Return of the Jenaissance

Return of the Jenaissance

Yesterday I sat in my car and googled the term ‘manic depression’. I wasn’t sure exactly what that term means, and I had a tiny secret fear that maybe it has something to do with me. With the fact that I started a blog the week before I moved to a new house with two kids under four. That I not only started the blog, but posted daily, signed up for (and subsequently discontinued) guitar lessons, recorded a YouTube video (don’t look, not publicly available) and felt ALIVE.

I started the blog on Nov. 4, wrote a few posts, decided to take the plunge and share with all of my Facebook ‘friends’ on Nov. 10 including friends from elementary school, relatives between the ages of 15 and 80, friends of my mom, my friends’ parents, my children’s friends’ parents, who are also my friends (it gets complicated). I then, 3 days before THE MOVE, started getting ‘likes’ and comments on FB about the blog from people in all of these categories. And that felt amazing. People actually signed up on the site to be notified of new posts. People I really like and haven’t been in touch with in 20 years. (Note to these people: I still haven’t figured out how to send new posts as a newsletter. Maybe in 2015?)

And then I tried to think of my next post. I kept thinking of the individuals who were lovely enough to subscribe to my site. And what they would think about this idea or that idea. Would they be horrified? Is that not what they are expecting? And I froze. I’m still slightly frozen, but that could be for other reasons (principally that I am currently subsisting on a diet of tea and ham crusts but more about this shortly).

So, bear with me (or not, totally up to you). Then I went into full move mode. It’s not a fun place to be and not exciting to describe so let’s just skip that part. Let’s skip about 5 days of my life completely. It was hard. It was dirty. It was freezing cold. We should have had more stuff in the new house taken care of before moving in. The previous house owner had between 6 and 70 cats over the 30 years she lived here and apparently never once cleaned anything. So we had the air ducts cleaned the day before moving (Note to millennials: this was not good timing) and there was and is this thick layer of toxic gray dust on every surface house-wide owing to the fact that the duct guy didn’t cover any of the vents before sending pressurized air through every duct and i’m too much of a wimp to get in touch with the company and complain because he was a really nice guy and i don’t want him to get in trouble.

Also it turns out the furnace was venting improperly through the chimney so the majority of exhaust (in particular carbon monoxide) was being vented through the walls of the house. No biggie though because the house is so poorly insulated that there is PLENTY of fresh air getting in all the time so no worries on that account. Four days and thousands of dollars later we may have hot water, clean air and a functioning furnace at the end of today. I should not say this glibly because there are billions of people on earth who actually don’t have these things so I’m lucky to have only had to wait four days. But it did feel like a long time. Reminds me of another blog I wanted to write about dirty, yucky stuff that you just want to get OUT of your house. But the thing is, where do you put it? Because let’s say you’ve got some nasty toxins in your bathroom (huge flakes of lead paint, say) and you want them as far away from you and your precious cherubs as possible, so you flush them down the drain. Well, that goes somewhere, and THAT goes somewhere else and then all the yucky just accumulates somewhere else near someone else’s kids. So, really, the thing is to not make the yucky in the first place. Right? So that’s for another day but it’s been on my mind.

So we moved. Everything is sheer madness, it is unseasonably 20 below zero and my daughter goes to a Waldorf school where they play outside NO MATTER WHAT and we can’t find the mittens (ok, that’s what I told the teacher but truth is we don’t own any mittens. First of all, we lose the mittens we buy. Second of all, I’m WAY too busy blogging to find time to buy seasonally appropriate clothing for my kids to play outside in). (Ok, technically, i’m not way too busy blogging. I’m way too busy thinking about why I’m not blogging to buy mittens).

THEN, i go out to dinner with a friend and have a margarita. One. Just one. Then I come home, go to bed on the late side after feeling like we’ll never have enough money to make this house functional/safe/clean/warm/non-toxic/somewhere we can fit both a toaster AND a microwave ( shockingly, so far my blogging life hasn’t translated into big bucks).

Then I wake up the next morning feeling overwhelmed, tired (etc), eat my normal breakfast of ham crusts and tea, (my husband makes me a normal breakfast of oatmeal but i don’t eat more than a bite for some reason), don’t shower (don’t ask about the teeth), bring daughter to school without mittens, go to work, leave work to get daughter and sit in car googling about being bipolar. And I’m not saying this lightly — I was legitimately concerned.

I’m less concerned today. I went to bed early last night. I didn’t have anything to drink (no alcohol, that is, and practically no water either since we’re talking liquids). I have not eaten correctly today but i did brush my teeth and shower. I think there may still be toxic fumes that are affecting my ability to think clearly, and i’m not sure i’m going to post this, but it is definitely a phase in the Jenaissance so maybe i’ll just put it out there. I don’t know.

I have this cautious voice telling me, or asking me, why would you post something like this on the internet for everyone you know and their parents to read? What about future employers? What if they all know that I don’t have it all together all the time? That I write blogs in my car and don’t brush my teeth and get overwhelmed and feel guilty that I have so much and I’m not appreciative all the time even though I really, really, really should be?

Writing a blog is weird in that, unlike something that is published somewhere, you can just kind of barf whatever is in your mind down on a computer, hit publish, and then people somewhere might read it. And you might feel really embarrassed about that when you see them at the pool next summer when you’re home visiting your parents. Luckily, by then you will have forgotten everything that has happened in 2014 so it’s probably cool. Also, there are LOTS of other things to feel embarrassed about when you go to the pool, so this blog will probably be pretty far down on that list.

So in closing, I’ll just share some other possibilities I thought of for this blog post:

10 Things I should be doing right now instead of posting to this blog:
1) Figuring out how to get the two old toilets out of my front yard
2) Planning what my family will eat for dinner
3) Returning any of the 4 boxes of whatever those things are that still haven’t been returned for too long and probably now we are stuck with them
4) Eating some breakfast or lunch or something other than ham crusts (it is, for the record, past lunch time)
5) Buying some warm clothing for my children
6) Mopping/dusting/shovelling the toxic dust that has been spewed all over my house over the course of the past 4 days
7) Helping someone else who is in need instead of thinking about my own insignificant problems
8) Earning some cold hard cash to sink into what apparently is a giant moneypit of an old house
9) Unpacking any of the 60 boxes that are currently stacked in all available spaces throughout my house but NOT in the basement where they are currently fixing the busted pipe that was draining under/into the house, the furnace that was improperly venting through the house rather than the chimney and leaking approximately 80% of all exhaust into the house (is that why i’m getting this vague memory of carbon monoxide poisoning from the 6th grade?), and also replacing the hot water heater.
10) Talking to a real human being about something real

Idea for my next blog: living in a house without mirrors has an unexpected bonus of making you feel much more attractive.

4 thoughts on “Return of the Jenaissance

  1. Robert

    Best blog yet. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that you’re just normal crazy and not certifiable and certainly not committable. Just let it flow, you’ve got thousands more of these things to write before Malcolm Gladwell will accept that you’re an expert and maybe take the time to read your posts.

  2. google

    Very good blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you suggest starting with a free platform
    like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out
    there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any tips? Appreciate it!

    1. jenais5_wp Post author

      Thanks! I use Inmotion web hosting and WordPress but I am thinking of starting a new site and am looking at SquareSpace to do that – seems very user friendly and beautiful. I read Chris Guillebeau’s blog to learn a bit about the world of blogging and I loved Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art about the practice of writing. I also love Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotte, Why I Write by George Orwell, and If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland. Good luck!

  3. Camilla

    Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty
    quick. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not
    sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

    Appreciate it

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