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.
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.
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.