One thing I've noticed as a poker player, a member of the workforce and, most of all, as a parent, is how easy it is to feel sorry for yourself.
It's something I constantly battle. I've done much better in the last couple of years. I'm a better poker player because I don't let suckouts bother me as much. I'm a better worker because I've accepted the fact that my boss is trying to get stories accomplished, not screw me over with a heavy load (EVERYONE has a heavy load in the newspaper business these days).
But I still struggle with it as a parent.
I struggle after weekends like the last, when everyone else was having fun out in Vegas and I was at home with three little ones. It seems like on weekends when I'm already internally bitching, mourning all the fun stuff and life experiences and friends I have to miss because I'm a parent, the kids act the worst. It's possible that my tolerance is lower at those points then it should be, but it's also possible that the kids were, at times, whiny, loud little brats who got us up at 6 a.m. Saturday AND Sunday.
When I tweeted something like, Toddlers: All the exhaustion of Vegas and none of the debauchery, I really meant it. It was an exhausting weekend, as it always is, and if you have the AUDACITY to go out with friends and get home at the late late late late late hour of, um, 11:30 p.m., there's no recovering from it because sure enough, here come the kids at 6 a.m.
Never mind that getting them up at 6:30 a.m. on some weekdays is like trying to rouse a bear from hibernation and getting nearly the same reaction once they are sort of awake.
I have reminded myself over and over that I wanted to be a parent. But the feeling sorry still comes from the fact that the twins were not planned, they were a surprise, and this surprise was a life-changing doozy, the kind that happens after, say, you catch your hand in a garbage disposal. Yes, it's better than it was, but it's still hard, almost impossibly hard at times, the kind of hard that comes when you're on mile 23 of a marathon, only for us, it's almost every day.
The other issue, of course, is feeling sorry is catching. You've seen it as a poker player: Opponents whine about catching second bests, about not catching at all or about other players catching against them. It's easy, probably too easy, to fall into that line of thinking, that the world must be against you, or at least the poker Gods, if you don't hit with A-K every time and if someone's 37 percenter does hit.
Therefore, it's easy, probably too easy, to whine right along with your spouse and begin to have contests about who has it worse, about who got up at night while the other cleaned the kitchen for the 37th time in a row.
I have done well at letting things go, but it's so easy to fall back into the pattern, like those who work hard to lose weight, then put it back on.
This is my struggle. It's a vice I just can't let go.
I'd prefer cheesecake and nachos.