Ever had a blah day?

I had a rough day yesterday.

I love my job (most days), love my life (most days), and love my home (most days), but yesterday wasn’t one of those days.

Every meeting, every email, every single thing I did seemed completely pointless.  I work in an industry that’s important, but we’re somewhat ancillary.  I work with teams that are incredibly talented and committed, but I’m somewhat optional.  My job is to help people play nice most days, and most days I’m okay with that.

Not yesterday.

And then I’d look around my house and see endless (and pointless) tasks in never-ending repetition.  Painting, cleaning, improving… for what?  So the next occupant of the house can rip out everything we’ve done and start over.

What a waste.

Heck, even we do it.  The bathroom tile job we were so proud of? We’re talking about ripping it out, because WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND THINKS WHITE TILE AND WHITE GROUT ON A BATHROOM FLOOR IN A HOUSE WITH DOGS (and, ahem, ME) is a good idea?  We did, apparently.  I’m blaming the fumes from the… something.  (Upon further reflection, I realize none of the tasks involved in laying tile emit fumes.  Bad excuse.)

On the bright side, my husband was very nice during the whole poopy day.  He took me to dinner and worried over me.  I did my part by holding back my desire to somehow blame him so we could fight about it — anger feels better than blah-ness and despair, you know?

~~~

When my ex-husband and I split up, I went through “blah’s,” loosely defined as hopelessness as I looked out on days upon days of the same thing — hours to fill with the silly tasks that make up life.  At the time I blamed loneliness, but perhaps it was something different: is this growing up?

I won’t ever be an astronaut. (Aside from all of those years of study and the inherent risk, I am prone to nausea. And I’m a wimp.)  I won’t ever run a big company. (Honestly? I lack the attitude and work ethic.)  I won’t ever be the best of anything (‘s okay, it’s true) because that’s just not how I’m built.

I’m built to think more than act, worry more than cheer, decide rather than watch.  I’m not objective.  I’m not level-headed.  I am a sucker, a carer, an empathizer.

I won’t change the world.

But my husband loves me.  My dogs depend on me.  (My cats? Not so much, but they do care about me.  Sometimes.)  Together we are building a life – literally building it as we make our mark on our home and property.

I won’t change the world, but I need change.  Big change.   Change of the kind that previously meant a physical move from one city to another, from one home to another, from one dog to another* (and then, ahem, another).

The challenge, then, is to find the kind of big change outside of changing cities, houses, or dogs.  A life-changing kind of change.  I think this might be the countdown to something.

~~~

I ask my husband what he thinks drives most people.  Why do they bother to get up in the morning if their jobs aren’t changing the world, their lives are as cyclical and repetitive as mine, their efforts are temporary?

“Kids,” he says.  “They do it all for their kids.”

~~~

I’d heard that before, but never in this context.  I thought people who said they lived for their kids were giving their children too much power, frankly.  But perhaps they’re not giving up their lives for their kids, but rather finding a focal point for that life.

Is this how growing up happens?  Is this how people know they want kids?  I guess I assumed I’d FEEL something, a yearning kind of need to reproduce, but instead, I find myself THINKING differently, almost like the shift that happened in my perspective as I prepared to get married.

Interesting.

Thoughts? Comments? Anybody want to say, “Amen” or “Heck yea” or “ARE YOU FREAKING NUTS?” My husband and I have these discussions (sometimes seriously, sometimes not), but I think the baby craze has a uniquely female perspective.

~~~

*Okay, so I didn’t really change from one dog to another (I added a second) but it sounded better that way in the sentence.

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8 thoughts on “Ever had a blah day?

  1. Amen!

    I used to have a major addiction to change… When things were boring or rough or crazy, it was time to dye my hair, get a tattoo, buy something, break up with someone, or move. And it was a major urge to CHANGE SOMETHING. It hasn’t hit me hard in a long time, so maybe it was just a stage of life.

    This keeps making me think of something that I read a few days ago – http://www.pinkofperfection.com/2010/04/putting-together-the-puzzle-pieces/. They’re phrased differently, but the feelings are similar. I think many of us now struggle with an overabundance of choice. It’s amazing to have so many career and life options, but it can leave us unfocused, searching, wondering.

  2. Yay, you fixed the comments! I was feeling very, very conflicted this past week, and then your post came along and it was like a lightbulb for me. “Someone else feels this way too!” I think you’re right. This is what growing up feels like…great food for thought.

  3. I’ve been wanting to comment since you posted. I found you via That Wife – but I loved you on WeddingBee … anyway … I definitely wanted to say “Heck yea!”

    I’m happy at my job right now but I see my manager and the life she leads (high powered, travels all the time, constantly connected to and thinking about work, doesn’t see her husband that often) and I definitely don’t aspire to that. I often think to myself – well if I don’t want that then what do I want? And the one thing I can always come up with is kids … but I’m 26, almost 27, am I too young for that? Or if we’re ready (and we are mentally, financially, every way we can think about it ready) can we / should we just go for it?! So many questions around the whole when to start a family thing. I’m sorry I’ve gone on a tangent here, but really, how do you know when you’re ready? Is there an equation? Can’t anyone answer this question?!

  4. Oh, I’m glad you fixed the commenting!

    I’m a long-time follower (via wb) and first time commenter, have always love your posts but this one really stuck with me because I am in the blah-place where I feel dissatisfied in my “optional” job and boring “grown up” life of bills and responsibilites that don’t really matter, and it’s like a battle everyday not to feel like I’m wasting away my younger years! To battle this I decided to go back to school to be a teacher…and I’m just crossing my fingers that will be enough for me.

    I also (secretly) hoped that after the wedding (in October-the one other thing that keeps me going these days) I’ll have children, and the anticipation of children to look forward to and keep me going-even if they’re years away.

  5. Yay, comments! I just needed to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty. I, too, am an anxious over-thinker who often finds myself questioning not only the shoes I chose for the outfit I’m wearing, but the reason I’m working in the industry I am, if I’m really capable of managing my house, my job, my husband and KIDS?! It’s scary. And sometimes your husband/significant other — while you can love them more than life itself and they’ll always have your back — don’t get it. So much of what you’ve expressed here and in your subsequent post (On Blogging…) is spot on and it’s just so comforting to know I’m not alone. Being a grown up is hard. Why, oh why, did we all want to grow up so fast?! Cheers!

  6. I want to say this with love, knowing you’re clearly going to be writing about the topic of starting a family for a while now (a year, if you keep the soak time promise!). It’s difficult for me, as someone who does not plan to have children ever, to hear you equating starting a family with “growing up”. Certainly starting a family is part of how you will grow and change as a person but “growing up” implies that having children is somehow connected to the inevitable components of human development and maturity. As a lover of words, and a sensitive person, I just wanted you to know:-)

    • @Christine, Fair point, but not how it was intended.

      I think growing up is defined differently for everyone, and I think you know me well enough to know that I’m terribly self-centered and write only from my own perspective. For me, “growing up” means suddenly seeing myself as an adult — and as a potential parent.

      So I will write about starting to be okay with starting a family because for me, that’s evidence of my growing up. But I think — I hope — the idea of realizing that what your experience is IS what growing up means still resonates.

      Growing up is inevitably connected to MY development, but I understand and completely accept that that might not be true for other people.

      I do sincerely appreciate the comment. Please keep making them. I love that this is an honest discussion (and I’m so glad you’re here!). Also, it makes me think: why is it so obvious that, for me, parenthood defines growing up? Why do I not feel grown up at the ripe old age of 30 (and having accomplished significantly both professionally and personally)? I suspect it’s just the next hurdle. For the last year, being a wife felt like “growing up.”

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