Thursday, January 21, 2010

More thoughts on balance

I left the preschool this morning thinking Uncharitable Thoughts.  I try not to do that, but sometimes there they are.  I try to remember that I am so very blessed, but sometimes I know that and I don't care.  Just for a minute.

It's those women.  I see them all the time.  They know each other, and so they've dropped off their kids and they're standing in the parking lot talking about going to the movies or having lunch, and as I walk past them they smile politely and I smile politely and I hate them.  Just a little.  Just for a minute. 

And you know, it's not because they go to the movies, or out for lunch.  I don't care about those things.  It's because they have time to stand around and talk, and they can plan their own day to include the things they want to do.  It's a kind of freedom. 

So I'm driving down my street trying not to put my car in the ditch while I'm hooking up my phone to the thingy, and I'm stewing because I want that.  That time.  That freedom.  And if I had that I would do such important things.  I would tickle my children.  I would smell their necks in that secret place where they still smell like babies.  I would write my story.  I would bake cinnamon buns and promise to use the elliptical trainer tomorrow. 

But poor me, I work.  I'm a grown up and I have to help pay the bills. 

And that's why most of the time I don't mind.  Most days I can remember why I do this and why it's not so bad.  I have a world class husband who works day and night to make my life so good.  I'm not a single parent working two jobs with nobody to help me.  I am not kidding when I say I have it good.  So it takes me by surprise when I feel this surge of resentment, when suddenly I'm ten years old and I want to know why I can't have the same thing those women have. 

Sometimes I write these posts and I erase them, because I come to a point when I see so clearly how trifling and self-pitying and ungrateful it all is.  Today, I won't erase it.

Today, I think I'll have a look at those feelings and be reminded that I have to be vigilant.  It's easy to let life go by, swept along by the needs of your family and your job.  It's important to fill all these roles in your life until they overflow with all the joy and goodness that you can bring.  But it's also important to follow your dreams, even when it means setting a boundary or two of your own. Those feelings aren't for nothing.  They're telling me to keep trying.


Danica-Dragonfly said...


I was going to launch into a tirade, but I have been struck by a better idea.

FIRST, I will point out the one lesson that actually stuck with me from my long years in therapy (not that I very often employ this life skill ... but we are talking about you here).

Fill up your own cup first. Nourish your family and professional responsibilities from the overflow.

Now, at first sight this seems beyond ridiculous ... laughable, even. As a parent and gainfully employed woman, that notion is not only absurd, but near impossible.

Having said that, I have started to do a couple of things that are just for me. Reading again ... that was something I had deprived myself of for years - citing lack of time. Writing ... such as it is, it acts as a catharsis for me ... and lets face it, I need a little of that. So do you.

Other than a really bad decision and a streak of bad luck financially, I live the dream life too. Husband who loves me, healthy kids, food on the table ... no famine, death, earthquakes (insert various natural and not so natural disasters here)

Cut yourself some slack, my friend ... hate the evil bitches ... with vigor.

Enjoy your inner assassin now and then - it'll do ya some good.

Be good to you - everything else will follow.

Cindy said...

Thanks, Dani.

That is a hard thing to get right -setting that boundary where you are giving from a balanced place in the center, rather than just tearing off pieces of yourself and throwing them at people. Gory, I know, but sometimes it feels like that.

My inner assassin? I think she's been wandering around here...