The mail surprised me a few a days ago. Not because we still have mail service, but because I received a copy of Vanity Fair. I could have sworn my subscription ran out a few months ago, but there it was, the style issue. The last couple of days I’ve been trying to remember if I had resubscribed, but no memory came to the surface. Going through a pile on the kitchen table unlocked some clues: besides unopened credit card offers, there were two unread Atlantic Monthlys and two Vanity Fairs still in their plastic covers. I glanced wondering back at the pile– could I possibly find me in there, too?
Waves of frustration and fatigue washed over me. I wanted to cry. The forgotten and unopened magazines are symptomatic of how I’ve been feeling lately. It’s the lack of focus and concentration to any one thing. It’s the feeling of there not being enough hours in one day. The sense of not establishing priorities. It’s the fact that I don’t have any goals that I’m working toward. The center has fallen out of me and this is compounded by the internal instability I’ve felt since summer. I sit still, but feel as if I’m on a subway. It’s all just one mad scramble and I wish I could sleep a deep winter sleep for a long, long time.
There’s the feeling of inadequacy– I really should be doing more. More reading, more writing, more lesson planning, more grading, more cleaning. Plus, I should be doing something more with my life. Should I write a book? Strive for that novel? Take up a new hobby? Read my months old magazines? Should I expand my role in the teaching profession? Or am I content with what I have now? If I say I’m content, does that mean I’m lazy? Does it fly in the face of my childhood dreams to be something great? Does it mean I’m settling?
Then I wonder if I’m good enough. Am I a good enough friend? Am I there for them when they need me? Am I a good enough teacher? Are my students learning what they’re supposed to? Am I a good enough wife? My husband is currently facing one of his greatest challenges as the situation with his mom’s health and care brings a new crisis everyday. I listen and commiserate, but is it enough? Am I too wrapped up in my own little world or this how everyone is and worlds just brush past each other? I wonder often if what I am or what I do is ever enough.