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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Looking for Life in All the Wrong Places

Hello Deep Breathing, Green Tea Drinking, Life Loving, Lollygagging Lettuce Heads!

Does this picture look like how you feel?

There was a time, just a few years ago, when I looked and felt more or less like this girl. Lying back all zen-like and smiling, inside and out, I can honestly say that I really loved my life, and life in general. I took pride in my ability to live in the moment, and took pity on slaves to the rat race. I worked a job that ended at three o'clock on the dot, and work never spilled over into my personal time. Evenings were free to do that thing called LIVING. Things like cooking long and intricate dinners from a cookbok. Spontaneous cards marathons and potlucks. Long phone calls, catching up with faraway friends and family members.
Sitting on the back patio sipping wine. Curling up with a good book or a trashy magazine. Long walks. Weekend trips to Chicago. I was ultra aware of my surroundings and how beautiful my city was, and ultra in-touch wtih my friends. Maintaining friendships was easy - a pleasure - and not a chore. Weekends were mine to sculpt.

Nowadays, every so often, I take a look at myself and here's what I see:

Haggard. Living underneath a dank, rotten-moss covered rock of stress.

What IS life, anyway? Is it getting ahead, setting goals and reaching them, making money, making mortgage payments, getting a book published, keeping the house clean? To me, that's how it sometimes feels like life has become, and that's not how I want to live. Up at six AM. Coffee. Commute. Work my tail off. Commute. Work on book. Walk the dog. Get exercise. Frantic shopping and cooking. Maintain relationships. Schedule get-togethers not because I feel like I have time anymore, but because I feel I might wither away into solitary old spinster if I don't. House chores.

When did life become such a freakin' rat race? When did so many things become so necessary, leaving no time for the unnecessary, relaxing, fun part? When did I stop having time to call my parents to say hello, meet my Dad for coffee, play spades (my favorite card game on earth), have spontaneous dinners with friends? When did everything have to be scheduled? When did I start getting a knot of anxiety in my stomach at least once a day? Could it be that it coincides with when I started failing at pregnancy, two-and-a-half years ago, and now feel desperate to succeed in everything else to make up for that failure? I could psychoanalyze it to death.

Now I'm looking deep into myself and hearing what I need to do. Life is short, and I need to live it. Set priorities and drop some things, spend less time on getting ahead, and more time on what really matters: people. Kevin, mom/dad, brother, friends. I want to be a breathing, green tea drinking, life loving, lollygagging lettuce head again.

Tonight - hip hop dance class! Yipeee!


anabelle said...

that's one of the good things about getting laid off for me... yes I'm terrified about what i'll do once severance runs out, but for now, i'm home alone so much... and I haven't been alone for over two and a half years... damn it if it isn't wonderful

Michelle said...


Monica LeMoine said...

Anabelle, what a beautiful outlook on getting laid off! Yes, enjoy it.

Rebecca said...

There you go again reading my thoughts... I have been thinking a lot lately about how my life feels like nothing besides work, fertility nightmares, and waiting for the weekend when I can sit on my ass on the couch in between naps (and think of new excuses for not calling friends/family)... When you find an answer, please share, because I'm coming up completely dry in the solutions dept!!

sharonvw said...

Go for it Mon, if there's one thing I've learnt its that I can change the way I feel about my life by simply changing my attitude. So do the things you enjoy and discard the things you don't or limit the time on the necessary evils and you'll soon be feeling great again.