I am disappointed with myself.
I have been mostly unemployed for over a year. I grew a baby (win). I built a home (win). I studied for the bar, but didn’t take it (lose). And I certainly didn’t finish a book (major lose).
In hindsight, I spent entirely too much time on the now defunct fitnesswhore.com (it still exists, I just haven’t done anything with it in a long time despite the comments that keep coming). The lure of fancy free fitness classes spreading me thin all around Los Angeles was too hard to walk away from until I finally did (thank you morning sickness for forcing me to do NOTHING). Say what? You mean free doesn’t equal money in your pocket or completed books on your resume? It was really really fun, but overall pretty pointless unless you count being in the best shape of your life a noteworthy accomplishment. I did and still do, it’s just not weighted as heavily as it once was. Fun’s okay for sure and fitness too, until it feels like work you’re not getting paid for.
I’m disappointed with myself because I lacked and still lack focus. Unless you count the vengeance with which I focused on infertility – then I had the concentration and dedication of a surgeon. But I’m not sure I can take credit for the miracle of life. So I can’t count all that energy I expended researching, brewing Chinese fertility tea, and obsessing as focus either. Yet for the first time in my life, I feel like I’d be completely fine focusing, with the precision of a laser beam, on two things: Being a stay at home Mom and writing fiction “for fun” when time allowed. NOW I say that, when I have so many people relying on my decision to do the exact opposite. See, that’s my problem. I get so easily distracted from the road I’m on by the one only partially traveled. While it might be a great trait to be perpetually interested in learning new things (law, psychology, technology, writing, nutrition etc. Merp jokes that I’m like the dog from Family Guy), few can argue that leaving a trail of unfinished business is a good quality. I’ve got a half finished manuscript, I say half because even though it’s almost done that’s only the first draft. I’ve got a half finished masters in psychology, several half baked blogs, and a few steps towards an admittance to practice law in the state of California. I’ve always laid claim to the title writer (they say that’s what you’re supposed to do, act as if and soon you will become), but now I’ve been been blessed with the task of something entirely more important: being, doing, and living the role of mom. How can anyone argue that that’s not what’s most important? How could I possibly convince myself that anything mattered more than staying home with her? I just didn’t know then what I know now and/or I was in denial about how motherhood would change me.
And yet I might be searching Career Builder right now if I wasn’t primed to start my new job this Friday. Because that’s how I am: never satisfied and always fragmented. So instead of letting the self-loathing and disappointment eat away at me, I’ll remind myself of this: You can’t do everything all the time, but you can do some things some of the time. And that’s just life when you want a little piece of it all. One thing wins, and another thing loses. YOU CANNOT HAVE IT ALL EVEN THOUGH YOU WANT TO. SORRY.
My heart breaks that my book isn’t finished because I was/am my worst enemy. I had a goal and I didn’t accomplish it. But above all, my soul aches that I’ll be leaving my daughter literally in the hands of someone else for 8-hours a day. But I got me here – my focus or lack thereof is entirely to blame for the pickle I find myself in. Part of me is so very excited to call myself a legal investigator, but a part of me feels selfish too. I could sacrifice being a financially contributing partner to my marriage for the sack of my child, couldn’t I? But what if husband loses job, what if housing market crashes, what if we lose everything and I’m all we’ve got? So at this current moment, I will slap on the blinders and FOCUS. I will put one foot in front of the other and walk toward Friday. When I get there I will hold my very distract-able head high and enter the world as a working mother, but with tears in my eyes.
Oh my goodness, you’ve been a busy bee! I hope you are giving yourself credit for all the things you *have* accomplished this last year and continue to accomplish. You’ve studied, you’ve written, you’ve worked for and are coming into the incredible role of mother (congrats) and have a new job lined up. And for the record, I *do* think good health should be considered a noteworthy accomplishment, too 😉
Finding the right projects and balance and lifestyle is a lifelong process that involves a good deal of trial and error and choices. I think you should be proud of what you have been through and undergone, and even if you don’t feel “accomplished” in some regard (not having finished a manuscript for instance) you shouldn’t let that diminish the value of your journey or the work you have done.
I think there is a lot of wisdom in something you said yourself: “You can’t do everything all the time, but you can do some things some of the time.” Life is a game of choices. Wishing you satisfaction in yours!
Such a gentle, sweet, and insightful comment. Thank you!
I’m right there with you! Big hugs!