It has been an absolutely depressing two weeks, and I need to figure out a way to break out of this rut and stave off the impending depression that is slowly consuming me. First, I had what appeared to be a combination of the flu and bronchitis, but due to my uninsured status, I had to pretty much wait it out and treat it as best as I could with what I could afford. Now, two weeks later, I still don’t feel completely back to normal, and it is frustrating.
This bout with sickness gave me entirely too much time to think and get upset with things as they are. Truth be told, I am a tad weary of putting on a smiley face and masking my true frustrations. However, I do feel I owe my children a sunny disposition, as I do not want them to grow up being cynical or curmudgeonly. I think I could easily win an Academy Award for Best Dramatic Performance, because obviously I have a lot of people fooled.
Truth is, I AM a strong person, but I don’t know anyone who does not have a breaking point, or could be perfectly content never receiving positive feedback or a supportive, encouraging word every now and then. Do I think I am any more special than any other wife or mother? Absolutely not. But do I think we have a job that could easily be thought of as thankless with the wrong attitude? YEP. That is where I am right now.
I have given myself time to get better physically, and now I have to get back to the mental/spiritual work, because I have definitely been faltering there. My mind is the biggest advocate of personal sin–during the course of my sickness, my negative thoughts were many, and I found myself often getting angry with God, cursing, and allowing my mind to float places where it shouldn’t. I have been short-tempered with my children, and have found more reasons to be unhappy than happy. Starting with church service on Sunday, I will have to do something different, something that does not allow my mind much idle time to where I can just sit around and conjure up negative thoughts and feelings.
First things first–what are the causes of my unhappiness and how is my attitude, my way of thinking, the way I process the world contributing to it? The major reason I am unhappy is glaringly obvious–I am unemployed and have been for over a year now. I had a job I loved–a patient services assistant with the University of Michigan–and I was GOOD at my job. I went to work HAPPY every single day. I was late a couple of times due to car issues, and each time it happened, I was devastated. Most times I was at work I did not feel well and was uncomfortable, yet, there I was with a smile on my face, giving 100% effort with each patient encounter.
I wish I could call my former manager and explain to her the DAMAGE she did to me and my family when she callously fired me. I am having a very hard time forgiving her. On top of manufacturing a reason to fire me, she also attempted to terminate me as unrehireable, which I successfully fought. It was the biggest slap in the face I had EVER endured. I put my health in jeopardy for the job because I loved it and I needed that health insurance for me and my son, only to get a phone call with a dry “I hope all is well with your health, but you’re fired”.
I have to figure out some way to let go and forgive her. She made a bad decision. But I have to let her live with her bad decision.
However, my self-esteem is tied to my sense of productivity. My sense of productivity does not come from being a stay-at-home mother. NO DISRESPECT TO STAY-AT-HOME MOMS IS INTENDED HERE… As a matter of fact, I tip my hat to the woman who is a stay-at-home mom and is happy and has found a way to balance her mom identity with the other aspects of her identity. It is not the case with me. I do not see how anyone, man or woman, could be perfectly content to have their entire day and night revolve around the matters of the home. To me, a person who abhors routine and enjoys challenging work, it is the epitome of boredom. It is a bunch of busywork and since I bring in no money, it has no positive effect on how I feel about myself and my lot in life.
Hence comes the attitude adjustment. Studies have shown the positive effect a clean house has on children. Studies have documented the positive effect of families eating dinner together. We all know how eating out is unhealthy. So the role of a mother in a traditional household is of extreme importance. The home is the family’s gathering place–the true familial interaction occurs in the home. That interaction plays a key factor in how the children grow up and how well the marriage hangs together. Cluttered, dirty homes lead to health problems and stress. So in essence, the work I do balances my family, and the home should be a safe haven where my children and husband can escape the stresses that are bound to occur outside the home.
A woman is a blessing to her home due to the work she does. Perhaps if I remind myself of this daily–like a mantra of sorts–I can come to fully appreciate my role and spend less time hating it.