I got bored like this, only more so, when I was in the working world too. My old job had many days that sucked. It's unavoidable. Life gets boring. But we live in a world where the media doesn't want to let us get bored. If we feel stagnant, there must be something wrong with us. Take a pill! See a shrink! Take more pills. Take a pill for that syndrome we call "LIFE." I took the pills, but I don't want to be numb anymore. I want to learn how to deal with and accept the "ick" feeling. I think there may be value in it.
There is also the guilt factor. The thing with adoption is that there are always parents-to-be out there who have been waiting YEARS to have kids, gone through many IVF's, been through failed adoptions or have simply run into the endless adoption waiting period. In light of all these people who are waiting and yearning, it feels wrong to have "days." I feel like I should just be walking around in a constant haze of gratitude all the time, and I am grateful, but that doesn't stop me from feeling like shit about myself sometimes. It's different than post-adoption depression, which is a kind of natural chemical letdown after the process of adoption. That is to be expected. I mean the body can only function on that kind of panic/boredom/excitement/thrill cycle adoption requires for so long before it seriously crashes. Adoption defines the whole idea of "hurry up and wait!" This funk I'm in is, well, a different funk.
Have any of you seen that movie "Return to Me" with Minnie Driver? She is a heart transplant recipient and she gets a whole new lease on life. She is also fairly depressed and feels guilty because she thinks she should be happier, especially in light of the fact that the only reason she has the heart is because someone her age died and was an organ donor. She talks to her doctor about how she is feeling and he says "We all have our days." To which she replies "Yeah, but I don't feel like I should have 'days.'" That's how being an adoptive mother can feel sometimes. It feels like I am not supposed to have days. Especially since in my heart of hearts, I would love another child. I feel like, in order to prove I am worthy of the kids I have and the one I still want, I should never have "days". Compounded by the fact that everyone is, in fact, healthy, we have enough food and a good roof over our heads, I have a loving relationship with my husband and my family is close by, and it all starts to feel a little self-indulgent.
But what happens if you don't indulge the self's need for sadness? Does it just build up like a stockpile of fireworks, which can be set off by the smallest spark? I remember reading somewhere that it is important to let kids be bored at times, because through boredom come the really big, imaginative ideas. The greatest games, the most inspiring art, the best scientific discoveries. Isn't a fair amount of dissatisfaction necessary to force the self to keep improving, or if not improving, at least moving along the road of learning? But at what point do we just become an annoying whiner? A grumpy bitch (which is, unfortunately how my frustration manifests itself)? That person no one wants to hang out with because they only gripe about their problems, which compared to real problems are not actually problems at all. I am a bit worried I have become that girl to my real life friends. Have you ever felt like you're not connecting with the people in your life? Yeah, that's me right now. And because we never really leave high school, that has me thinking that nobody likes me and they are all laughing at my outfits behind my back.
Parenting is really freaking hard! You are surrounded by people, but not by your peers. The people you work for's idea of a performance review is a screaming fit on the kitchen floor. There is so much second guessing, and while I do in fact read, write, create and participate in the outside world, I don't get paid for it, so I am unsure of my own work's value. I, therefore, do start to wonder if I am doing a decent job when there is just one time-out after another and not 5 minutes in a row without someone ending up in tears.
This, my friends, is a bout of existential angst. Am I only "Mom" or am I more, and wherein lies my worth. If you thought you were over this kind of crap in your early 20's when it was cool to be conflicted, I am here to tell you, you will struggle with it again and again. Unless you are an unnaturally healthy person emotionally speaking, in which case I can't talk to you right now. I'm too busy feeling sorry for myself.
p.s. Thanks for being my therapists, dear readers. The check's in the mail, I swear.