Evie Sez: “Why Aren’t You Settled Yet?”

I’m having another one of those moments where I’m wondering what the heck I’m doing all I’m doing for and wondering how I could do it better, whatever it is. Oh! Duh! That’s right. It’s good ol’ Evie, back in action. She’s been quieter these days, more subtle. So soft-spoken that for a second I thought she’d been exorcised through diligent daily personal growth work. But no, she’s still lurking around, clouding up my perspective on so much, maybe on everything.

Now we’re back and having been back for five whole days she’s got her legs under her. She’s pissed that we’re not unpacked yet, that we haven’t had the industrial cleaners in yet, that we’ve been defrosting muffins Mike made for Ax a while ago instead of baking new ones, and that it looks like 2017 is not going to be the year all our tax receipts are categorized and organized by New Year’s after all.

Evie also doesn’t understand why our evacuation was so discombobulated, why we didn’t have a plan, why we wound up moving around and around like vagabonds in the cold and snow. “If you’d thought about things before you took off you could have had a relaxing, lovely time of it!” she chastises.

But what happened, happened. What’s happening, is happening. I haven’t unpacked. I’ve taken Ax out on play dates and snuggled with him, kept the dishes and laundry and trash at bay while playing nurse for Mike, who now that we’re home safe has come down with the most vicious flu I’ve seen him suffer since the Avian Bird Virus. So he’s off muffin-baking duty til his health clears.

There is stuff everywhere and Ax is on vacation but does not want to go to the various winter day camps I’ve offered. He wants to be close to his mama and daddy and I’m going with that, which part of me feels good about and part of me – the Evie part – beats myself up about. He could be developing skills or something.

A well-intentioned friend asks, “So are you settled now? Back into your routine?” I laugh, ashamed that no, we are not. Ashamed that I’m not even sure what routine I’d be getting back to right now.

And I’m telling you about this shame so that maybe it can go away, washed by revelation. Confession: We’re not unpacked, we’re not cleaned up, and we’re having a nice time, doing very little, together. There’ve been play dates and visiting and love and calm and a vacation-appropriate amount of television.

We didn’t have a magical evac, but the more people I talk to the more I hear that no one did. Everyone felt nervous and displaced and unprepared. And then the people who stayed except when absolutely legally required to go, they stayed up at night wondering if the fire would reach them, breathing smoke and ash and who knows what for weeks, so that does not sound like a great option either.

So I’m sorry, Evie. I’m sorry it’s never good enough for you, I’m never good enough for you. I’ve done the best I could, I’m doing the best I can. I’m gonna keep going.