Sunday, November 04, 2007

lucky 24

Today is another lucky 24.

We've got a lot going on in our life right now. We are expecting our first child. I knew that having a child would mean dramatic change, but I didn't realize how much change it would mean before the kid was born. He or she is very much "here," impacting our lives. My line has been that it is both thrilling and terrifying, which it is. We are excited and happy and its already adding new dimensions to the way Jae and I see each other. It's not all ups, though. It's also tough.

There is so much to do. And its not just getting a nursery ready and going to doctors appointments and such. Like I told Jae, if I wanted to be an adult I'd have done it by now :-) Now its, "Oh, shit, time to stop half-assing it." I was on a plateau at work, and in the last few weeks I've started a big new project, important for the company. I'm trying to finish the yard project we started but never finished this summer. We have and old house and there are health worries. Years and years of lead paint, for example. We've painted over most of it, but there is some left to go. Last weekend I had the ducts cleaned, because who knows what crap was in there, and boy did they suck out an impressive amount of crap. But its not limited to that. In my head I'm thinking, "OK, yeah, I've got to get those things done I've been thinking about for years, llike storm windows and attic insulation and the outside of the house needs painted . . .." Not rational, this impulse that it all has to be done now before the midget arrives, but there. Must be the good provider, and all that.

Jae hasn't felt well, so I've been trying to take care of her. She's not an invalid or anything, but she also has a big art show next week, so I'm trying to keep her fed and comfortable, and help with the show. Last weekend it came to a head. I was dwelling on work, I ordered samples from a storm window company, I got the ducts cleaned, I helped with some laundry, and fetched food, I dusted after the vent cleaning, and a hundred little things I ended up extending my weekend to finish. At the end of my weekend, I was feeling like I was about to crack. Wed. morning I struggled to get out of bed and start my new exercise routine. I wanted to pull the warm covers over my head and disappear. Finally, I forced myself to think, "Josh, any morning you wake up is a miracle. You've got another 24 hours, another lucky 24." And I got up did my exercise and plowed through my day.

That night, Jae sat me down and said, "Look, this project has at least another 18 or 19 years. Don't burn out now." Thank you, Jae. I've slacked off this week, and the panic has eased. Amazing what just a little relaxation will do for your outlook. Today I'm taking most of the day for hiking. That's my mental health treatment. There's plenty to do later this weekend, and I imagine this will fluctuate. I'll probably hit the wall again in the not so distant future. But that's OK. After I bounce off, I can snuggle up to wife and hope for another lucky 24.

1 comment:

JimII said...

It strikes me that this reaction to the approach of parenthood must be stronger among those who wait to start a family. I only remember little brief realization that we were actually going to have another person in our care. But we did not have any establish way of life to up end.

It sounds like a healthy reaction, though. It also sounds like you are addressing the unhealthy aspects of it, which is good.