Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Hardest Lesson

I've noticed that I've fallen into a pattern. I start off each week motivated to accomplish tons of things, eager to get started, and satisfied that things are unfolding the way that they're supposed to. As the week goes on, it gets harder and harder for me to maintain a positive attitude, and by Friday, I'm crabby and irritable and frankly, not a helluva lot of fun to be around.

I know that a lot of it has to do with my own incredible frustration at still not having found a good job. Every professional job that I've held so far has contained some level of adrenaline. Law enforcement is known for it's pronounced periods of boredom followed by incredible bursts of adrenaline. I think I got used to that. I know I did.

I have so much to be grateful for right now, Michael has never been happier or more well adjusted. My mother is finally coming out of her grief and is beginning to enjoy life again, Jeff and I are finally together, and I'm finally able to see clearly what things are important to me.
But I'm selfish. I want more. I miss having a job that matters (and yes, I know being a mom is important, but that's not what I'm talking about).
Every day at lunch Jeff comes home and we talk about his day, the decisions that he has to make, the things he wants to work on. My suggestions to him this week have helped him to save one of his employees jobs. Had I not come up with the solution that I did and a way to launch it, an employee of Jeff's that had worked for the company for 18 years, who also has a sick wife to care for, would have been out of a job. Jeff didn't want to fire him, but it comes down to business and money. He wouldn't have had a choice. The President had already made the decision.

It felt good being able to make a difference. Jeff made a change in operations for his company that resulted in a project being completed two weeks ahead of schedule. He has meetings and employees and an office.

And I'm jealous.

That's what it boils down to.

I can clean the carpets and weed out the beds and do the laundry and wash the dishes and home school the boy and clean out the car and fix dinner and none of it fulfills me the way that my career did.

So, by the end of the week I'm depressed and moody and bitchy. I popped off at Jeff yesterday at lunch for no reason. I burst into tears when he had to leave to go back to work- I just couldn't face another day of what has begun to feel like Groundhog Day to me. I just wanted to run away.

Jeff and I went out to dinner last night and talked a lot of stuff out. He really does understand how I feel, that I don't begrudge him this fabulous job, that I don't NOT want to be at home, it's just that my brain is getting stagnant. I miss thinking and having it matter. And then he reminded me of something that I told him several months ago. He was depressed at still working at Target and feeling like things were never going to change. He didn't want to do it anymore but knew that he didn't have a choice, and he said to me "I know that things happen the way that they're meant to, but honest to God, sometimes I don't think I can keep fighting anymore. I'm so tired. I'm so ready for this challenge to be over- I just want to get on with my life..."

And so last night he threw my own words back at me. He told me that sometimes we have to learn to keep fighting but to stop struggling. We have to do everything that we can think of to help ourselves, but let go enough to not be impacted by the day to day.

I know that I was right when I told him that, and this unbelievably perfect job that he now has is proof of it. But I just have NO IDEA how to do it myself.

Somehow I have to figure it out.


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