Tag Archives: depression

The Multitasking Poop Post (Contains Expletives)…


I just had the poop sucked back into me. I’ve been having trouble with my bowels and have also been sick for a few days. I was looking forward to a satisfying poop. And I’m sitting there on the potty and my two-and-a-half-year-old is climbing into the tub and my five year old girl is in the room getting naked on top of my feet and my seven year old has a book open in the doorway trying to get me to commit to the type of tree that is growing in his pot (breaking news: it’s a weed, not the peach pit or the plum pit or the apple seed you planted in the backyard. “But MOM, I’m pretty sure it’s a peach tree.” “It’s not a peach tree. I’ve seen lots of peach trees. We used to have four peach trees. They have long thin leaves that can be slightly fuzzy.” “This one HAS fuzzy leaves, Mom!”) And I had to tell my daughter to please go take her collection of clothes off of my feet and into the room where they go and her brother beaned her for fun on her way through the door and she yells at him and the oldest is shoving the book in my face and the water is roaring into the bathtub next to me and my long slow comfortable poop climbed back inside my rectum and said, “Well, then, I think we’ll just stay in here.” Yes. Yes, Poop. I would, too. I would go hide in that quiet dark place, too, if I could.

I’m writing this post about multitasking. I began about two hours ago and have had to stop for innumerable reasons: unloading the dishwasher so I can load the dishwasher, washing the banana off the kid-scissors. finding the banana from this morning in the colored pencils, cleaning poop out of the bathtub, assuring my eldest that I have cleaned the baby’s poop out of the bathtub, singing Aladdin Jr. songs to the baby for twenty minutes in hopes he squeezes the rest of the poop into the potty, wading through two giant north american classification tomes trying to prove this damn weed, picking up all the baby wipes that were thrown at sister, crying for a minute with sister (she had her reasons I had mine). I mean…

I hate the way my brain is on Facebook. I tell my kids that you are good at what you practice and I practice the Facebook bounce, boy, do I. Political essay, kitten video, necessary social justice article, pictures of Kate and William and the babies, the latest Jimmy Fallon video, don’t vote for so-and-so article, photo of a sunset, vaccinate your kids, totally meaningless sentimental meme, blah, blah, blah… an hour later, AN HOUR LATER!?!?

They used to say multitasking was a good thing. Those were supposed to be the capable talented people. But now we’re learning that human beings aren’t supposed to multitask. Human beings are supposed to concentrate on one damn thing at a time, like pooping. We’re supposed to sit on the toilet and poop in one giant unified movement of bowels and brain. I have never been a multitasker, most creative people aren’t. Multitasking is very very bad for creative people. You need to sit with a thought or an idea. You need to let ideas tumble on top of each other organically. It get’s crazy busy up there.

Only now I’m a mom so now when my brain begins a blog post, for example, and I’m thinking about what I want to write I have to stop because some weed grew exactly where my son remembers planting a pit or a seed last fall and it is now in a pot on my kitchen window sill.

Motherhood makes you a multitasker by necessity. And now that I have three and they are each older with unique trains of thought on different rails (and this includes the little guy now, too. He’s verbose dammit.) my train keep jumping tracks a zillion times and, well, my life is a giant Facebook bounce all fucking day long and that’s why a stupid hour can go by without me realizing I’ve only been scrolling Facebook because this is what I practice!

So, I’ve been having trouble with my bowels, like I’ve said. Last week I actually went to the doctor. And then within two minutes of telling her my symptoms she pops out with, “Well, we’ll do the medical tests just to make sure we can rule things out, but did you know they call the intestines the second brain?” No. Who? Who is calling the intestines the second brain? I’ve watched every single season of ER, House, and Grey’s Anatomy and no one has ever referred to the intestines as the second brain. At any rate, she then says, “You’re stressed.”

“I’m stressed?”

“What do you do to relax?”

“Well, I’m a creative type, so it really depends. If I have hours or a day, even, I—“

(I just had to go take a break to change a poopy diaper because I put the baby in a diaper at bedtime. He was so coy.)

As I was saying, “I’m a creative type so if I have hours or days I might try to write or paint but if I have less than that it can actually be more frustrating than ever starting in the first place.”

“So, what do you do if you have less than an hour?”

I kinda laugh, “Uh, well, the same thing as anybody, I guess, have a drink, eat some cookie dough and watch a show.”

That’s when she made me take the depression test. It was this basic ten question test that any mother would fail, I mean, am I tired? Do I overeat or not eat? (YES.) Do I ever feel guilty? (Uh…)

And she brought in a very nice therapist for me to talk to and THEN they heard more about my life and THEN they agreed that it was indeed stress. I felt horrible. How can I claim stress? I’m really happy with my job, my kids’ school. I get to do this awesome school play. My husband is actually very helpful. Everyone’s in good health. I don’t overcommit; I have no problem saying “no”. My kids have zero activities outside of school. What a luxury for this white American mom with a full fridge to have nervous bowels because of stress?!

But maybe, they said, stress doesn’t have to be big or hard or negative things, just lots of things. Well, I have lots of things. Yes, they said, you have lots of things.

And my wise boss lady, when I told her about it later said, “You’re thinking about the stressors you don’t have because you live in this culture, but don’t forget that this culture does come with a lot of stressors of its own. A person in Kenya has a sky full of stars and not a lot of options. You have a few stars and are inundated by a surplus of options every where you go.”

(And now, would you believe that the moment the kids go to bed I need to poop again. It was a nice comfortable poop. I lit a candle, for ambience!, and now I am typing by candlelight.)

A multitude of options has always been stressful to me. (Remind me to tell you the story of how I broke down weeping all over my stoic Japanese advisor during freshman registration. “There’s[heave]too many[heave]classes[heave]that I want[heave]to take.” It’s a good one.)

I love my job. I love my kids. I love a lot of things. I have a lot of interests. And the feeling like I need to be creating goes with me everywhere. I KNOW I am grateful. I guess I am stressed. And according to ten questions I am also “moderately depressed”. I also have a higher blood pressure than I usually have. And I am also the thinnest I’ve ever been which is slightly alarming considering all that cookie dough.

Anyway, reader, here I am, trying to figure it out. Trying to un-Facebook-bounce my very bouncy life. (Which is a little like being the one person of five who stops jumping on a trampoline, don’t you think?)

From the Fog…


The fog came in on Tuesday night and was content to stay until this morning. It was less bright and the chill inhibited the making of any big plans. This fit my mood and so I enjoyed watching it sift down into the cracks of the city like flour from the clap of a baker’s hands.

To fall by particles like that the fog must come from a place of discontent, or some other strong emotion. Perhaps clouds occasionally fancy life outside their realm, envy the water its easy territory and descend onto its face, rolling themselves out to the edges of the Bay and creeping up the hills to make misty beaches of the avenues. They do their best to flow, but lack sufficient force to work movement on anything save the dangling zippers of our coats.

It’s satisfying, maybe, to obscure the long vistas down to the sea, to trouble the boats, and prove the old adage, “misery loves company”.

Or maybe it gets lonely up there in the middle, not quite air above, not quite water below. Filled and emptied over and over, the water cycle of life can be wearying and unrelenting. It’s understandable if sometimes despair sets in. Sometimes it’s fitting to mourn.

For, then there are the foghorns. Each with a different tone, yet every one like a low full note pulled out of a cello in perfect vibrato. And maybe that’s why the clouds trouble the Earth at all, to give voice to their lament. To hear the music that makes up their sorrow and find the beauty in their grief. Could we all, in like prostration, not find comfort in a similar confession?

To, then, lift ourselves up washed white again after the greyness of grief?

The fog has lifted now. The sun is shining and the windows are warm to the touch.

The clouds move with renewed purpose. Perhaps the sun shines all the brighter through them for where they have been?

A Little Something on Teething Babies and Gnawing at Life…


Sometimes, just sometimes, sleep depravation can take you to a plane of philosophical brooding normally reserved for mystics and travelers.  This morning after watching the sun rise slowly, catching the hundred different tints from black to pink, and after contemplating the plight of teething babies and their mothers since the wee sma’ hour of 3am, I entered that place. 

I was watching my son, finally in a quiet moment, gnawing on a plastic dog and I found that I sympathized.  For aren’t we all teething souls, with the chronic itch, cutting teeth on all of our doubts and fears, hopes and joys, chewing at life until we find satisfaction?  And that the only way- satisfaction lies on the other side of the itch, always on the other side, an itch so bad as to become a pain that wakes you up in the wee sma’s, and keeps you and your loved ones up at night. And is this my son’s introduction, gnawing away, to life? 

And what shall I gnaw at today?  The sharp edges of my doubt about what God’s goodness means for me? The roughness of an anxiety for a friend who has received some hope-changing news in regards to her unborn baby? The sadness of another friend whose marriage is melting into puddles of distrust and apathy? Gnaw away, gnaw away. 

And I think of Job, whose sores were so uncomfortable as to be relieved by the scrape of a broken piece of pottery(Job 2:7-8).  And of a college friend who fell into a depression so deep so quickly that cutting herself seemed reprieve.  Is our answer the same as God’s answer to Job(Job 40:9-14)? Does he answer our questions solely with who He is? I am. Can this be sufficient satisfaction for me?  I am. Cutting my gums, gnawing away.  Can I get the satisfaction without the painful itch? I am sufficient. How much satisfaction can I expect to get in this life? I am sufficient.  Gnawing away. Are you? I am.