Spinning Life’s Tires

I have days like today, and weeks like this week, where I feel like I am spinning the tires of my life.  My day-to-day life is is routine, ordinary, and far from exciting.

I am acutely aware that my work is my training.  I have yet to reach a point in my career where I love my job.  I know this is because I am not in control of my daily choices.  Work, therefore, becomes a place I go because I have to.  It is paying my dues and eventually it will be over.  Just last month I was starting to get to a point where I felt like I was almost over the worst of it.  This year of residency – the workhorse year – where I we are expected to work like slaves, it is almost over. But then this week we started planning out the schedules for the next year of residency (which is supposed to start in July) and once my maternity leave is incorporated into the schedule, I won’t actually start that year of training until November/December.  I thought I was so much further ahead.

I know – I am taking off that time to have a baby:  Time I will have to spend at home with my new addition and the two boys I already feel I never see.  I shouldn’t complain, because it’s not time that I’m working, it’s time that I will be investing in something else… Something arguably more important than work.

This belly of mine, it continues to grow, yet it feels slow.  In two months this pregnancy will be over and life will never be the same.  But it scares me to think of this change.  Why did I decide to do this again?

76e54768477746b60f20cfb43bd40995It’s hard to see that life is moving forward when each day is a repeat of the last.  The mornings are rushed to get out of the house and start a 10 hour working day.  The evenings are a blur of kids activities, snack time, reading, bedtime routines, and exhaustion.  My bedtime quickly ensues.  And so, from day to day, nothing changes.  I feel like I’m stuck in a hamster wheel and that my efforts are taking me in circles.

How, exactly, do you step back to appreciate the way your life evolves over time?  How do you come to understand the role of the little things in the “big picture?”  I want to feel like I am moving forward every day:  I want something to change, to be momentous, and to remind my why I am here and living and working so hard.  What is the answer?

 

Throwback – Frozen Time

Do you ever wish you could just freeze a moment in time? Maybe not to prevent time from moving, but just to preserve that moment and go back to it as many times as you want. I imagine it would be like having a favorite song and playing it over and over again, whenever you want. It wouldn’t be the same as taking a picture and looking at it whenever you want – it would be more than that. It would involve preservation of the thoughts, the emotions, the feelings… everything that was happening in that moment. It would be like re-living the moment and re-interacting with the people, and re-experiencing those emotions.
I don’t have this desire too often, but occasionally I will be in a moment that I just wish I could re-live an infinite number of times. I try to play it over again in my head and let myself feel the emotions that came along with it. Unfortunately, the feelings fade and the memories become vague. A conversation dwindles into a sentence or two, and even that eventually becomes nothing more than the faint memory of a friendly smile. Finally, there is nothing left to feel and nothing left to remember so I am left waiting for an experience to replace that lost memory. When it finally comes around again, I swear that I will preserve it differently and make it last longer.
Almost always, I want to freeze the feeling of being cherished; the feeling of being cared for and nurtured and being made special. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not the actual moment that I care most about. Instead, it is the desire to revel in those feelings as much as possible. It’s like I’m trying to make up for lost time, or trying to fill up a vase that as been neglected for too long. I don’t know if I can ever catch up with this emotional short fall – and maybe that is the reason I am always afraid to lose the moments that matter the most to me. 

Originally published on The Old Blog, August 2013