Have you ever had one of those days where you just need to not be who you are? A day where you want to get away and not have anyone know where you are or what you are doing? Well today was that day for me. It seemed like the entire day had been a struggle from the beginning. Neither of the kids would cooperate, my husband was stressed out and frustrated. Everyone was in a bad mood, but why should they have been? It was absolutely beautiful outside!! Unfortunately none of them wanted to leave the house. Each of them had a reason to be in and apparently a reason to be grumpy. So I decided to leave.
In the car I fantasized about what it would be like to only focus on work. I love my job, I love my field and I could be completely absorbed by it. I dreamed about all of the kids and families I could help. I dreamed about how good it would feel to be so focused instead of pulled in ten million different directions. I longed for simplicity. Before I had kids I was completely absorbed by work and so was my husband. We liked it that way. All of our social functions revolved around fundraisers for the non-profits we worked for or volunteered for.
However, since we had children and both changed careers all of that changed. When I am absorbed by work I feel guilty. Guilty because I am not there, guilty because I love it, guilty because I am missing out, and guilty because I have nothing left when I return home. In recent moths my chronic illness kicked into high-gear which has thrown another monkey wrench into things. No longer can I push myself like I have in the past. When he is absorbed by work it is par for the course. Not because he is a man, that would be easy to rail against, but because he gets a bonus based on his average hours worked. It is technically ‘worth it’ for him to be absorbed. My ‘me-ness’ feels less and less. I was so sick a month ago that I had to miss an event I had been looking forward to for almost a year. When I think about it I still want to cry.
So, I hopped in the car and drove to Stockdale’s. Yep, that was my big rebellion. A trip to purchase birdseed. I drove with my favorite music blaring, rolled into the parking lot feeling like a true rebel – even if I did have a car seat and booster seat in the back. In the parking lot I even turned off my google location so my husband couldn’t see where I was. I walked in and grabbed my cart and then started walking. My husband called – and I ignored it! When he called a second time I answered, didn’t want the poor guy to worry. He wanted to see if I was going by the grocery store, which was his not so subtle way of trying to figure out where I was. I felt like a tough guy when I gave him no info and just said I would not be going to the grocery store today, that would be tomorrow! I continued to wander aimlessly looking for anything to make me feel more in charge, more powerful, less an invalid who has lost control of her own existence. When I ended up on the horse care aisle I knew it was time to focus and leave. But then I caught sight of the patio section. I knew there was something there that I could buy that would make me feel better. An owl lantern? Nope. A mailbox cover? Definitely not. Wind chimes? Nah. A new bird feeder? No. So I grabbed the 40 lb. bag of black oil sunflower seed. I should have asked for help, but I am so freaking tired of needing help that I picked that sucker up and threw it into the cart. I was feeling awesome. I rolled up to the checkout feeling strong. And then I realized I didn’t have my debit card. Seriously?! Thank goodness they took checks. My whole plan was now shot to hell. No debit card = no shopping. Except that I had my Target card. Yep, that was my next stop on my afternoon trip to reclaim myself.
Well, did that work? No. I walked away with the crap I needed to keep the house running and the kids happy. I even purchased a load of Easter candy that I was sure would help. It didn’t.
This is a tough path. My whole life has been. I am not, nor will I ever give up on my dream to help families and kids. I will never give up trying to be the best mom I can and I will never give up trying to maintain a relationship with my best friend. Today though sucked. Tomorrow will be better, I am sure.