It’s the weekend. You know, that glorious two days a week when you try to cram it all in. Time for yourself, projects, quality time with the kids. Fulfillment is a word that comes into my mind more often than what is probably acceptable. It’s like a current that flows underneath my life and taunts me. I am constantly asking myself, “Am I fulfilled, is “this” fulfilling?” And most of the time I think it’s because I don’t feel fulfilled, at least not in the way I want to be. I like to think that there’s some sort of extraneous reason for this lack of fulfillment, but in all honesty I think it could also just be-ME. By nature I’m a “doer” I make things, read things, take notes on things, clean things, make lists about things, cross things off of lists. Serial watching The Carrie Diaries with my tween (which may or may not be what were doing right now) is not exactly on the list of fulfilling ways to spend a Saturday. But…why not? It’s not that I don’t find it enjoyable-it’s that I have this illusion-this idyllic preconceived view of what I think the weekends should be like. Reading, painting, crafting with the girls, writing, making new recipes…I want my weekends to be all-encompassing. I have to fit all the things I love to do into two days, because who has the time during the week?! Even though I get to spend my weeks at home watching babies (which I adore) I am like everyone else out there working a 9-5 job-I wish weeks away all for two little days that go by in a flurry, leaving me wondering where all the time went?! The truth is that when the weekends roll around I’m exhausted, even things that I find enjoyable seem like work, like a quota that needs filled. I don’t know if I’m in some sort of funk-winter blues, perhaps? Maybe I’m just going fucking crazy.
I like to think I’m someone who finds joy in the little things, but this issue of being truly fulfilled has always plagued me. It often happens that I sit and try to think of something I did on a particular day that was fulfilling (other than taking care of kids) and I am dumbfounded. I know I sound ungrateful, and I certainly don’t mean to be. I am someone who documents lots of extraordinary (to me) moments in my life-the simple unadorned pockets of time when I feel truly happy-satisfied-not seeking something more. I should feel lucky that I find happiness so easily, and frequently but I, like many others, am searching for more. More from my life, more from my days, more from myself. It all seems very greedy, searching for more fulfillment in one’s life, especially if it means more time for ourselves, and Maybe it is. I want everyday to be truly fulfilling, and quite frankly even I find that quality about myself to be utterly annoying! I think I’m this way for many reasons. I am a worrier, and I have been since I was a little girl. A doctor once told me I had generalized panic/anxiety disorder. Duh. I’m sure I should “generally” be taking a cocktail of Klonopin swirled in with some Xanax-but luckily I am not one for self-medicating. The point is, when you’ve had an immense fear of dying your whole life, you get a little preoccupied with living your life to the fullest. (gag)
After all these years I (obviously) am not any closer to figuring it all out, but that won’t stop me from trying. I do know that there are things I can do each day to feel more fulfilled. Some of it starts with documenting. When I feel truly happy, you know, the kind of happiness that leaves you sort of floating around the periphery absorbing the beauty of the moment-I write it down. I write in as great a detail as I can muster. More often than not, I find myself writing about these particular moments as they unfold outdoors. Last year I was waking early to get up and walk a few miles before kids were up. It was a truly magical time. There is a certain solitude when walking while the sun is still rising, and everything around you is caught in between wakefulness and dreaming. Regardless of getting up before the birds, I found a great amount of fulfillment from that practice, and coincidentally had a lot to write about. I need to remember to look out for these moments each day. Time for myself is not easy to come by, so I have to occasionally learn to look elsewhere for these moments. Just as we (hopefully) wake up and put on clean clothes each day, these moments too will change. They will show up in different faces, at different times of the day, in different places with different smells, different feelings. I don’t know anymore if I’m talking about fulfillment or contentment-maybe both-or maybe just about happiness, but I do know that I have work to do. I also know that whether they are the same thing, or just have a lot in common, recognizing happiness in my everyday life will help me to feel more fulfilled. I know I have some shit to figure out, but in the meantime I will try to be aware those seemingly ordinary moments, so my days don’t continue to go by in a frenzy, because I am not OK with that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a house to clean…