Thursday, February 17, 2005
Rain broke through the clouds this afternoon – a surprise to me. The morning had been lovely, white clouds in the distance, the bluest skies. I left the house without a coat or an umbrella. The kids were easy, happy to take a day off school to visit my sister, even though A had to spend the time at his doctor’s office for a check-up.
While at my sister’s place, eating our favorite junk food (burgers and fries), she commented that she felt badly about what she’d done with herself, or rather, what she hadn't done. She said she didn’t feel accomplished even though she’s raising three young children, even though she’s the most stable of my siblings, even though she has her master’s degree in education, even though she volunteers her time at the children’s schools, and even though, due to all the patient time she spends with them, her two school-age kids are doing so well. Even though…even though…
Where does that feeling come from, that desire to “do” something? And why is it we have to “do” this something by the time we’re 40?
She was sweet to me, commenting on my teaching at the community college, proud that I write even though I never finish anything, pointing out that my teaching used my law degree. But so what, I asked? I don’t make any money. We can’t add another desperately-needed room onto our house because of it. We live in debt because we love nice things too much. I should be working downtown, making the bucks, using that J.D. Even though…I’m raising the Three Beauties…
Often, I feel incredibly unaccomplished, unfinished. Time seems to be outpacing me, leaving me breathless and tired. Like I’m at mile twelve of a marathon and the winner has long completed the course. The sun’s in my eyes and it’s so hard to see those twelve miles behind me, but I should see them. I mean, who else can run twelve miles? It’s a huge thing…a huge deal. And yet…even though…I’ve still got so many miles to go. The medal seems so damned unreachable.
I shouldn’t feel this way. I must not feel this way. My sister and I should feel accomplished.
Today, A’s doctor was pleased with how the medication regimen is going, glad to hear he's not breaking down at the smallest thing that doesn't go his way. "It's a good sign," the doctor assured me. I agreed that our household is no longer under siege. A's taking "no" much better, he’s following through on instructions without my having to literally lead him by the hand to do the simplest task, and he seems a wee bit more like himself. He wants to cook with me, again. He wants to take hikes, get out a little. I’m glad I noticed things were awry with him. I'm thankful I hadn't sunk into my own pits and missed what was happening. I’m hoping the path he’s on will be markedly different from my mother’s depression-tinted path. It led her to so many dark places. I hope A never sees them.
The rain isn’t letting up and I’m glad for it. M pointed out to me as we drove home that the clouds “had turned upside down.” I loved that image. Hundreds of grey-painted tea cups in the sky, spilling sugared, tasty rain. Made me want to stick my tongue out and catch the drops.