Snapshot of a Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day

I thought January would be my grace period, my month to get “in the swing of things” before school kicked in full time and the countdown to baby entered its final months and now it’s Inauguration Day, which means February’s almost here, and behind it March and April, and after that my thesis’s due and then the baby and everything changes.

Writing out my thoughts and feelings and tracking the events of the pregnancy has helped keep me steady so far, but in the past few days there’s been a building edginess, a snappishness that I wrote about in my last post, a growing sense of fear that sloshed over on Saturday into a little anxiety attack. It seems so stupid to recount. We woke up to a broken dishwasher and toaster oven, unrelated inconveniences that I had no idea how to fix and no real desire to tackle, and then S said that we should call our handy fixer-up-it friend, and that made me wilt. Throw on top of that the furniture we still need to buy – the television for the transition, the bookshelf for the stuff all over my office floor – and I was feeling domestically inadequate. So I retreated to write, but a solid afternoon of work found me running down dead ends and spinning my wheels. And then S came back from an afternoon out and we had a conversation about pregnancy and life changes that raised both our hackles. All I wanted to do was go for a run but it was too cold! And I was tired but couldn’t sleep during my nap and started having twingy things in my back. Wahh wahh wahh.

Lurking underneath it all was the thought that there isn’t much time, in only three plus months this thing’s really happening, and what kind of a father am I going to be if I can’t get things done, whether work or around the house, while under the gun? Everything little felt big. And suddenly one bad day became one completely lost day, time I needed but that slipped away because I was ineffective and useless.

And then a friend came over for dinner that night and told me to lighten up. I said, “I know, I know, I’m having a bad day.” And she said damn right I was, and I was sure to have more of them, even when I was a dad. Everyone has bad days, all over the world. Even in Australia.

With apologies to Judith Viorst

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2 Responses to “Snapshot of a Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Day”


  1. 2 Aimee January 21, 2009 at 4:30 am

    I first was freaked at the title, that something really, really awful had happened. Then I was relieved. But then I went “home” to my motel room feeling similarly – like a big failure, someone who continues to be a failure. I just didn’t like who I was, which is one of the worst feelings. And then I really related to this whole post.

    And I was going to say something reassuring but I’ve already forgotten it. So I’ll just leave it at that and watch Obama’s speech now as catchup.


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