Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Life Break Coach- Identifying the Problem- Part 2

Does this sound like YOU? (read part 1)

After work, my daughter asked me to play a game with her and I automatically said no.  I didn't even consider it.  I had so many papers to grade and forms to fill out for my 101 students that I didn't even think about taking a break to play with my rapidly growing eight-year-old girl.  As she walked away, I could hear "The Cat's in the Cradle" playing on the radio in my head.  I actually liked that song when I was a kid- not a favorite now.  I wasn't some corporate, high-paid executive, jetting all over the world for power meetings, but I was missing my kids' childhoods just the same.  When I thought about it I realized I spent more time with other people's children than my own.  

My life exhausted me without fulfillment. I collapsed into bed each night bone-tired, but bored and unable to sleep.  My exhaustion made me cranky and in constant need of a nap.  More and more, I worried that there was something physically wrong with me.  When I spoke with friends about this, they all said they felt the same way and added, “But hey, what are ya gonna do?”  How did we get into this competitive American marathon of running non-stop from our mid-twenties to our mid-sixties?  If I were this tired in my forties, how would I ever enjoy retirement life?

I started fantasizing about baking bread. (I know. My husband is a lucky man.)  While running through the mall to pick up a birthday present, I stopped in Williams-Sonoma and gravitated to a book on bread baking.  Thumbing the pages, I felt consumed with envy.  I was jealous of the author having the time to grow and feed a starter, work the dough, wait for the rise, and then, bake the bread. I put down the book with a sigh and glanced at my cellphone’s clock- Yep, late again. Something was really wrong when a person didn’t have time to dream.

I couldn't sleep or enjoy my husband and children because I had built an over-scheduled life that made me stressed and unhappy.  There had to be something better.  But at midlife, what choices did the dissatisfied have?


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