Every so often, I get to feeling sorry for myself.
Sometimes life feels too busy.
Sometimes juggling work, and husband, and daughter...it all mashes together and feels like TOO MUCH.
These past few weeks have fallen into the TOO MUCH category.
Zoe started a new school year, with a new teacher and new routines for the first time in two years. A child who doesn't respond well to change, this has been hard on her. Nightmares have surfaced; stomachaches are feigned.
Last weekend added to her feelings of upheaval. She had a minor surgery (one tube pulled out of her ear, adenoids removed). She was old enough to be scared, but not old enough to really articulate it. When they pulled her from my arms at the surgery center, we both cried.
The nightmares and the stomachaches worsened, and we all grew sleep deprived. I enlisted the help of my mother and mother-in-law to keep Zoe for one each night this weekend, a huge treat for all of us. Zoe got to have special grandparent time. Charles and I were going to have grown-up time, AND get some sleep.
But then Charles got sick. A sinus infection run amock. He spent the weekend on the couch.
So much for replenishing grown up time, eh? I spent my weekend running errands, cleaning, and playing soccer with Zoe (ok, that last bit was super-fun...but still...).
This morning, I handled Zoe's school drop-off on my own. It was better, but still...
"Mommy, my tummy hurts," she said, ten minutes from school.
How do you tell a 4 year old that, even if it really does hurt, it's just from separation anxiety? The answer: you don't. You just comfort as best you can, and you send your kid to school anyway, all while feeling like a terrible mother for abandoning your one and only child.
It's awful, in short.
It makes me want to leave work, go pick her up, and take her for ice cream.
Even though I KNOW that's not the right answer.
But in truth, I'm overwhelmed, too. I'm tired. I'm run-down.
This weekend, I watched my first ever TED talk.
Then I watched this one. Photos that bear witness to modern day slavery by Lisa Christine.
You should watch it too. Because we all need to care about this.
It's odd: In Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne rails against her mother's instructions to, when she was feeling down, think about those in more dire trouble than her. To think about those Jews already in camps, already starving and tortured.
Anne wanted, instead, to contemplate the beauty of nature, to let it fill her with joy.
When I was young and impulsive, I agreed with her. It was all about finding joy in the little things, even on a bad day.
Now I think they were both right. There's beauty in this world, and we always need to work to find it and appreciate it...but damn. The troubles of enslaved people around the world certainly make my trivial complaints seem...well...trivial.
As well they should.
Sometimes that's a reminder I need. And it's also a call to action. It may not (ever) be enough, but I'll be supporting Lisa's organization from now on. And so should we all.