I actually think F slept through the night last night. I cannot remember waking up for her! I think I did get up to go to the bathroom at one point, but otherwise I slept until 6:15am without interruption from anyone. Amazing.
I was still tired enough today to sleep for over an hour when the husband came over to see the kids. It really does take time to recover from the detrimental affects of lost sleep. My mood however, has much improved and today I’ve felt brighter than I have in a long time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about life and why I find the days such a struggle. I have always been really good at subjects with correct answers. It’s why I am a programmer, I suppose. When you get things exactly right, everything works as it should. I am creative enough that I enjoy writing and drawing and music, but I get the deepest satisfaction from order, alignment and getting things right.
Life, of course, is not like that. Life is a messy construction of emotions, events, people and all their feelings and beliefs. Right and wrong are extremes and in the middle is a whole grey ocean of okay. I slip and slide around in the great grey expanse of ‘okay’ wondering what the hell I am doing most of the time. What should I be feeding the kids? What should I be reading? Which exercise should I do? How should I structure my day? Is TV in the mornings okay? When it is acceptable to call in sick? How tired do I have to be before I have an early night? At what point do I tell my toddler no, rather than accommodating what she wants? How much should I spend? Or save? Are credit cards okay? Should I live in a bigger house or a smaller house? Should I be forgiving of everyone? How do I avoid manipulative people? How can I tell if someone is genuine? Is gas any better than electricity?
I struggle because life has no manual and it is endlessly complex. I crave the right answers, the correct path, but I have no freaking idea what that is even supposed to look like. Also, there is always contradiction: I know MacDonalds is no good for you, but the one down the road always has a massive queue at the drive through and the company makes billions selling cheap burgers all around the globe. What’s right here? I really struggle with the recommendation of moderation. There is no real definition of moderation that enables you to do the right thing. One person’s moderation is another person’s extreme.
At the end of the day, maybe we can only do what is right for us, each of us, individually. But what if we’re wrong?
My analytical, organised, answer-seeking brain finds life overwhelming. I research and research things until I can’t take in any more information and then when I think I have found the right answer I look around and almost everyone I know is doing the opposite.
I seem to spend my time battling what I think I should be doing with wondering why no one else is doing it.
I kind of wish I had a book that said “Do this; do that; in this situation try this first and then do that if it doesn’t work.”
People say I should just “relax and enjoy life,” but if it was so easy to do that, we’d all be doing it without ruining our health, bank balance and relationships. I want to enjoy life and still be healthy into my old age. I want to enjoy life and not run up thousands of pounds in debt. I want to enjoy life and not be a slave to a job that will consume the best years and leave me with the consolation prize of retirement.
Maybe this is why Buddhism attracts me – it has a path without being overly spiritual or imposing.