Welcome to day 11 of 30 Days of Jung.
I’m working offline right now, typing on a wireless keyboard onto my iPad en route to our vacation spot. As I was packing up my iPad stuff, my husband said to me referencing my blog, “Don’t do anything that feels like an obligation while we’re away.” I know he meant it with love, but honestly, if I could stop doing everything that felt like an obligation while on this vacation I’d: stay home where I wouldn’t have to cook in an inferior kitchen, sleep in a house without my creature comforts and eat nothing but Cap’n Crunch all day.
But reality beckons. Where we are going is absolutely gorgeous and the kids have a wonderful time every year.
As for “blobligation,” I’m enjoying this series and I’m learning so much about myself. I hope I’m not boring you to tears. I’ve lost a couple “fans” on my Facebook fan page since I started the Jung stuff I’m really OK with that. I am through with being anything but who I am: spontaneous, introspective and occasionally funny. I’m done trying to appeal to everyone.
Here is today’s quote:
As a child I felt myself to be alone, and I am still, because I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of, and for the most part do not want to know.” –C.G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections
Jung. Get out of my head.
It’s several hours later now (it’s 10:30pm and I have no clue of my word count because I’m using Evernote, so if the format is wonky, please know I tried) and we’ve arrived at our destination, a lovely remodeled (loosely used) rustic barn several hundred feet off the shoreline of Lake Erie in a town called Point Abino, Ontario, Canada.
This is our view today from the beach:
If this didn’t load it’s because the network here is slower than molasses flowing uphill in a Cap’n Crunch storm without boots on. Even the Canadians are upset about the network … thaaat’s seyin’ a lut. Caause Canaadiens doon’t get too roffled aboot mauch. (I love these people. Fact: they’re some of the nicest humans you will Ever Find Anywhere.)
When we unpacked, I opened one of the alternate front doors to further ventilate the house. Laying upon the mossy, century-old cement doorstep was a white sheet of office paper, gently folded (actually flopped is more like it as it had succumbed to the humidity today and likely the tidings it bore) with a notice dated today from the town water utility announcing an emergency water main repair scheduled for tomorrow (Thursday, so today when you’re reading this post) to begin at 8:30am with an undefinable end of the repair due to the severity of the damage.
I sort of panicked and deflated; I flopped like that notice. I mean, we just got here. I wanted to repack the car and head back home. I know; that’s childish of me, but it’s how I felt and clearly was unlikely to communicate. I have to be a leader to my boys and a hearty partner to my husband.
I just wanted to go find a Starbucks. Or a Saks.
We’re in a tiny town in Canada where 80 percent of the lake front real estate is owned by Americans whose ancestors founded General Mills and Westinghouse and Fisher-Price toys and Kodak film. Those peoples’ descendants? Well, things have changed, but the property is legacy owned, so what I’m getting at is that I don’t think the town gives a poop about getting this done fast. I say this and sense it because I know the Canadians, as lovely and as polite as they are, really want their beaches back. I don’t blame them one bit.
It was at that moment that I realized how very lonely I felt and how completely incapable I would be of conveying my dismay. There is still very much a part of me, no matter how old I am, which feels responsible for us being here because it’s where I used to spend my summers. But the kids don’t care. “We’ll wash in the lake,” they say. But as their mother, I feel an urge to provide for them, to keep them safe; I feel I’ve let them down. I think in this instance, I felt an urge, a sick one now that I see it almost 18 hours later, to make life perfect for them. That’s even more “alone” feeling because even though I know perfection is wholly unattainable, it’s still a goal. It’s hard to deprogram yourself from that.
I know, I KNOW! this is irrational.
What’s worse, when the property owner called to talk about the notice and apologized for the inconvenience, I said to her, “Hey, it’s no big deal; if this were an earthquake it wouldn’t be your fault.” Yet something that I know I created remained and I knew deep inside, in the places I don’t like to talk about at cocktail parties (props to Jack Nicholson’s Col. Jessup), that my guilt and my inability to separate myself from the water main repair was overwhelming. My reactions were not commensurate with the reactivity I was experiencing. I was not making sense, I was not rational. I felt that because Canada is a socialist state, and they sort of hate Americans up here for owning all the beach front property for the past 120 years that that the repair would take forever. Trust me, I know this is Out There.
That assessment had nothing to do with reality; it just had everything to do with a bias and likely a chaos addiction trigger getting ready for me to pull it.
Here’s where I was I was in a room full of my family, and I felt utterly alone. I wallowed. I went “preverbal” as my therapist once termed it. Going preverbal is basically a moan or a sound: “gah,” “agh!” “blech,” or “ecch”: a form of communicating displeasure and repulsion.
What I really wanted to say, “NO! NONONO NOOOO!” would have been uncool. It would have meant “I’m freaking out a little and I don’t know how to stop it.” I was young again, just as Jung suggests in this quote. I went to fear and dismay.
So I am looking back up at this quote, ‘I know things and must hint at things which others apparently know nothing of’ and I stop and I think, “Yes, I know things about this water main repair (which is causing me tremendous angst because we just traveled eight hours to arrive at a house where the water will be cut off for an ‘undetermined amount of time.'”
Normally, if we were home, I’d say, “Let’s go to IKEA, or to a movie or do something else,” but there’s this part of me that is feeling nervous; I couldn’t articulate it so I just did what I do best: acted. When the kids came back from the beach, everyone showered and I filled every possible pitcher, bucket, clean trash can, wine carafe (empty of course) with water because I want the kids to be able to brush their teeth and wash their hands and to not have to use the porta-potties the yacht club down the road is bringing in for members.
I know this is how Canada works. I grew up here. They take their time. They are not motivated by money because they’re getting paid mo matter what. Keep in mind that I love Canada and that I spent all my summers here until about 17 when I really got more interested in boys than Loganberry juice.
So I’m hinting: Crisis. Armageddon. Dysentery. Yes, I went to a Eugene O’Neill play — that’s how deep I went, but I’m unable to speak it. Why? Because I know that once I talk about it, I’ll be forced to articulate it and I’m not so sure I can do it. Why? Because I know I’m creating a likely unnecessary crisis and then I’ll have to stop.
So my sons, in typical loving but hilarious form pretended they were broadcast announcers and they said this,
“One family. One week. One dog. No water. Survivor Canada 2013”
And we laughed about it. They’re not freaking out; they don’t see me freaking out; they just see me preparing. That’s what I do best: if chaos is coming, I am ready, I am in my element.
I just washed my hands with the tap and I thought, “What if this happened and we’d have no head’s up at all? We’d deal. We’d go do stuff that doesn’t need us here.” We’ve got a big lake waiting for us, I have an aunt a couple beaches over who will take us in if we need and a ton of water to drink in the meantime.
We’ve got this. And a lot of water for flushing when we need it. That’s the “and for the most part do not want to know” — while there is no hinting, there is no overt pandemonium. I’m being a mom, a leader, but still yes: feeling very much alone about it all, because I think this will take longer than a day, but my family doesn’t know it, and likely doesn’t want to know it.
I hope I came close to articulating how I’m connecting viscerally to Jung’s quote. This post has been composed over three separate and very distinct moments, so my apologies if I’m all over the map.
Thank you. (I’ll keep you updated!)