In my thirties, I was harried and overworked. I was also always complaining about how much work I had – if it wasn’t domestic maintenance, and baby care, it was “work” work or paying bills or shopping for groceries or smoothing ruffled feathers within the intricately knotted interpersonal shebang of the extended family. The world lay on my shoulder and I could not even shrug.
Since I started this blog, I had resolved to post something everyday. Yesterday at 9.30 PM, I had to make a choice. On one side of the bed was my laptop waiting for the daily post. On another was the mountain of clothes that needed to be folded and put away. A three-day migraine induced, as I understand, by transient hypoglycaemia thanks to my change in diet to lower glycemic index food (middle age metabolism is a rabid dog, I tell you) added to the general feeling of what to do. What WAS I to do? Tackle the clothes, write a blog post, prepare for the next day’s work or pop a pill and lie on top of the clothes for the rest of the night?
This would have been perfect opportunity 10 years ago, for me to rant about how horrible my life was and that I could not find time to just sit and nurse my headache or do something I like, rather than fold clothes. The rant would be in my head, of course, but the waterworks would start with the pent up fury of the unfairness of it all – the woman having to do the crap, while the men and children play video games on their computer, to which the better half would have said “you can join us..the clothes can wait”, which would have got me madder until my headache would have exacerbated to the levels at which I would have taken the pill, and gone to sleep on the pile of clothes, effectively rendering my choice moot.
Yesterday, for the weirdest reason, I felt grateful. Grateful that I have so much work to do that the moment my head touches the pillow, I am fast asleep. Grateful, that when I wake in the morning, I have enough work to fill my day until my head touches the pillow into oblivion again. Thankful that I have a choice to do the work or not, and that every time I choose to do it. And that the constant hustle of life keeps my mind from the long dark rabbit hole of reactive thinking and associated emotional roller coaster that characterised most of my thirties. Grateful for the realisation that the world is certainly not on my shoulder, and will go on whether or not I fold the clothes, write the blogpost, or pop a pill and go to sleep.
I folded the clothes, put them away, and lay my head on the pillow, and was transported instantly into the land of bliss.