Wednesday, February 19, 2014


With kids, a job, and a PhD to finish, each day is a delicate balance, and I often find myself feeling pretty much the same way I do when I'm attempting tree pose while wearing my baggy pajama bottoms. It just doesn't work.

Lately, I've felt really out of balance. There have been many illnesses at Chez GEW. Strep throat (once for one kid*, twice for the other kid**), a serious case of viral tonsillitis, and various colds. Good or bad, I have not been sick yet***, but when the kids are sick, everything else stops. And these illnesses are never expected, of course, so they disrupt plans.

Granted, I am a parent, so I know my plans will be disrupted by my kids' needs. But lately, I have felt as if this is happening every day and, especially, every weekend. As a result, I find myself spinning in circles, sometimes literally (as I stand in the living room trying to figure out what to do next), not feeling productive (or good enough) at anything.

I had a bit of a breakdown on Monday. There were tears. I can't remember the last time this kind of distress caused tears. It felt weird. But the tears and the breakdown did help me realize that I'm just feeling very out of control and ineffective.

This probably won't last long, but I probably do need to try to figure out ways to either change or accept the circumstances--maybe a little bit of both--over the next couple of weeks in order to feel better. I'm still working on what that balance will be and how I'll go about it. Or maybe I just need to realize that balance is not the right metaphor. Maybe I'm on a teeter-totter that will always be heavier on one side than the other. Maybe I just need to make sure that, occasionally, I switch sides and that I avoid crashing hard one way or the other.

Note: This distress feels really silly and inconsequential when I think about a family in my community who just lost a teenage son to leukemia on Valentine's Day after he struggled with the illness for two years. I really can only barely imagine the stress and subsequent grief of such an experience.

*although the kid who has only had it once is worried that the second shoe will drop on him later this week (and since one usually gets it when the other does, his concerns are legit)
**at this point, we are wondering if someone is a carrier
***probably just jinxed myself


C. Troubadour said...

Nodding and nodding some more. I could have written so many of the sentences in this post -- we've been battling a parade of germs since October (mostly originating from D.'s office). And I stand in my living room at least once a day, spinning in circles, trying to decide what, in triage fashion, is most pressing to address next. I'm so sorry the teeter-totter is giving you a rough ride :(.

I wish I had better ways to help than simply offering sympathy. I do understand, though. Perhaps tree pose is a good one to practice, pajama bottoms or not. At the very least, the actual feat can be a few minutes' reset in the midst of the chaos! A yoga teacher also suggested mountain pose to me once, "to help ground myself." I have yet to try that one, but who knows.

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

Late to the conversation here, but I like the teeter-totter metaphor. I feel like I'm switching sides an awful lot, but it's one of the only ways I've figured out how to make everything work. I am sorry that you're simultaneously so busy with work and kids AND trying to work on the PhD. Rough!!!