We're out on the patio. Skylar is studying. He decided to pursue a masters degree in the summers because apparently he's not sufficiently exhausted by medical school. This seems insane to me, but he's young so he can probably handle it.
I'm exhausted enough for the both of us. I've been working nights and weekends for much of the year. I'm supposed to be up for partner at my firm later this summer. How did I get that old? Wasn't I just sitting on a bed in my shared room in college creating a blog on my 15-pound laptop so I could tell my family what I was up to?
A few weeks ago I started crying in my office for absolutely no reason. It was 11:00 PM and I just started crying. And then I started laughing because I wasn't sure why I was crying. Then I packed up my stuff and drove home.
Skylar was studying when I got there. He was sitting on the couch, Duncan curled up next to him. It was strange how guilty I felt to just be getting home. I never used to feel that way when there was nothing waiting for me at home. I had gotten really used to nothing waiting for me at home.
We went to bed, and slept hard, waking up the next morning to do it all again.
I wondered that day if I was wasting my life doing things that made me feel exhausted. I thought about the same quandary I've considered a hundred times before. What am I actually accomplishing? Am I failing? Am I helping people? Am I helping my family? Am I helping myself?
Am I just wasting my life doing things that made me feel exhausted to no end?
I thought about those people who die doing what they love. Am I ever going to be one of those people? If I died now, would people say I died doing what I loved? What does that actually mean?
Maybe it doesn't matter that I don't love every minute, or that I don't feel competent every minute, or that I don't feel like I'm actually accomplishing something every minute. I'm supporting my little family--a truly sweet man and a little dog who I'm not embarrassed to say feels very much like my own human baby--especially since it's so hard for me to get my own little human baby. I would really like to have my own human baby.
Maybe supporting my little family so it can be safe and secure and happy and doing what it loves is enough of a purpose that it's ok that I may not be accomplishing much more than fights with opposing counsel and billing clients who are relying on me to get impossible results. Maybe it's enough that I care. Maybe it's just enough that I'm trying, even if not always accomplishing. Or maybe it's not? Maybe I'm not cut out for this?
Skylar is tossing the ball for Duncan while staring into his iPad. A candle is lit between us. It's supposed to repel the bugs--the kind that bite. It's blowing smoke in every direction. I'm not sure it's working. We light it every night while we sit out here and write and work and study until bedtime and I still have bug bites up and down my arms. Maybe all it does is blow smoke.
I'll write. I'll write this. He'll study that. Eventually we'll go to bed, and then we'll get up and do it again. We'll be grateful. We'll be tired. We'll feel guilty when we complain that we're tired because it might mean we're not grateful enough. We should really be more grateful.
Hopefully we won't feel too stressed that we don't have all the answers--that we don't know whether we're doing the right things--that we don't know whether we're ever supposed to have all the answers.
Hopefully we'll remember to breathe a little.
Hopefully we'll remember to be happy to have one another.
Hopefully we'll remember that we don't have to be perfect to be proud of ourselves.
Hopefully we'll remember that to be unsure is human, and that's ok.
(Find resources at BetterHelp.com.)
~It Just Gets Stranger