some less-than-pleasant things to one of my cats lately, so I have the beginning of an idea of how you feel. You know it's good for them, you can see that they're feeling better because of it, but that doesn't make it any more enjoyable to do. Ugh.)

Posted by: Dawn at April 10, 2008 12:01 PM

I know these types of months well, my friend.

Here's hoping that April goes away gently and May brings you flowers of joy.

Posted by: melati at April 10, 2008 12:12 PM

Poop must be expelled. All kinds of poop, whether its brown poop or general, daily life poop!

You're adjusting to a new life with more children, new and unchartered ground as your children grow [at least unchartered to you] and more responsibility. Allow yourself some time to adjust and don't be too hard on yourself. Any chance for some personal time or perhaps a vacation? Maybe just some home vacation time?

Posted by: Suzy at April 10, 2008 12:14 PM

Always here for you, man. My guess is your malaise has to do with pooping, or not pooping as it were, and some terrible things you've had to do to Mia to get her to go. Just a guess. Remember that the only constant in life is change - this too shall pass, whatever it is. Stay strong! We've all got your back.

Posted by: Gwen at April 10, 2008 12:32 PM

It's all a part of this rollercoaster we call life. Hang in there... and hugs to Mia

Posted by: Kelly at April 10, 2008 12:39 PM

Is something wrong with Mia's kidney's??

I am going through the suckyest period of my life too. I had a friend recently tell me he was impressed that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. The truth is, I can't see that light, but I know it's there. So I keep on moving and I know eventually it will come, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Keep moving, it's harder to hit a moving target.

Posted by: Stephanie at April 10, 2008 12:40 PM

It's so heartbreaking to have to do these things that are really for their own good, even if they can't understand it yet and think you're just being randomly cruel.

I wish you blue skies and better times, and 100% less suckiness in your life.

Posted by: Rachel at April 10, 2008 12:46 PM

Awe, you need pampered!! I actually feel guilty for commenting because I know you will take an extra 30 secs to comment me back! *L* You need spa day, BAD!

Posted by: BID at April 10, 2008 12:47 PM

My debilitating fear of failure is currently kung-fu fighting with my thesis advisor while I try to finish writing and preparing for the defense on May 1st. I feel your pain, except for the kids, the wife, the etcetera, the so on, the blah blah.

If were a crying man, I'd be squirting tears constantly right now.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at April 10, 2008 12:49 PM

Ugh, it seems like a lot of people I know are having a really hard time right now, myself included. But I'm keeping you guys in my thoughts. I have no idea what it's like to be in your situation, but I can identify with the way you're feeling about it. Hang in there. At least we'll have a new president soon. :)

Posted by: Stephanie at April 10, 2008 1:10 PM

Keeping the things you are grateful for in mind is always a good thing. I've also been doing a lot of reading about Rational Thought as a way to combat depression.

Posted by: jodi at April 10, 2008 1:41 PM

We had a month like that in February. It feels like it'll just never end, doesn't it?

It does, though. Hang in there.

Posted by: julie at April 10, 2008 2:25 PM

We had a month like that in February. It feels like it'll just never end, doesn't it?

It does, though. Hang in there.

Posted by: julie at April 10, 2008 2:26 PM

hang in there!!

Posted by: Aurora at April 10, 2008 2:35 PM

Hugs to the Cactus family from Idaho.

Soon there will a light at the end of the tunnel and it will all go away.

Hang tough and all that jazz.

Posted by: kali at April 10, 2008 2:46 PM

All the trite stuff "focus on your blessings, be grateful, blah, blah, blah" followed by sometimes, life just sucks.

Thankfully, for most of us, most of the time, it gets better.

Hang in there. Go laugh at some tourists or something.

Posted by: Mindy at April 10, 2008 2:48 PM

I think it's the weather. That, and just the general shittiness of things piling up and loving children being punished for something totally not their fault. If you want, I'll clap for Jesus for you and your family.

Posted by: k8 at April 10, 2008 2:53 PM

Totally there with you, I can't wait for May... April is indeed a very stressful month!

Posted by: farfromca at April 10, 2008 3:40 PM

The bad times make us doubly appreciate the good.

You can get through this.

One foot in front of the other, and less coffee. (Coffee makes stress worse. Trust the woman who drank 60 ounces today.)

Posted by: Poppy at April 10, 2008 5:39 PM

I hope things get easier for you sooner rather than later. Best wishes to your lovely family. :)

Posted by: Teenuh at April 10, 2008 5:58 PM

I haven't commented in a while but I have to say that I hope things get better for you, Chris. We all go through the rough patches now and again and they don't seem to get any easier.

But as you hinted at, you are a lucky man. Just look at your beautiful wife and kids, turn on the tap and be reminded of that. :) And don't feel too bad, I'm not allowed to stay up for Stewart/Colbert either.

Posted by: Bayou at April 10, 2008 6:16 PM

Kids are the mindfuck to end all mindfucks aren't they?
I do hope things get easier. I really do. If not there is always alcohol. (kidding.)

Posted by: Nat at April 10, 2008 8:58 PM

Hang in there. You are not alone (case in point: me)!

I'm sure there is some sort of exhaustion from having a semi-newborn around (I don't have that excuse - I would go with it if I were you).


Posted by: Amy at April 10, 2008 10:03 PM

Firefly, you forgot Firefly!!!!

Posted by: mary at April 10, 2008 10:19 PM

I'm looking forward to the end of April myself. Hope your rough times are over soon.

Posted by: Mandy Lou at April 10, 2008 10:46 PM

So sorry to hear things haven't been going so well...{{hugs}} from Canada! I hope everything's ok with Mia.

Posted by: Judy at April 10, 2008 10:47 PM

I think it's in the water cause I have been screaming at everything that moves. Do you need me to come scream at anyone for you? Cause I am *really* good at it.

Posted by: Aimee Greeblemonkey at April 11, 2008 12:33 AM

I'm sorry you're going through a difficult time right now. I hope all is well again soon. Poor Mia!

I'll ignore the lousy husband part. I'm pretty sure you're doing everything you can to rock as a hubby and a father.

Hang in there, it will all be OK!

Posted by: Nadine at April 11, 2008 4:27 AM

Would it be okay for me to send you a cyber hug? (((((Chris))))) If it isn't okay, please delete.

Time is a bitch and she must be destroyed. The bright side is that it will be May in two weeks.

Posted by: Maria at April 11, 2008 6:44 AM

I'm late to comment, as yesterday was an ick day for me as well.

But I did want to say that I sincerely hope things improve soon. Times full of stress and annoyance and really-bad-deals for our loved ones really take their toll.

Sending positive thoughts your way.

Posted by: Kate at April 11, 2008 7:18 AM

I hope things get better for you soon, Chris. It sucks when you get so bogged down with things, that you have a hard time enjoying things.

Hopefully things will start looking up here soon, and hopefully the weekend will help you out.

Posted by: secha at April 11, 2008 8:53 AM

I'm slow to give you a hug here but you wouldn't want to hug me yesterday, all fevered and drippy.


Posted by: oakley at April 11, 2008 11:07 AM

Ohhh, I didn't know any of this was going on because I've been dealing with the little rascal and his horrible flu. He's wheezing beside me, so we're looking at another morning at the pediatrician's office. I hope Mia's alright. And, I hope you're feeling better today. Hang in there, my friend! Hugs!

Posted by: Haley-O at April 13, 2008 12:42 PM

By the way, we had to do the exact things to my beloved Simba.... It was terrible. Kidney troubles also. I remember Beth really helped me through that (it was when I first started blogging -- I wasn't commenting on your blog yet at that time....)

Posted by: Haley-O at April 13, 2008 12:44 PM

Bit behind with my reading (too busy feeling miserable and sorry for myself) and just came across this. Sorry to hear you are les miserables...hang in there...hope things get better with Mia soon. I am sure you are doing the best in the long run - It just sucks when you have to be the grown up responsible one. Hope this blah runs out soon (for all of us!)...

Posted by: Beth at April 13, 2008 6:39 PM

Chris, I wish you could see me gaping right now. You sound EXACTLY like me, five years ago. Maybe four. And three. And I mean exactly, down to the ceiling fan, meds, sick kids, everything.

I'm convinced that parents go through the most difficult times when their children are young and vulnerable... and I now understand why so many marriages don't survive the toddler years. You and Beth ROCK.

I love you, sweetie, and am sending you all the extra healing powers I have. And I'm not joking - I swear I wrote the same words, and it was friends like you who made it bearable at the time.

Posted by: Mindy at April 14, 2008 11:15 AM

Don't forget the peanutbutter M&Ms! Peanutbutter M&Ms are the perfect comfort food. Well, maybe not FOOD, per se.
Now excuse me while I help myself to another handful...

Posted by: Amy at April 16, 2008 9:08 PM