I often feel my life is like the scene in from Cat in the Hat. I try to balance the cup and the milk. I hold the books, the fish on a rake, toy ship, and toy man. Finally, I fan with the fan and hop on a ball. Just as the cat, I go down with a bump and watch all the things fall.
As I mentioned in my last post, life is a balancing act. I would say that I struggled before I had a husband and a kid, but honestly, I felt like I had my shit together. I was well versed in, what I considered, adulting at its finest. It was expected that things would be more complicated, but I never anticipated the overwhelming responsibility of motherhood in all its shit covered glory.
Not that I would trade my new normal, but the reality of how I manage expectations of myself and others was and still is, a daily learning curve. As women, we often extend grace to everyone and we look past transgressions, failures, and previous letdowns. We step in to fill the gap, giving until we have no more and then we dig deeper to find more. We do this for our family, friends, and even co-workers and strangers we have never met. We do this for everyone but ourselves.
I embrace the circus performance of managing life, a family, my career, and even my own passions and dreams. I know finding balance is key. Honestly, that’s pretty fucking impossible. Priorities compete and pull me in a million different directions. I wish I could sit here and say, “I figured it out! Here is how you manage all the things while staying on the ball.”
What I will admit to is crying on the way to work this past week. I transitioned to a new job. My first week had me feeling as insecure as my husband that time he shit his pants at dinner in 2014. Two weeks ago, my husband broke his collarbone and is as useless as those workout DVDs I bought to lose the baby weight. Our little boy decided to now have separation anxiety and wails as if possessed by a demon at daycare drop-off. I started a diet to prep for vacation in January and just wanted a latte and doughnut. I was an emotional wreck and as hungry as a bear waking from hibernation. I cried because I felt the overwhelming burden of all the things crashing down around me.
Unlike the Cat in the Hat, I don’t have a machine that can clean up the mess. That, too, is my job. Ultimately, I need to allow myself some grace and know that I can’t be all things all the time. It’s okay to leave the toys on the floor, serve cold leftovers for dinner, and forget that now mildew-smelling load of laundry that has been in the washer for 3 days. It wouldn’t be the first time I bought new towels because re-washing didn’t help.
Peonies are said to represent a good life, a happy marriage and are regarded as an omen of good fortune. “Peony Pursuits” is the collection of heartfelt ramblings about the challenges, failures, and even the small victories that make it all worthwhile. At least it is what I keep telling myself, though I have started a tab so my husband and son know just how valuable I am. There will be weekly invoices and late fees with interest for any payments not submitted in full.