Thursday, November 02, 2006

You know it by rote

Not a single day has passed during the last eight years that I haven't wondered what it is I am supposed to be doing with my life.

Is this normal, this feeling that you are suspended in time despite making or letting, as my case may be, decisions guide your way through the days and months?

That's not to say I regret decisions, save those that hurt others, I just mean it as a point of consideration.

I could probably go back as far as high school and find the same troubled thoughts plaguing every selection. It doesn't mean I'd want to go back in hopes of changing outcomes.

When I was religious, I worried about "God's plans" for me. I worried that if my plans didn't fit with his, there would be trouble -- the proverbial Hell to Pay kind of misfortune. I worried he would smite me (and my plans) to smithereens. Happiness would be withheld until I got onboard the starship God crusade.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't say I was ever a God-fearing sort of person, either. There was always a voice deep down inside that thought much of what I was told by the towering sort was mumbo jumbo.

Like many women my age, I couldn't really put my full support behind a religion that would restrict women to the role of servant to the servants. Why belong to a club that doesn't want you as a member?

Lately, though, I've been feeling that pregnant pause. The stutter-stop that jerks you out of mindless motion that's been dragging you through each minute of each day for longer than you can remember. When every day runs into the next with nary an alteration:

Wake. Rise. Get dressed, fed, down the stairs. Drive. Drop off. Drive. Work. Drive. Pick up plates from the floor. Put them in the dishwasher. Straighten up something. Bath. PJs. Three books. Water. Music. Ghosts. Monsters. Fairy tales. Not tired. Wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep. 6 a.m. ... Wake. Rise. Get dressed, fed, down the stairs. Drive. Drop off. Drive. Work. Drive. Pick up plates from the floor. Put them in the dishwasher. Straighten up something. Bath. PJs. Three books. Water. Music. Ghosts. Monsters. Fairy tales. Not tired. Wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep. 6 a.m. ... Wake. Rise. Get dressed, fed, down the stairs. Drive. Drop off. Drive. Work. Drive. Pick up plates from the floor. Put them in the dishwasher. Straighten up something. Bath. PJs. Three books. Water. Music. Ghosts. Monsters. Fairy tales. Not tired. Wake up in the middle of the night. Sleep. 6 a.m. ...


More and more, though, "writing" has been added to the chain of chores that have blurred reasons for being.

Must. Write. Something. Must. Continue. On. Even if no one reads it. Even if it's not funny. Even if it's got no value. Even if it doesn't mean anything. Even if it just goes off into an abyss.

Sometimes I worry that this IS life. And in life there are no answers. There is no greater purpose for me.

And then I shake the fluff and dust out of my head and return to folding laundry and picking up socks. After all, it's entirely possible that life -- and the best part at that -- is the not knowing but still caring.

10 comments:

Lia said...

delurking to say you and me both. I know who I am and accept the decisions / choices and mistakes that led to here but always wonder if this is all or if there is more. I tell myself I can still walk the great wall of china when I am 60 and ope the meaning of my life is still to come.

stefanierj said...

"Is this normal, this feeling that you are suspended in time despite making or letting, as my case may be, decisions guide your way through the days and months?"

For me? Only every minute of every day, sweetie. You're not alone.

And ps, everything you write has value. You may not see it, others may not see it right now, but it does. As Anne Lamott says, sometimes you have to do 6 pages of blah to get to a paragraph that's revalatory. The catch is that the paragraph doesn't happen without the preceding 6 pages.

wordgirl said...

You and I? We can be charter members of the "What Am I Doing With My Life" club.
I'm sending you a hug. (( ))

Melissa said...

You are not alone!! My brood (all three of them) woke at 5:21 this morning and as I got out of bed, teary-eyed from being so darn tired, I asked myself, "Is this it?" My days are consumed with nothing more than endless laundry and dishes, sweeping and picking up, dinner, homework, and the bedtime rituals. I often wonder what happened to the "old" me, the "pre-child" me, the one who was motivated and ambitious. Now I am just a 29-year-old tired mom of three trying to keep it all together. Lately I've given to worrying about retirement and social security - I haven't worked in a VERY long time and despite what some people say, at-home moms are rarely welcomed back into the rat race with open arms. Seems running a house just doesn't qualify you for management positions.

No . . . you are not alone in wondering.

And I ALWAYS read what you write and find great value in it.

Andrea said...

Me too. Me too. I think that's why I've been having such a hard time coming up with stuff to write about. I don't do anything out of the ordinary often enough. But trying to come up with something new to write about every day has sort of forced me to see the different in every routine day. But I'm often in the same spot, thinking, "I thought there was more to it than this."

ECR said...

Your description of the pregnant pause/stutter stop is just awesome.

kfk said...

Oh yes, I get all of that. I'm waiting for my life to begin.

Karen said...

Yes, yes, yes! The most profound piece of instruction ever given to me: let's just see how it goes. How simple. How difficult. You're onto something. Now let's just see how it goes.

kimmyk said...

I think you spoke the words alot of us as mother say over and over again in our heads. I don't know that any of us as mothers when we became mothers knew how profound our lives would change. I never thought I'd be doing what I'm doing now. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy, it's just a different sort of life that what I had envisioned. I'll take this one though over the one I played out in my head.

Girl About Town said...

Ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto ditto...!!!

:)