For the past couple of days, it seems like I have been only going through the motions of my life...nothing has seemed quite real. Perhaps I'm coming down with whatever nasty thing J had last week? I dunno. I was painting again this afternoon (hmmm...could it be paint fumes???) - trying to get decent closet doors reinstalled for the girls. They have gotten torn apart 3 times now (and of course no one seems to know what in the world could have happened to them???), and the last time they were not repairable.
So anyway, I was painting again this afternoon, and in the solitude, I had plenty of opportunity to think. As I hinted, my thinker isn't doing well lately, but here's the biggest think I had: I'm not where I thought I'd be at this point in my life.
The problem is, I'm not sure exactly where I thought I'd be. I guess I hoped that by the time I was in my 40's, I'd be in a routine: my kids would be lovely, intelligent and obedient children who were loved by all, my house would be charming and clean, and everything would just work out the way it is supposed to. I wouldn't be dealing with a trench running through my front yard where the ground settled after the last time they worked on the grey water drainage system. I wouldn't have half a pile of gravel in my driveway - the first thing I can see when I look out my kitchen window, where I seem to spend half my life washing dishes. There wouldn't always be muddy dog prints across the floors. I would cook dinner, and my children would say "Why thank you Mother, this is delicious!", instead of whining about how they HATE this or that. I guess that I never realized how messy life could be.
Am I really doing anything worthwhile? I feel like I run from this thing to that thing, trying desperately to keep things running: both family and animals fed, and the floor reasonably clean. I'm trying to put back together all of the broken things that end up on my desk, along with paying the bills, taking the vehicles for maintenance and repairs, and the kids for well child visits as well as sick ones. The things I do get overlooked, because we eat the food that I shop for and cook, the dishes that I wash get dirty again, as do the clothes and the house, the things I fix or iron get broken or wrinkled again. I do the same things over and over and over again!
All this dashing around, and I never feel like I get time for the really important things: a cup of tea with my friends (haven't seen any of them for a few weeks), sitting on the floor and playing Play Mobile with my kids, actually sitting and visiting with my Mom, going out for a quiet dinner with JP.
Maybe my problem is that I chose a nurturing career. I spend my time away from home taking care of needy people, and then I come home and do it some more. Maybe I'm all nurtured out!
Usually at this point in the year, I am eager to start planting my garden. Typically my seeds have already been ordered, and I should getting ready to plant the tomatoes and peppers and squash indoors. So far, however, all of the seed catalogs have been tossed directly in the recycling bin without even being opened, and I can't seem to get excited about digging in the dirt.
Does it sound like I need a vacation? I think that may be the case. It also may be that I'm tired of Winter, and longing to see the flowers bloom in my flower gardens and the hummingbirds flitting about the geraniums on my deck. I'm weary of the cold and the dark and the snow and the mud.
Probably I should simply restart my thankfulness project that raised my spirits in the Fall. It's worth a try.
I'm thankful today that through all the busy-ness and running around, we always make time to sit down and eat dinner together, and 9 times out of 10, snuggle together on the couch to read books out loud before the girls go to bed. These moments ground us as a family, and honestly, they make me feel as if I've done a half-way decent job as a nurturer each day.
So, let's see how tomorrow goes...
10 months ago