not balanced: as
"Balance" is a concept you hear a lot of working mothers talk about. It is something that I think most of us strive to achieve.
For quite some time, I have felt unbalanced, as in the first meaning of this word. . . not in equilibrium. Feeling that I am devoting the majority of my time, energy and focus to something that is less important to me than it once was--work--while having less time to devote to many other things in my life that I used to enjoy. Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling that, although I have many of the things in my life I hoped to have, the life I am living is not the life I hoped to live.
For quite a while, I have felt caught in a trap of my own making, stuck, as though I have painted myself into a corner and cannot figure out a way out of it. I know, intellectually, that there *is* a way out. Were I counseling someone in my exact situation, I would certainly tell her that she could do many other things, that she is capable and qualified. But I seem to lack the energy/confidence/gumption/something to find that path for myself.
The past few weeks, I have not only felt that I am not in equilibrium. . . I have also felt unbalanced in the sense of the second definition: mentally disordered. Unstable. Like I might, at any moment, break down, crack, under the pressure that is my daily life.
What pushed me over the edge, to a point where I could no longer handle the stress, was developing daily headaches, for reasons that are unclear even to my doctor. I have had a headache at least some portion of every single day since waking up with a migraine the day after Father's Day. Although I have suffered with migraines since age 15, I have never before lived through an episode like this. Some of these headaches have been migraines; some of been tension headaches. Some have been typical of the usual headaches I get; some have been different.
(Yes, I have seen my doctor, a few times. I have also had a MRI of my brain, which was negative, assuring him that there is no serious, organic cause of the headaches.)
My sister made an analogy that I found apt. She compared my management of my daily life to walking while balancing a very full glass of water. If I walk carefully, I can do it without spilling a drop. These daily headaches have been like someone came and poured some extra water into my glass. Now the water is running down the sides of the glass, and I can no longer keep it from spilling out.
I know something has to give. Something has to change. I cannot go on living the way I've been living for the past year plus.
Of the things in my life that are changeable, the things that occupy my time on a daily basis, there is only one that I would want to change: my job. I think that making that one change would, eventually, make a huge difference to the whole, for a number of reasons.
There are a few obstacles to my making that change. I have very little control over being able to find a new position at all; I have applied for many jobs in the past six months and had three interviews and still no new job. Also, changing to a job that isn't just as stressful, time-consuming and unfulfilling as my current position will certainly mean a pay cut. The only question is, how big a pay cut.
Since faking my own death seems a bit drastic (and I would miss my sons too much if I did it), I guess I am going to just have to keep plugging along and find a way to keep doing what I'm doing until I can get out of this daily grind that I am in. I hope and pray that I find that way soon.