Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Half-Assed Life of a Full-Assed Chick

I am trying to do too many things and I am not doing a very good job with any of them. Each area suffers for the others, yet there is nothing I actually can (will?) give up at this point.

School. I can't give it up because the money is decent and, perhaps more importantly, I still do wrap a little of my identity up in it. Before I went back to work I found that being a full-time mom sent me into a pretty major identity crisis. I had nothing to contribute to most conversations beyond "the girls did the cutest thing today....." If you ever need to clear a room, I'd suggest that as your opener. Going back to teaching made me feel relevant again. This may or may not be justified, but I felt it nonetheless. I guess I feel like I'm not giving it my full attention because, well, it's part-time, it's tentative, and lately I really wonder if I'm any good at it anymore. I used to be confident that I was, but now I'm not so sure. This is probably currently exacerbated by the fact that it's finals week and my students are driving me crazy with issues that should have been resolved months ago. It's very hard to care when it's clear so many of them don't.

The Pizza Shop. Who takes up waiting tables for the first time at 45? That's hard work for this old back, feet and legs! The volatile nature of food service in general and this shop in particular is not good for my gentle soul. Also, I just don't think I'm that good at it. When pressed as to why I don't think so, I can't really come up with anything, but you know when you're doing a job well, and I just don't get that feeling with any kind of consistency with this job. I suppose those are the downsides. Why don't I leave? Well, first of all, I genuinely like the folks I work with - beautifully flawed as they are. If I left I would miss them. I would also feel like I was letting them down in some way. Secondly, it's just darn nice to go home a couple times a week with cash in my pocket. It's really allowed me to make some lifestyle changes which I enjoy. It's nice to be able to go out now and then for a couple beers or cocktails. I missed that, and it would be gone without this job.

The House. There was a time when I thought I wanted to be June Cleaver. Just wanted to make a nice home for Ward and the boys (or, Tom and the girls, as it worked out). Turns out I really wanted to be Carol Brady. I wanted to not have a job, but have a full-time live-in housekeeper. Cook if I felt like it, work on my embroidery, do a little volunteer work maybe... See, the thing is, I am a TERRIBLE housekeeper. I hate almost every aspect of it, particularly the temporary nature of it all. Everything I do needs to be done again in an hour, a day, a week, a month (depending on the job) - nothing stays done and I HATE that. It just feels like such a frustrating waste of time. Time I could be spending doing something I LIKE doing. And, selfish hedonist that I am, that's what I often opt for. Because of this, the house almost ALWAYS looks bad and it's just not fun place to be. I know I should attend to it more, but it's just not a priority. Alice? I need you!!!

The Family. Listed last, although they truly are my first priority. Maybe that's why I put off acknowledging the half-assed job I do with them until everything else had been discussed. I love all 3 of them beyond all reason. I'm not sure even one of them knows it. I feel like I let them down constantly by giving time and energy to other areas that shouldn't matter at all in the grand scheme of things.

Maybe next time I'll outline my failings as a sister, daughter and friend... but for now there are papers to score and dishes to do and laundry to wash.

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