The calm before

I’ve been restless lately. I can’t quite put a finger on it — it could be just the change of seasons, or age, or just the after-effects of everything this year has thrown at me. Whatever it is, I hate this feeling of unease, like something is about to happen — good or bad — but I just don’t know what it is and how it will all go down.

I know that some of the restlessness is self-generated. I think it’s a personality problem — I get bored and distracted easily and after a while it’s hard to tell whether there is really a problem with my life, or if this is how life is — predictable, stable, one-day-after-the-other, boring. I have nothing to complain about. I have a cute, healthy kid, a nice husband, a lovely house, a good job. Life is good. Life is enviable.

Life is dull.

At what point does striving for something better, something more, become an obstacle to appreciating what I have? When I dream about how I will quit my job and move on to this amazing opportunity that might come to fruition — or it might not — do I lose the ability to appreciate my flexible schedule, my amazing colleagues, my laid-back boss? When I feel like my head is going to explode from the plainness of my little city, from the Birkenstock-wearing, fleece-loving hippies around me, do I completely miss out on the fact that I live near the ocean, that the summers are cool and fresh, and that our neighborhood is safe and quiet? When I look at other relationships, other marriages and men around me and notice how from the outside they look so much happier, so much sexier, so much more fabulous than I feel, do I completely negate the years my husband and I put behind us, the family we built, the trust we have?

I clearly know the answer to all of this. Yet the restlessness remains. Somewhere in my head I know that other lives look shinier from the outside than what they really are, and that I would not be happy — or not for long, anyway — with whatever newness might come my way. Eventually that too, will become dull.

So what is it then? How do I balance this need, this urge I have for some excitement, with the common-sense? I try so hard to be excited for things that used to bring me pleasure — solitude, books, shopping — but they just don’t do the trick anymore. It’s like I’ve become some kind of an adrenaline junkie, trapped inside the body of a wife and mother. It’s like my life is a book and I am stuck on the same chapter, month after month, year after year.

I don’t want it to be this way. I want to love and appreciate what I have. I want to remember — every day — that the work I am doing raising a child and nurturing a family is important. I want to feel grateful.

But I also want some kind of a rush to take over me, even if just for a few days. I want my heart to pound, my head to spin. I want whatever is trapped in me to break out and dance.

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