I was having a drink tonight with a friend, a fairly new friend who is deep in the trench I was in 10 years or so ago. She’s got little ones… 3 and 6 years old. Her life is all about breakfast, school, pre-school, laundry, shopping, her work, play time, sibling rivalry, toys, and bedtime. Her focus has gone so far away from her own needs that she can hardly remember what they are. And she works from home.
That’s such an intense time, when kids are small and needing you so desperately. Never a moment to do much for yourself.
What I didn’t expect was how long the intensity would last. Mine are B.I.G. and I still feel consumed by their needs so often. I work in my office from 8:30 ’til 5 every day, then come home for the second shift; the shift of preparing dinner, cleaning up, taking people here and there, soccer practice, drop off at so and so’s house, shopping, laundry, etc.etc. That’s not unique, I know… Moms everywhere do the same thing every single day. We know it’s part of the deal.
What surprises me is how it surprises me, even after all this time. I’m still looking around for the grown up when life gets crazy or tough or scary…it’s still a shock when I realize it’s ME!
My friend and I were talking about all the things women friends talk about: kids, work, money, marriage, sex, life, health, time, stress, worry. Both of us have had lots of crazy things happen over the last few years; deaths, financial pressures, moves, transitions, illnesses, job changes, etc. etc. Both of us have had what you could call a “difficult year”. The truth is, I don’t know anyone who HASN’T had a “difficult year”. Every year has so much stuff in it, so much good we forget and bad that we remember, that we seem to mostly remember the bad (I am choosing to believe that so I don’t believe that the last few years have been solid bad stuff).
Suddenly it hit me that… crap… maybe it hasn’t just been a rough few years… maybe this is actually REAL LIFE! Maybe it’s just the way it is…always.
I’m not saying every day is dreadful, only that every few months seems to bring another tremor of some kind, minor or right off the Richter scale. Sometimes there’s a chance to recover from one quake before the next hits, but sometimes the tremors just keep on coming ’til your knees are weak and your head’s spinning.
I think I’m going to stick with my first theory; it’s been a pretty rough few years. That way, I know there’s sure to be a bit of a break in the storm really soon. Maybe that’s my Hollywood movie upbringing….rainbows, silver linings and happy endings. Maybe it’s my innate optimism. Maybe it’s desperation…
But all this “stuff”… all these “challenges” that make me strong, make my family resilient & build my character? They’re starting to piss me off.
So reality, take a hike…I’m going to Mexico. And you’re not invited.