Pin It Tonight after putting the kids in bed I sat down to make a list of the things I'm grateful for, hoping it would help me to put things in perspective.
Pretty much the only thing I came up with for today, specifically, was that nobody was attacked by rabid flying monkeys.
(It wasn't really a very inspiring list.)
After that, I made a list of things I could do to improve our situation:
- Find friends for my children
- Finish getting things organized
- Get them involved in activities to keep them busy and happy
- Binge a lot
Oh, I know it may not sound like it, but I really am trying so hard to hold it together. I'm trying to stay positive and trying to encourage them to "bloom where they're planted" as the cliche goes. I know this is a nice neighborhood, with perfectly nice people. I know we can be happy here. I'm not sure how or when, but I know it's possible.
In Relief Society (a church class for women) all of the women were friendly and kind - in the way that you're friendly and kind to new people before you go sit with your real friends. To be fair, I sat down by myself in the middle of the back row and didn't make an effort to talk to anyone around me. I'm not particularly shy, and normally I would have tried to reach out a little, but I was feeling beaten down by life and self-indulgently sorry for myself, so I sat there and pouted instead.
A playgroup sign-up list went around the room and I signed it, my hands clammy with anxiety. A PLAYGROUP. This might solve at least twelve of my problems. I had a million questions for the woman sitting in front of me (WHERE? WHEN? HOW SOON? TOMORROW? TONIGHT? WHEN?!!), but she didn't have any answers. (And possibly I scared her a little with my inappropriate intensity about the topic.)
If the playgroup doesn't pan out, I do have an emergency back-up plan. At church they handed out a list of women in the neighborhood complete with pictures and email addresses and I think I'm just going to make a complete freak of myself by emailing everyone in the ward. (Sometimes having no shame or sense of social decorum is a net positive.)
I even resorted to blog-stalking (after my sister-in-law spilled the blog addresses for a few of the women), leaving messages like, "Um, Hi, I live in your neighborhood, and I'm not weird or anything, but I just wanted to say Hi! P.S. I see from your blog that you have children. Would they like to come over this afternoon?" Oddly, they haven't responded. Apparently, contacting complete strangers on their blogs and inviting their children over to play is frowned upon in some circles.
The truth is, I'm not in the mood to start over - to gradually meet people, to eventually become friends with them, to even more eventually become very good friends with some of them. The thought of it (of having to wade through the small talk and artifice before we can get to know each other; of the whole back and forth and trial and error of developing new friendships) exhausts me. My heart is not in it. I know there are lots of wonderful, interesting people in our new neighborhood, and that in a year or so, I won't be able to imagine not knowing them. I know that.
Right now though? I just want my OLD friends back - people who know me and like me anyway. I miss my neighbors - who don't sprint for the garage as soon as they emerge from their cars. I miss being able to look out the back door and see a crowd of kids for my children to play with. I want my old neighborhood back - with trees and grass and open spaces. I want a fairy to descend from the sky, hand me a million dollars and make everything better. That's what I want.
(Closes eyes, makes wish:) Make it so.
(Opens eyes, looks around)