I’d Rather Blog Than Be The Proverbs 31 Wife

Image via Broadsheet

Last time I attempted a haiku, a very nice person over on Twitter politely informed me that those were not haikus. I tried to defend myself after having my husband count the syllables, just to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, but the very nice person on Twitter said that the problem was that a linked poem like that is a renga. That rang a dim bell in the archived “Poetry” part of my brain, and I felt both sheepish and annoyed, because most bloggers on the internet probably don’t even know what a syllable is, much less how to count them and form syllabic poetry. Then I remembered that when I was in the throes of Junior Poet I actually started unconsciously speaking in iambic pentameter, and correcting someone on their poetic form would have been an act of mercy, not an act of superiority. So I forgave him. And, here, a proper haiku for you, Theodore Roosevelt, oh poetic master of Twitter:

Nasty colds, spring break

precious ASUS, neglected

I miss my blog peeps.

But for real. I miss blogging so much.

Here’s the thing: when I started this blog, it was because I had two kids and was eight months pregnant with a third, in a city where I had failed to make very many friends, and I had no life and was totally pathetic and miserable. I was turning to Twilight and Harry Potter for friendship substitutes. After my third reading of Twilight, which is a spectacularly awful series with characters who aren’t even particularly interesting or believable, I realized that I needed help. So I dove head-first into the internets and never looked back.

Now I have four kids, in a town where I have lots of friends and lots of commitments, and instead of being thrilled I am constantly wishing that everyone would go away so I could blog. I miss blogging every day. I miss reading everyone’s blogs. I miss Dwija and Jen and Melanie and Hallie and Kassie and Rebecca and Grace because I actually consider them good friends and feel bereft when my life gets in the way of reading about their lives. (Oh, and I’m not a total psycho who replaced fictional friendships with fictional characters with fictional friendships with real people; these are all people who are actually my friends, as internet-friends go. Like, would we recognize each other in a supermarket? Probably not. Do we exchange emails and comment on each others’ facebook lives? Totally. I’m not insane! Or, I dunno. Not delusional, anyway.)

Then there’s the fact that I’m completely ADD and having four kids and the requisite mountain of never-ending work that goes along with those kids renders me totally incapable of follow-through.

I was always totally incapable of follow-through, though, if we’re being honest. Now it’s just been multiplied exponentially. This morning I said to myself, “self, make breakfast, work out, put Lincoln down for a nap, clean up the breakfast dishes, and write a blog post. And do nothing else until those things are done.” In between all those things I managed to fold some laundry, run over to my neighbor’s house, download My Fitness Pal (quadruple ugh), change three diapers, google the weather, send a bunch of text messages, loudly lament the fact that I still haven’t had a solid two-hour block of time to sit down and write a post about the awesome Homerathon, and run out the door as my husband was leaving for work to snog him good right in the driveway.

Then there’s working out. Working out is cramping my freaking style. Don’t get me wrong, I really, truly love working out. I love the energy it gives me, the stress it releases, and the delicious endorphins. And my neighbor let me borrow this awesome set of DVD’s that have left me consistently sore for five solid weeks, which makes me so happy. I like being sore. It makes me feel less like a frumpy overweight housewyf. But since working out has moved up to Priority One in my daily schedule, it now occupies the morning nap time that used to be set aside for blogging. Not. Cool.

What is the point of this meandering post? I’m not sure. I just wanted to write something but I only have a 45 minute time window, so I didn’t want to start something I’d have to think about and polish and edit, because then I would just be frustrated and still post-less. Anyone have a nanny I can borrow for free? Because that would be excellent.

In Lenten news, the last two weeks have been a spectacular failure as far as the lights-out thing has gone. Various reasons abound for this, all boiling down to this one: there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, and I am completely compulsive and unable to just stop working until I feel somewhat satisfied with the day’s work. This is a problem. My real, true goal this Lent was to concentrate on my prayer life. The lights-out thing was basically a means to that end. As the lights have stayed on, the time to pray has drifted further and further into the recesses of the night until it’s finally landed somewhere in the middle of my first REM cycle.

So I find myself here, three weeks from Easter, doing the same thing I do every Lent at about this time: redoubling my sacrifice. Recommitting myself to finishing Lent with a bang. Or at least not a whimper. Or at least not a pathetic whimper.

Guess what I did start reading again, though? The Bible. After I converted, I sort of abandoned the Bible for a while in my eagerness to soak up all the new shiny Catholic stuff. But I returned to it. I’ve learned two important things: first, the NAB really is an abysmal translation. Poets, these translators were not. It is clunky and kind of ugly. We need a new translation. I vote for Stanley Lombardo to do it, but more on that when I write that Homerathon post. Second: I am still not even close to being the Proverbs 31 wife. Not. Even. Close.

Let’s just look at this for a second. First, I don’t even know what flax is or where to get wool, and my one sewing adventure was one of the most catastrophic attempts at domesticity in my married life. So much so that the dress I got 2/3 of the way through is packed away with pins still stuck through it, probably destined to rot for perpetuity. I do totally secure provisions from afar, but that’s because afar is the location of the nearest Trader Joe’s. Also, does Amazon count as “afar?” I definitely never ever rise while it’s still night, if I can help it. Mostly the Ogre takes the night shifts with the baby. I only get up when the kids are clambering all over me or when Lincoln’s diaper is on the verge of a meltdown. And my whole goal in life right now is to dim my lamp at night, not to keep it undimmed. As far as laughing at the days to come, well…let’s be serious for a minute. The days to come almost definitely contain an apocalypse of some sort. Whether it’s zombies, North Korea, or some mutation of the Spanish Flu, we’re all doomed, and I don’t think that’s terribly funny. It does, however, make for excellent fiction and television.

Seriously, who is this lady? Doesn’t she get tired? Is her secret that those fields she bought are full of coffee beans? Does she eat the beans right out of the ground? I bet you anything she’s either totally mastered NFP or is maybe not using licit methods of family planning, because ain’t no way this lady is having a baby every two years. Otherwise it would say, “she stops every hour and a half to nurse the suckling babe and change the toddler’s diapers, and in the first trimester and the third she only leaves the couch to vomit.” And it doesn’t say that.

I know I should aspire to be like this woman. I want to aspire to be like this woman, sort of. Except I read this and think, “she doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. When does she read to her kids? When does she go out with the girls and have martinis? For crap’s sake, when does she blog?” Which tells me that I am probably not as close to the path of virtue as I would like to be. And that I should definitely work on that whole prayer life thing. With the addendum of, “Dear God, please help me figure out how to manage my time so that I can be an ideal good good enough wife and still have time to blog.” What can I say? I aim high.

Last thing: there is a fascinating ongoing discussion in the combox of my NFP Sucks post that you guys should read. I keep planning on turning some of the comments and responses into a post, because they are amazing, but my children keep expecting to be fed and cleaned and played with. What is with that?

PS: Please forgive any and all typos, and the fact that if I spent 20 minutes tightening this post up it would probably be an actually good post whose title makes sense all the way through and not just at the end. I don’t even have time to read it over before I publish it, though. Leave all grammar corrections in the combox. Thanks guys!

 

  • http://www.ruffedgedesign.com/ Cheryl

    Good post, Calah, as usual.
    A couple of thoughts:
    First, haiku. According to Cor Van Den Heuvel, past president of the Haiku Society of America and editor of The Haiku Anthology, “A haiku is not just a pretty picture in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables each. In fact, most haiku in English are not written in 5-7-5 syllables at all—many are not even witten in three lines. What distinguishes a haiku is concision, perception and awareness—not a set number of syllables. A haiku is a short poem recording the essence of a moment keenly perceived in which Nature is linked to human nature. … It is now know that about 12 —not17—syllables in English are equivalent in length to the 17 onji (sound syllables) of the Japanese haiku. … ”
    Second, that Proverbs 31 thing. PLEEEAASSE. That, ahem, ambitious woman is living the life God gave her to live. You are living the life God gave you to live, and (chances are) never the twain shall meet. Keep blogging!

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  • Theodore

    Nice article.

    Cut down a foe
    Smaller than the eye can see
    Damned influenza!

  • http://aerinlissar.blogspot.com Kyra

    You know, I just recently read The Year of Biblical Womanhood (pretty good, but pretty Protestant Evangelical) and one of the interesting things I got from it was a commentary on the Proverbs woman by an Orthodox Jewish woman, who said that Christians tend to take that section like a to-do list, but in Jewish circles it’s considered something like a love poem, a list of accomplishments- something husbands sing to their wives. And “A virtuous woman” is more correctly translated something like “Woman of valor!” .

    Anyway, I really like that, and I like that my husband has started calling me it when I do something extraordinary like manage to survive a whole day with our four little ones without dying or killing them, which, since the twins are going through the 13 month sleep regression and the three and five year olds are having nightmares, is a miracle.

    This was written through the haze of sleep deprivation.

  • Mitzi

    I’m a friend of Dwij’s and she linked to this and I love it. Especially the part about “she stops every hour and a half to nurse the suckling babe and change the toddler’s diapers, and in the first trimester and the third she only leaves the couch to vomit.” You are awesome!!! Thank you for the inspiration and the “it’s okay to only handle what you can… with love and patience” (reading to the kids, supporting our friends with laughter, blogging – which I don’t do but love to read!). Such a great reminder!!!

  • Mom

    Proverbs 31 woman is pointing us to A woman that has faith,respects her husband, teaches her children, takes care of herself, spends wisely,works diligently, creates a loving home, completes tasks, and has inner beauty that only comes from Christ…Calah that is you( ok aside from the completing task part) but that is you and you amaze me to watch as you navigate a demanding life, but a rewarding one. I am so proud to be your mother, but you should come to love the NASB Bible, that is what you were raised on, that is what you should read. JK, love you!

    • Theodore Seeber

      There is a “Catholic Study” version of the NASB with an imprimatur and all the books, and some wonderful footnotes. Calah, maybe you should listen to your mother.

  • http://www.dariasockey.blogspot.com Daria Sockey

    We actually like the Americanized version, Aplets and Cotlets. It’s very fruity AND has nuts in it AND the powder is powdered sugar. While the kids agreed that it wasn’t the be all end all that Edmund made it out to be, still, when I buy a box at Christmas, it doesn’t last long around here. Recently my brother gave me a box of the “real” stuff from an Arab market/delicastessen, and we were disappointed on the same scale that you were.

  • http://www.eafromtheheart.blogspot.com Maggie @ From the Heart

    Must be nice to rub elbows with such big-name bloggers. ;-) Hoping that someday I have the same stamina as y’all to keep up with my blogging, which I also love, yet just never have any energy to think of anything interesting to write about.

  • http://michelle-endlessstrength.blogspot.com Michelle

    Thanks for this. It reminded me that it’s okay that I have spent some time blogging the past week and a half because I really needed the outlet and that it’s probably okay that I haven’t worked out, haven’t cleaned my kitchen and have only marginally kept everyone clean and in clean clothes for he past 12 days. I have read that Proverbs 31 many a time and realized how short I fall. At least I know I am in good company. ;)

  • Heather’s Hodgepodge

    Keep in mind, too, that the Proverbs 31 woman was rich and had servants. I could do all of her stuff too if I had a cook, a maid, a personal trainer… ;)


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