Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Just When You Think You Know Yourself . . .
I've been suffering from a vague malaise lately (used that $5 word in a tribute to my English nerd friends like Julie and Josh), just feeling restless and bored, in spite of the fact that I have plenty of "projects" around the house that need tending to. I felt mildly depressed and just found myself wandering around this weekend. Jay and I talked about it Saturday night and came to the conclusion that my problem is most likely - da da da dum - A LACK OF STRUCTURE. Isn't THAT exciting! Of course, if you know me very well at all, that will not come as a big surprise to you, but in a way it was a surprise to me. I've always wanted to be a stay home wife and mom, but until this summer, I have never been unemployed and at home with this much unscheduled free time since - well in my entire adult life! Two stints of six week maternity leaves, but of course I had a baby to take care of, and a school age child also, so that really was not unstructured free time. This time, since we returned from our cruise and I have been waiting on my temporary massage license, since the end of July, I have pretty much been free to do whatever I want with the small restriction that I have to pick my high school age child (the only one left at home) up from school at 2:45, and I have to be at the school at 7:30 each Tuesday morning for a couple of hours to bake cookies. Other than that, there are no particular demands on my time. Yeah, I have to do laundry and buy groceries and pay the bills, and do a few other home administration type tasks, but those take up only a small portion of my time. In theory, all this free time should be liberating and joyful . . . and it was for the first few weeks. But now, as discussed in prior blog entries, I feel guilty if I goof off too much because of aforementioned "projects," and so instead of reveling in having time to read books (which I've done little of, in spite of my love of reading), have lunch with friends (I have done some of that, but it costs money to eat out), sleep late (have done some of that, and it is glorious, I'll confess), or catch up on movies, I feel guilty that I don't get more accomplished and just feel a vague sense of unrest which I have now identified as the fact that I need structure, and apparently need to either work or have some place to be and something I am supposed to be doing at least some portion of every day. It's been a relief in a way to figure this out, but also kind of startling and unexpected to find, after years of longing for less structure and demands on my time, of wishing I didn't have to go to work, that I actually need and want to have some work to do. Of course, the real answer is, I need and want to have fulfilling and meaningful and interesting work to do, which of course are the pieces that were missing before. That said, my hope and prayer now is that my new massage therapy career with the cool women at Integrated Healthworks will indeed fill all those gaps and will be the career that meets all my needs - interesting, fulfilling and meaningful work and a schedule that allows the free time I long for when I need it. I'm still shaking my head at myself and this new understanding about me that caught me totally by surprise. In fact, I didn't really figure it out, it was Jay who said maybe lack of structure was my problem. He's my personal live-in psychologist - I'm sure blessed that he is able to look objectively at things that are making me crazy and help me sort them out. Of course I'm blessed to have him for so many other reasons, but that's certainly a nice bonus. Honey, you are the BEST! BTW, one of my classmates emailed me that she received her temp license on Saturday, so I'm hoping that means mine is on the way!