There’s feeling good… then there’s feeling goooooood.
In a world where so much of our day is consumed with satisfying other peoples’ demands, it’s valuable being able to call a time-out, throw your hands behind your head, lean back, relax and remember that you are in the driver’s seat. You still have control.
When I was in college I really felt like the world was just merely an over-sized playground built just for me. I remember driving along with the radio up, feeling an overwhelming sense that life was just really gooooood. I realize one might feel inclined to ask what mind-altering substance I had in my body at the time; the truth is, I was just merely on a high because my aura was surrounded by beautiful music and my mind was filled with endless possibility.
How quickly we forget to turn the radio up and focus on all that is going right in our lives as we get older and take on more responsibility. After I had my son, I really felt caged up for a long time. After quite some time of constantly feeling stressed and overwhelmed (which eventually drove away some relationships, one in particular which was very valuable to me), I made a pact to myself that I wasn’t going to live that way anymore. It was easy to achieve once I realized that most of the stress I was feeling was actually being created by my need to be the perfect parent and student while satisfying everyone else’s standards of what type of parent, student and person I should be.
At some point you have to stick your tongue out at the people around you to let them know that this your life and that you are mature enough to handle it (hence why you should stick your tongue out at them).
When we add up the weight that is our families, jobs, bills, pressure to achieve, etc., it can all become a heavy and somewhat impossible load to carry. I have bad news: None of that is going away, either. Unless you seek out a cave in the black hills and live like a Neanderthal upon ditching ALL responsibility, you’re likely going to have to face these big-kid responsibilities that give me a headache just thinking about.
Come to think of it… that’s not a bad idea. All I need is some leaves to cover my naughty bits… no. Nevermind. I wouldn’t last two days without a cup of coffee.
Why does it have to be so hard to step outside of the fog that is our everyday lives to breathe in the fresh air and release all of life’s weight from our backs? Well, because it just is. Humans, by nature, seem to get off on being the best parents, the best at their jobs, the best at this and that and everything else. Perhaps we should all just strive for mediocrity… Life might be a bit more fun that way. Or perhaps we should become more like Europeans. They think we work too hard, apparently.
This week marks the start of my 5th class in my M.B.A. program and naturally, because I’m so busy, it is an online class. Well, as the instructor asked us to do, I got online and introduced myself stating that I constantly strive for a kid-work-school-sports-happy hour life balance, and one guy responded with, “You’re lucky. I have the work-family-school-work life imbalance.”
Wow, guy. I don’t know you but I’m going to go ahead and pour myself a glass of wine in your miserable honor.
Which brings me back to my main point of this ramble: I realize life is demanding and the stress at times is enough to suffocate a small village, but I really believe that everybody has a choice to be happy… Or to not be happy. Even right now as I write this I’m feeling pressure at work and things with my son are hectic and I have papers due for my class and a boyfriend needing a bit more of my time and attention and family members demanding things out of me that I just can’t give…
But you know what? Here’s what I also have:
I have an amazing job in the medical device industry which I never thought I could get prior to landing this– I thought it was always going to be a pipe dream.
I have an incredibly beautiful, smart and funny little boy who just wants somebody to play with him… and when he laughs the room lights up.
I have a sexy, smart and athletic boyfriend who loves me and wants me to be happy… in fact, he set this blog up for me so I could write, which is one of my life’s passions.
And I have a highly critical and pain in the ass but close-knit family who expects me to do more because they know what I’m capable of and they believe in me.
None of this negates the fact that I’m overwhelmed in this very moment, but tonight as I’m driving home I’m going to roll the windows down, turn the radio up and tap into the 18 year-old version of me, if only for 20 minutes…
Because life really is goooooood.