Love, Work and Balance

Work is love made visible. - Kahlil Gibran

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Well, here we are.  January is off to a great start.  To be honest, the first five days of this month were horrible for me.

New Year's Day started off productively.  My family went to Mass for the Solemnity of Mary.  I made a delicious egg bake for breakfast.

I intended to take the dog on a long walk because the sun was shining after a fresh snow fall and everything was glistening.  It was beautiful.

After cleaning the kitchen, I suddenly felt nauseous and tired.  My vision was off and I knew a migraine was hitting me.  I tried to head it off with Tylenol but ended up laying down in the dark, sobbing from the pain.

I struggled through the next few days at work, but residual headaches and grogginess made me feel miserable.

Sunday morning I woke up with a sore throat, fever and mild congestion.  It was brutal.  I missed work on Monday.  I couldn't even sit or stand in an upright position without feeling like I was going to faint.

What kind of virus was this?  And why was I sick again?  (If you know me, you know that my kids bring home germs from school and I'm their primary caregiver because the Huz can't deal with it, so I am ALWAYS getting sick even when I try my hardest not to do that.)

I missed the gym five days in a row.  I felt horribly guilty.  I could barely eat.  I was so freaking tired all the time.

Then one of the boys got sick with the same thing I had, and of course it was my job to take care of him. I wasn't even feeling the best myself.

It took every ounce of energy to get up for work on Tuesday.  I loaded up on Vitamin C and Zinc, increased my water intake, and managed to have a productive day. It felt so good to get back on track.  I even got my butt to the gym yesterday!

Sometimes I struggle with work-life balance.  There are days my work is chaotic and stressful.  Some days I come home and cry.  Other days are productive and wonderful and I feel good about what I accomplished.

At home?  Not so much.  It sends me over the edge to see the chores piling up . When the boys are needy and demanding I get anxious and have to choose to fight the urge to yell at them. I still yell sometimes.

Most days, the Huz can't find anything or remember where anything goes.  Those are the moments when I want to flee the crazy coop and let him deal with things on his own. 

I can't stand that I'm the default parent.  These males would not survive without me it seems.  But I persevere.

I do so much for my husband and children that I honestly question whether they appreciate me. From laundry to grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning, taxi driving them all over, and so much more...do they even know how much I do for them?  Or do they just expect me to do all the work?

Work is love made visible

This quote settles me.  It reminds me that I work because I love my family.

But what if the quote was this:

Love is work made visible.

Sigmund Freud once said, "Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness."

Every loving relationship requires work.

Marriage takes work.  Choosing to love and be with one person forever is no easy task.  Believe me, there are days when we both want to run away.  But most of the time we are grateful to have each other to travel this journey together.

Parenting takes work. Raising happy, healthy and well-adjusted kids doesn't just happen on it's own.  As parents we spend countless hours feeding, clothing, sheltering and teaching our children.  We want them to do better than ourselves and we invest so much time, effort and money into their futures.

Then one day they leave us to start their own lives separate from ours.  Eighteen years gone in the blink of an eye.

Careers require work and love.  I truly believe I'm no good at my job if I don't love what I do.  I'm lucky to enjoy my career.  There are many people who feel stuck. They feel like they are wasting their time in jobs they hate.  I feel you, if you're reading this.  I know that feeling.  I believe you should listen to your heart.  And if you can't make the change at this moment, find one thing you can love about your work and it will get you through it until better days come.  You've got this.

Bottom line is this:  it takes work to love people and it takes love to do your best work.  I think Mr. Gibran would have agreed.

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