“Successful women still have their feet on the ground, they just have better shoes.” Oprah Winfrey
There have been so many posts I have wanted to write lately, but I’ve been consumed with making main idea worksheets and prepping my kids for standardized tests that don’t actually measure their learning and trying to get them to put a period at the end of any sentence ever. Please? Still no. And so I haven’t written any of the posts that are floating around in my head. I have started some but then forgot what I had wanted to say in the first place. Or I wrote the whole thing, but it all sounded too self-pitying to publish, so I deleted it. Or I fell asleep with my laptop beside me in bed open to a blank word document.
Today though I am posting something because Facebook is full of everyone getting married and having babies and buying houses and it’s fine because I was already married once, and I already had a baby who is now an increasingly autonomous human. I even -for a very brief time- owned a house. Ahem. Technically, it was a condo. So I’m going to sit and eat this entire pint of Hagen Das sea salt caramel gelato with whip cream and strawberries and I’m going to write something dammit. Because I can accomplish things. I can handle my life. I am not terrified that I might not ever get to have all the things that I truly want. I don’t spend nights worrying I am doing it all wrong.
It’s been a little rough lately, and I don’t like to admit that. I’d like to tell you about my students who brought me flowers from recess or how my son came up and rubbed my shoulders while I was working at my computer. I’d like to tell you about how I got to read stories to a fat, smiley baby this weekend and bounce her in my lap. If I told you these things, if I told you only the good things, then maybe I could pretend that’s all there was. I wouldn’t have to tell you about how I lose sleep worrying about those same girls who brought me flowers and whether they will have enough food to eat while we are on break next week, wondering how I can better support their academic growth, so that they don’t fall farther behind. I wont have to tell you about how one night last week I fought with my son for over 3 hours (i.e. until midnight) trying to put him to bed, and I thought I was going to lose my mind, literally. I think I might have. Temporarily at least.
Which brings me back to holding the baby, who made me remember just how much I love babies and how amazing they are; how amazing we all are.
Lately I don’t exactly feel like I am winning at life. I’m tired. The intricate planning and balancing of tasks required to keep my life moving in some semblance of a forwardly and functional direction is exhausting. It is easy to feel in the midst of it all that I am doing lots of things poorly and none of the things well.
But I held a baby… and I remembered what it was like to have an infant. In other words, I remember what it was like when things were harder, and so I am trying to believe that it will get easier. It, as in life. I’m really not sure it will, but sometimes the only way I can get out of bed on Monday mornings is to believe that it might. In any case it would be a bummer to miss out just because I don’t get to have it all the way I had imagined. Instead of thinking about how I am failing at all the other things in order to do well at this one, I’m working on loving the moments when I feel like I am doing any one thing well for any length of time and reminding myself that that is enough.
Tonight I got my child to bed on time, did the laundry and even took the clothes out of the dryer. Maybe tomorrow I will fold them.
I am not intending to celebrate mediocrity. I am hoping to shine a light into the dark places of my unrealistic expectations, so that they may be transformed. We’ll see how it goes.