Once, for about three months, I was unemployed. Every day during those months I woke up early, found jobs to apply to, fired off resumes, made phone calls. In social situations, strangers asked me “what I did” and I felt awkward. Friends told me to enjoy the time off, but I couldn’t because I was too stressed about finding a job.
Being home caring for twin babies (while job hunting) feels similar to my experience of being unemployed, except that at the same time as I’m “unemployed” I’m working full time, with no time to write resumes or make phone calls. Also, this “unemployed” job I have is exhausting, involves strenuous heavy lifting, intense mental energy, and no breaks. I’ve never been a procrastinator, and I think the stress of not being able to get things done is building over time.
Amazingly, though, no one else seems worried that I’m wasting my life, or that I’ll never work again. Life changes quickly, and I know these babies are going to be all grown up in about a second. Most of my problems, luckily, are in my head. This morning I had a moment where I really felt at peace, so I thought I’d capture it here:
I set up the babies’ water table in the back yard, under the redbud, taking along a chair and book for myself. It’s summer, and the humidity is thick, though not bad if you aren’t moving. When we all got down and settled, I sat in the chair with the book for a minute and watched the babies investigate the toys in the water. The neighbors have hung a bird feeder, and a few sparrows came to peck at the seeds. The grass was freshly mowed, the plants in my newly-seeded garden looked healthy. It was quiet. And for a a moment I didn’t think about the things I wish I had done or was doing; life is good, I thought. I am lucky to be here, in this beautiful place.