Sunday, January 16, 2011

You Are Here

I work from home for my good friend's Writing Management and Book Packaging Company. I started a year and a half ago after the economy took a dump and no school on the East Coast was interested in hiring a school psychologist. I might as well have walked in with a resume that said, "Touchy-Feely Overpaid Educator" because everyone looked at me like I was nuts for actually wanting a job using my degree. As it turns out, I really like working from home and am pretty good at this job.

Now, why NONE of you decided to mention that having a kid and working from home would turn out to be IMPOSSIBLE is a little bit of a sticking point. But bygones, right?

On another note, we are in the midst of what is affectionately deemed the Four Month Sleep Regression. We moved from sleeping 6-8 hours at a stretch to 2 hours on a good night. And we moved right into this new phase of non-sleep OVERNIGHT. No warning. No slippery slide. Just BAM. Stop sleeping everyone! Ha! So now was I not only was I not sleeping, but I was completely unable to get myself back to work. The kid is four months old. Most moms go back to work at 12 weeks. Did I mention the anxiety this caused??
One day in my sleep-deprived haze I wanted to put out the Bat signal. "We need a nanny. I have to get back to work and I might also need a nap. And my son needs a healthy, whole mom." You can imagine how much it cost to write that whole thing across the sky in lights. So what did my husband and I do instead? We Facebooked it. "We are in search of a nanny." We got a few responses, interviewed a few folks, and found Mary Poppins herself. She's in love with Abe and is ALSO in love with doing my dishes. I started working and running errands and getting life back in order one day at a time. I finally began feeling like myself again.
Except for one thing...we still weren't sleeping. And everytime I put Abe down, the anxiety crept in as I lay awake wondering, "How long until he wakes up and starts screaming?" And it never failed. The nights he didn't wake up, I waited until it was too late to get any sleep. And the nights I decided to just go to sleep, he woke up 45 minutes later. I began going mad. MAD.
It got to the point that I began cry when he began to cry. 8:30pm, 11:30pm, 2am. It didn't matter. He cried, I cried.
I had to do something.
There's no telling if it was my therapist or my husband who told me to simply accept where I am in life instead of looking forward and waiting for the next phase. But that thought reminded me of something that started the change in my thinking. You know those maps at Disney World that say, "You are here"? It suddenly occurred to me that there is no escape and there is no cure. This is just where we are in life. We are here. And someday, we'll walk over to the overpriced soft pretzel stand and then we'll be there. Maybe next we'll hit up Magic Mountain or Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. But for now, we're here. And the only way to get to the next place is to keep walking. We could stand at the map and get totally freaked about how long it's going to take to walk to the Mickey and Minnie Go to Vegas Show (not sure that one actually exists, but it should), or we could just start walking.
So this week, I started walking. And I replaced the "Try (Less) Hard" words on my bathroom mirror with "You are here."

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