Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stemming a red tide, Part II

This is the book I never read
These are the words I never said
This is the path I'll never tread
These are the dreams I'll dream instead
This is the joy that's seldom spread
These are the tears...
The tears we shed
This is the fear
This is the dread
These are the contents of my head…
-Annie Lennox

I should have known that I could not change a tide as strong as a red one. Really, I think I made it mad. So I have just decided to go with it after a tearful telephone conversation with my dear sister Mary Alice. There are so many things that are on my mind and bothering me lately all at once I truly feel overwhelmed by it all. In the past year I had a baby and stopped working and this has created a space in which I am not who I was but yet not who I am…yet. I am in this very uncomfortable, fertile place that is very difficult. It is a changing place. I know it because I have been here before, that is one thing that’s nice about getting old, you begin to have perspective. When I have been in these spaces before, the best way I can describe them as going down a road and changing gears: you are still moving, the engine is still on, but the clutch is in and there is not connection until the new gear locks into place. A sort of foggy place.

In addition to starting my own family, my own parents are not getting any younger and I feel the extra need to be as much help as I can be to them. They live four hours away from me so it has been rather exhausting. Since I stopped working it is not as exhausting as it was, having to rush down and back in a weekend, and I am lucky enough that my husband’s work is on a job by job basis (he is a construction diver) so we often can spend chunks of time with them or I can while he is away. I feel the extra need to help because out of all my siblings, I live the freest life. I feel overwhelmed though.

These are the things that have been coming up for me as I have been trying to make sense of all my amplified emotions. I was thinking about it all today, just how silly the things I was upset about were and how once I get past this week all will be normal again and I will be embarrassed about how I felt and shrug it off again until next month. I kept thinking how do I validate my feelings when they are so clearly over the top and I only feel this way a few days out of the month? My conclusion, so far, is that perhaps that the symptoms are pointing to imbalances in my life that need to be addressed or at least come to peace with. A lot of it cannot be helped, this is just the time of my life and there is nothing I can say, do, or read to change it. But I think that if I just allow myself to feel as I do and validate the deeper issues my seemingly superficial annoyances stem from, I will somehow find my way.



Domestically Challenged said...

Oh :_(
Big hugs Jo,
It WILL get easier...
tempted to say 'when the children leave home'...but that's in jest!
I often felt like I lived in a bit of a gilded cage, especially when mine excelled at being terrible two's.
I think I was just too exhausted at the time to cope very well.
Now I think about what it will be like when they have left home, and panic - it is too horrible to consider.
Take care, DC

Melissa said...

You are in the sandwich generation, a tough spot to be.
I'm pulling for you--to find your balance, to feel more centered and at peace.

Alice Band said...

Give yourself a break, go and see the doctor, get some anti-depressents and suddenly the sun will shine again. Take it from one who knows....

sophia katrina said...

oh sis.... the good news is that you can appreciate the fancy food AND the mac and cheese at ALL times of the month really. Practical Sis and I are missing that gene. We lamely only know how to eat like we are five. But at least we think it's FUNNY and we can laugh at ourselves about it.