Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Not Fair Monday

We spend a lot of time with our kids trying to teach them about humility and kindness, to focus on what we have and not what we don't, to be thankful about the life that we have and the food we eat every night. We hope we are helping to pave a life of fulfilment for them. So, why can't I follow my own advice?!

On paper, I feel like we are living the American dream: a faithful husband, 3 kids, a successful career, a nice house, 3 cars, a nanny--so what's my problem? The paper doesn't show how hard that "American Dream" is to hold onto. It doesn't show the constant monitoring of the banking account to make sure we can pay for this life. It doesn't show the unsurety of what this life we try so hard to hold onto is really bringing to us. On one hand I know I'm incredibly lucky and on the other I battle the "It's Not Fair!" demon that every once in a while gets the best of me. It got me good yesterday.

It started in morning and worked itself through my bitter day of compiling budget numbers and missing lunch. The constant questions and doubt I kept taxing myself. Why am I here? What did I do wrong to still be here? Why are my kids at the park with someone I PAY to look after them when I'd do it for free? Why am I not getting past the mommy angst I've been battling for the last 3 years!? Who the hell are the mom's who told my husband that I'd get past it at some point? Where do they live so I can go kick their asses for lying?! By the time the clock hit 5pm, I didn't care that I hadn't finished my work for the day. I just wanted my head to stop swirling.

After rushing from work (as much as one can rush in traffic) to Target so I could exchange a closet organizer at an attempt to keep my house in order, I turned and rushed to get to my daughter's soccer practice. Her practice is at a park between two neighborhoods I love. I remember looking at these homes when they were first models when my husband and I were just dating. It epitomized the very comfortable life we thought we'd have one day. The homes are big and spread out and everyones yard is well manicured. The cars are all nicely parked in their driveways and not on the curb. I think that birds actually break out in song as they hop from beautiful tree to beautiful tree in this neighborhood.

Instead of focusing on how pretty the drive in was, I drive down the smoothly paved streets and am reminded that I will most likely never be able to afford this neighborhood. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but I found myself green with envy. As I sat with the other moms who actually do live in the neighborhood, I found myself wishing they were mean so I could have a viable reason to not like them. But they weren't. They were really nice and friendly--making my envy even worse.

Truthfully, I knew all the answers to my brain bending questions: I go to work because I really love my family and I'll keep doing it to be able to provide a life for them. At the end of the day, even in the throngs of my pity party, it's not fair that people in Africa are starving and a nice woman down the street has cancer. Brain teaser solved.

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