Sunday Stepback: Anxious, Tired, and Messy

My family has experienced a lot of change in the past year and a half or so. To help you understand, let me summarize just a few things that have occurred: my wife and I had our first son 16 months ago, my wife has had three different jobs in the past year, I graduated with my first master’s degree while continuing with a second degree in counseling, I became and elder at my church, I went from being incredibly involved in student government at my grad school to barely visiting the campus, my family moved from an apartment on campus into an apartment in Chicago, I traveled to Israel for two weeks during a time when my wife had just lost her job, one of my best friends moved to Japan to work for a Japanese company, in August we found out that my wife was pregnant unexpectedly, I started a web design company with one of my best friends, my parents have separated and are finalizing a divorce this week most likely, my family has traveled to visit extended family for holidays and special occasions numerous times, my grandma’s health is rather shaky at the moment, I’ve made zero new friends since moving into the city, and the one friend I have is moving away next week.

When I pause and reflect about what my day to day life actually looks like right now, it doesn’t seem that bad on paper. I am a stay-at-home dad. All I do all day is watch my son. I read with him. I play with him. I laugh with him. And as it turns out, most of my day is spent just keeping him alive, or to put it another way, keeping him from killing himself by accident. It doesn’t really seem like it should be that hard. But there is something about doing that day in and day out that takes its toll on me. The simple things can become incredibly tedious. And right when I think I feel comfortable with the stage of development that my son is at, he’s moved on to the next stage.

Moving into the city last June was exciting. I’ve always wanted to live in the city. To be able to walk out my front door and not have to rely on driving everywhere was a dream of mine. And that dream has become a reality for the most part. But soon after moving into our new apartment we found out that my wife was pregnant again. That was something that was definitely NOT in the plans. That zapped all the energy from my wife physically (and emotionally). And because she works so hard as a nurse, when she is home she needs to rest as much as she possibly can. This makes taking care of the household chores that much more difficult. So most of the time the inside of my apartment looks very much how I feel.  Messy. Disorganized. We still haven’t even unpacked all the boxes from our move. And we have barely put things up on the walls to decorate to make it feel more like “home.”

Our second son is due in two months. Just two months from now we will have added on the (incredible) responsibility of taking care of and keeping a second child alive. Believe me, both my wife and I are excited about the arrival of our second son. We are. But it’s a lot of work. And at the moment I already feel exhausted. I feel tapped out. For the first time since I got an F on my report card my junior year in high school, I feel anxious. Not nervous or worried, really. It’s more like a deep anxiety has seeped into my marrow. I can feel it in my bones, in my gut. For the first time in my life I have found myself tossing and turning in my sleep. I’ve never had an issue with sleep before. Not even before my big Spanish presentation in college, or my Hebrew exegesis final in seminary. (And yes, I just noticed that all my comparisons are to school related, performance oriented anxieties. If I had a therapist, they’d probably want to talk about that…)

I have absolutely no point I am trying to make in this post. I am purely just getting things off my chest I think. Life is busy, and its hard sometimes (oftentimes?). I am a firm believer in simply being willing to admit that with others, even if it is on a blog. As much as I’d like to be on top of everything in my life, right now I really don’t feel like I am. I have always been the person who has been able to juggle about five things at once in my life. The more responsibility, the better. But right now I barely feel like I can juggle a couple things, and it has been so disorienting for me.

That’s where I am at right now. </rambling>

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