Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tired in that way...

I'm reading Still Life With Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen (on my summer reading list) and came across this sentence, a sentence I haven't been able to get out of my head:

"...Rebecca had just been tired, tired in that way a woman with a child and a husband and a house and a job and a life gets tired, so that it feels like a mild chronic illness."

People email and text and hashtag LOL and it's usually meant to express amusement, agreement or even bewilderment. But in this case I really did laugh out loud. "Oh my God!" I said to whoever was listening (in this case it was to no one in my empty living room). "I can totally relate to this woman!" 

I don't know what impressed me more -- identifying with this character's honest and unapologetic sentiment about balancing work/life/motherhood or how Quindlen so succinctly and simply packaged it in 37 words.

I'm in a season of life where "mild chronic illness" accurately sums up my physical state. Like Rebecca I'm spinning a multitude of dishes from two young children to marriage to running a house to managing a career to living a life where meaning and fulfillment and intentionality are paramount. All the while making sure those dishes don't crash at my feet. 

I guess I looked pretty haggard when I came home to California last month. "You need to take your vitamins!" my mother announced in her sunny and immaculate kitchen (the sunny and immaculate part in stark contrast to my ashy skin and bloodshot eyes). Right away she packed my bag with a year's worth of vitamins B-12, D and Super B-Complex. 

In an effort to feel more energetic I've been binging on green smoothies (yesterday kale/avocado/banana, today spinach/pineapple/orange/banana, tomorrow kale/spinach/blueberry/avocado/beet). And to tell you the truth, while the vitamins are great and the smoothies are delicious it still takes me over an hour to fall asleep (I can't turn off my brain!) and in the morning I often feel an annoying crook in my neck. 

You know when you're so tired the thought of looking in the fridge and wracking your brain for dinner ideas makes you want to yell to everyone, "Make your own damn dinner!" Or when listening to little voices saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!" for what seems like the 400th time in the past five minutes causes you to completely zone out? Have you been so tired you can't find the energy to laugh at your spouse's jokes (even when they're bona fide genius?).

Yep, sounds like mild chronic illness to me.

Do you ever feel this way?

Illustration by Anne Taintor.