Monday, May 5, 2008

Making Happy

Do you know Bossy? Bossy has a most excellent blog. Bossy is hilarious, has fabulous hair and a really cute teenaged son (who is way too young for me or my friends, but still. Cute. And smart!).

Bossy recently asked her readers to sum up in 10 words what's been going on in their lives. Here is my comment:

"Ate chocolate. Nursed baby. Chased toddler. Cried. Didn't sleep. Worked."

And that, my friends, pretty much sums up my life for the past two and a half years. Except the crying part. I haven't cried EVERY day. MOST but not EVERY. I probably laugh more than I cry, thanks to friends like Laura and the Moms and the general silliness that comes from the Bug but this has been a rough week.

I listen to friends and acquaintances complain about the slow delivery of their new laptops or super-sized TVs. They fume about how TIVO messed up and didn't record LOST. They sigh plaintively about how hard life is what with dropping the kids off at daycare and having to go get manicures and shop. I listen to this, purse my lips and nod blankly. What I really want to do is climb on top of them, dig my knees into their chests, jab at their noses and scream, "YOU DON'T KNOW HARD!"

I think of my four hours of sleep a night. My frazzled nerves. My anxieties about work. The stack of books that looks like I'll never read. The laundry that needs to be done. The groceries that haven't been bought. The relationships that are suffering because I'm always tired and cranky and have no time to spare for lunches or parties or simple conversations. The fear that keeps me from quitting my job and committing to my family the way I really want.

I think of all this and remind myself: I have a job. My eyes work and I can read. I have a home and money to buy groceries. My husband and friends are wonderfully patient people. I made a choice about work and home and I can change it. Frankly, I really don't know hard either.

Hard is losing your home or your marriage. Losing your child. Hard is struggling with illness. Hard is not having anyone to turn to. We all think we have it hard until we meet someone who has it harder.

"Count your blessings" is what my parents used to tell me. It's not easy. It's not easy when all you want to do is sleep and cry and punch pillows. It's not easy when you believe that you can acutally feel the weight of your decisions bearing down on your shoulders. It's not easy when it seems like everyone around you gets exactly what they need and want and never suffer. But we all suffer. Everyone does to varying degrees and we all show it differently.

I don't want to feel better because someone feels worse than me. I want to feel better because I choose to. I can feel better and even if I don't right now, I will. I will feel better because I will make things better.