Thursday, August 23, 2007

talking point

I said to my friend Heather the other day:

"Do you ever feel that you never finish a conversation? That you never hash out a topic fully, to the point where there is really nothing more to say?"

"Yes, I know what you mean", she confirmed.

I'm wondering now if it is all women with young children who feel this way. Is it simply the fact that we have children to care for, as well as the household duties and/or paid jobs? Will this feeling go away when our children get older? Or is this some modern affliction of all women, where we want to do this, read that, see that, listen to this, study that, make this and more? Are we, in trying to live rich and fulfilling lives, forgetting to take the time to just be?

Maybe I just need a holiday, but I feel like every day is too busy, even the days I spend at home. There is washing to do, or fold, or put away. There are meals to be made. My kids want attention - chatter listened to, books read, games played. There are balls of dust and dog hair to be swept up. There is always some darn thing to be done. I still spend time with my friends, but they also have their own families, their own sets of duties and obligations, and our time together feels like all-too-brief snatched moments.

I sometimes wish I could just spend a whole day with a friend, once a week. Spend the day to talk, eat, talk, walk, talk, drink wine, and talk some more. Because the occasional couple of hours with a friend is too infrequent, and never feels like enough time. I crave those kinds of conversations I had as a younger woman, where a friend and I would talk, or let the other talk, or both talk in turn, until everything felt alright again; until we both felt that we had expressed ourselves and were understood by the other.

Earlier this year, I spent an entire weekend with my dear friend Chooky. This was something I hadn't done since having children (almost seven years ago!). Words cannot describe how blissful it was to do whatever we pleased, whenever we pleased, all the while catching up on each others' lives. By the end of the weekend, we both were on a high. Our conversations all reached their natural conclusions. We had been heard. Our worries had been lifted. All was well, and our friendship was reaffirmed.

I know things will (hopefully) get better as my kids get older. I know I will feel better in a day or two (probably after I spend tomorrow afternoon having coffee and confessions with Chooky!). For now, though, I'm using you, my readers, as an outlet. I'm venting. So please forgive the self-indulgent complaining, and please no-one tell me to pull my socks up and stop whining.

(Chances are, by the time you read this I've not only pulled up my own socks, but folded ten other pairs as well)


thisisme said...

I loved that last sentence. I'm hearing those sentiments a lot lately. Oh, and vent as much as you want to - we are always happy to listen.

Alice said...

Did you receive Meggie's email on 'The Next Survivor Series'? - read that and you'll know why you don't have enough time to finish a conversation. If you didn't receive it, let me know and I'll forward it on.

Yes, you will eventually have more time to talk, but the chances are you will have forgotten what you wanted to say by

TUFFENUF said...

Drop the housework, and spend more time playing with the kids! Take more time for yourself & your friends - we are only in this life for a short time. I know what you mean in your post & it is true that "a woman's work is never done".

shellyC said...

I am so tired of saying to my friends and husband "what was it I wanted to say again" because I have had my train of thought disturbed or I have thought about what I wanted to say at some other time with the idea I woudl remember as soon as I saw the person......should there have been a fullstop there...or time for breath? If I had - I mught have forgotten what I wante to say!!!

Oh and blogs are just for that - venting!!!

Heidi said...

This is too funny... I just got off the phone with a friend and I am betting we had to start topics over a zillion times because we lost our way in our conversation!

Then, I checked out another of my favorite sites (Morphine Life) and read a good post before coming upon you post. You should check it out :

And then I will end by saying, if I couldn't whine on my blog once in a while, I wouldn't have very many posts!!! Hee hee!

Have a good rest of your day!

Heidi said...

Oh... and on my previous comment it should read I came upon "YOUR post", not "YOU post". Oops!

I also was going to tell you that I took the "Shoe Challenge" on my blog, if you are interested. Thanks for your post about your shoes to get me thinking. It was fun!

Remiman said...

My dad used to say: " you can have anything you want, you can't have everything you want."

jellyhead said...

REL!!!! I specifically asked for no lectures!!


jellyhead said...

Rel, I should add that my comment is said with fond exasperation, and definitely not in anger! :-)

meggie said...

I always say a good ranting is worth every word! It is like having a good cry, can sometimes make you feel all clean & washed out- if you see what I mean.

Val said...

When I was at home with the kids (I lasted only a couple of years before I just needed to get back to work to be my own person again), I found that I often had great difficulty carrying on an adult conversation. So you're doing well to be starting a conversation in the first place.

Yes, it does get better as they get older - you'll be able to have great conversations with your children who will give a totally different slant to things. And they can come up (sometimes) with some amazingly useful ideas.

Suzanne said...

Oh, I feel your pain sister.

Enjoy the time with your friend and you'll feel better. I bet you'll even be able to speak in complete sentences by the time you're done.

John Cowart said...

Hi Jelly,

I know you've said you're an atheist and I'm not. But I have a suggestion (lecture) to offer:

Take your kids to church --- and drop them in the church nursery/Sunday school, then you and your husband drive to the nearest coffee shop for an hour's uninterrupted conversation.

Ginny and I did this often when our five kids were little; we feel this practice preserved our marriage, if not our sanity.... Er, pastors hardly ever recommend this practice but it really helped us.

Remiman said...

Love ya! ;-)

P.S. no lecture intended.

jellyhead said...

Hi Rel! :)

John, this may sound like splitting hairs to you, but although I don't consider myself to be a 'believer' or a Christian, I don't refer to myself as an atheist either. Because from what I understand, an atheist 'knows' that there is no God. And I 'know' no such thing. But thank you for your suggestion and kind thoughts. I have always thought that you are are a Christian in the truest sense of the word.

Kerri said...

I'd like to read that "Next Survivor Series" e-mail that Alice mentioned :)
As a young mother living on a dairy farm, working in the barn, raising 3 kids, taking them to various after school activities, etc., etc., I rarely had time for myself.
It was especially difficult when I had to be in the barn, take Andrew to soccer practise, and prepare dinner...all at the same time it seemed. It was quite a balancing act. Oh, and then go to the too in its season.
A young mother's life is very busy to say the least. And that was just the son!!
Yes, it does get better :)
So vent all you like Jelly. It's necessary......and good for one's sanity.
We love you no matter what kiddo! :)

Mimi said...

Being a man must be tough but I wouldn't know about that. Being a woman definitely is tough whether you work outside the home or not. Somehow we always find ourselves in the position to serve others. I try and take care of myself otherwise I'm no good for anybody but it is a struggle.