Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This Is Not A Crisis

I don't think I'm having a mid-life crisis. Really, I don't think I am. I'm fairly certain it's just a mid-life slump. That's all.

Overall, I'm very happy with my life. I love my family. We're busy as hell, but I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything in the world. There's so much enjoyment in watching our kids in their activities... even though that means we're traveling all over the state (and sometimes, outside the state) to watch the kids do what they do. That doesn't seem like an obligation to me. It's time with my husband and kids when I really feel fulfilled.

On the other hand, I think my professional life is weighing me down. I like the idea of my job... I love the field of study and how I'm able to help people... but I'm not happy with the schedule, the extra time I spend at work that takes me away from my family, and the sheer mental exhaustion of it all.

My house is a disaster, because... when I am actually home... I'm too tired to deal with it. My personal fitness plan is non-existent (see previous point). I pay bills online over my lunch hour, when I actually have a lunch hour, and other personal errands happen when they happen.

I think you get the point. I'M TOO BUSY.

What I REALLY want to do is...

1) write- books, articles, blog (more)
2) get back into painting again
3) go on photography retreats
4) travel occasionally and facilitate workshops and deliver presentations in my field (this would require me to become self-employed)
5) sing with a group again and be the musician I am, rather than the one I "dust off" occasionally
6) stop stressing out over everything all the time!!!

That's not really all that much to ask, is it?

Ah... but then there's that money issue. Our youngest is a sophomore in high school. Our oldest is a sophomore in college. And the two in the middle are also in high school-- one junior, one senior.

KIDS ARE EXPENSIVE. So is college.

So... those things I really WANT to do are not in the business of paying me what I require to afford the college thing. And the high school thing.

Therein lies my dilemma.

Can I be patient enough to wait until the youngest is out of college? That's about 7 years away. Can my health and mental wellness sustain 7 more years of what I'm doing now?

I don't know. I honestly don't know.


-R- said...

Seven years seems like way too long to wait. But I have no idea what I am talking about, so feel free to ignore me!

3carnations said...

You'll get through it. Hang in there. It's important to take care of yourself, but getting your kids taken care of is the priority right now, and you're doing great at that. :)

Anonymous said...

I agree--7 years is too long. Is there some way you can organise something at work with your hours, etc. I think that you can't properly look after others if you're not in balance yourself. Take it easy there :-)

don't call me MA'AM said...

-r-: I would never ignore you. :-)

3car: thanks. if I could just find some balance, that would help.

gabrielle: agreed... not sure this job is the one for balance, though. can't really explain more because of the cardinal rule of blogging. haha

the cubicle's backporch said...

Whew... three more to get thru college. Wowza. I know I'm late replying to this post, but travelling as much as I do makes me wonder how in the hell people with kids do anything. It's just Mr. C and myself and with me out of town 3 days a week, our house is usually in some sort of messiness. I can't imagine adding kids into the mix! And the stress. Yuck. It's one of those hard questions you sometimes have to answer- should I be happy NOW or be safe and maybe be happy LATER. Yuck. Again.

Stinkypaw said...

I'm hoping you'll managed. I also think that the more we do the more we want to do. There are so many hours in a day, and so many things we can do, so it's a question of choices and how bad we want it. I've eliminated things/people/activities from my life because they were causing me more stress than pleasure. I rather be working from home, alone, at a lower pay (maybe, not sure on that one) than being in an office doing something to pay the bills and feeling like crap when I got home.

Stinkypaw said...

When I wrote "lower pay, not sure on that one" I meant I'm not sure I actually make less than I used to, if I consider the "free time" I have now... does that make sense?

Farmboy said...

What you need is a really great husband who helps clean the house, takes the kids to school, creates science projects, and makes a sh*t load of money......

Oh yeah! You have one of those! And he loves you, and he will be patiently waiting 7 years for you to be sane again. It also doesn't hurt that he is incrediby good-looking.

He's no slouch on the golf course either.

don't call me MA'AM said...

Thank you, honey. :-*

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain. At least some of it. I have two in college (luckily only one more to go) and girlfriend it IS expensive to have kids this age. I LAUGH at people who think babies are expensive. (No honey. Wait 16 years. Then you'll see where the real pain is.)


I have no answers. I am Responsible Momma, so I too wonder just how old I'm gonna be before I get my life back, lol. All I can tell myself is, it'll come. Eventually, it'll come.