Myopia is a neat word, but a terrible condition. I know because I had it for many years, starting in elementary school. I could only see objects very close in front of me and everything else was just a colorful blur. Glasses helped, but the blur bled through on the sides where there was no glass resulting in myopically good vision only in front of me. Contacts were better but sticking stuff in my eyes daily – or worse, sleeping in the contacts – was not particularly fun. Then, in 2004, I had Lasik. Angels sang, the heavens parted, and I could see the trees and the forest and the individual leaves.
While I can see everything clearly now, myopia is still ruling my life, only this time its of the metaphorical variety. I realized recently that for some time now, I have not been able to see my forest for the trees of Little Miss, Rex, Mr. X, work, and household management. I feel like I’ve been on a Sisyphean treadmill of laundry, dishes and poop control (dog, baby, pre-schooler or cat) and It. Will. Never. End. Rex will never be potty trained. Little Miss will never sleep through the night. I will always be telling Mr. X to continue to look in the fridge for the cheese because yes! it is there! I will never be able to relax when I get home from work and enjoy 5 minutes of peace. I will always be catering to someone else’s needs.
Intellectually, I know that this is not the case. Time will march on, hopefully magically depositing Rex’s poop in the toilet with it and encouraging Little Miss to snooze for at least 6-7 hours straight. But, I can’t see into the future. I can’t see the light at the end of these tunnels. I cannot predict when these magical events will take place. On the other hand, I can predict the next time I will have to empty the dishwasher (tomorrow morning), change a diaper (later tonight), or fold laundry (again, probably tomorrow morning). I can see the very myopic view of the future and it looks a lot like the past days.
I want to see the bigger picture, though, because it helps me to appreciate the tedium of today. I worked really, really hard to get this family and I want to enjoy these days that will never be here again. I’m trying very hard to get the long view, to love every minute of this time because it will disappear. Except that there is not an insignificant part of me that asks, “Do you promise?”
At any given time of the day when I reflect on these challenges, motivational slogans run through my head: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint!”, “The days are long, but the years are short!”, “It won’t always be this way!” Frankly, they just make it worse. I want someone to say something more like, “Hard things are hard.” Four words that recognize that sometimes life sucks the very marrow out of you and it’s ok to be tired, to maybe whine a smidge about the hardness of it all. Sure, many people have it a helluva lot worse than I do, but these are my challenges. They belong to me and I’m the one who has to live with them.
Maybe recognizing that I have been missing the bigger picture is step enough for now. Frankly, between all of the potty training histrionics, sleep training failures and daily living, I’d just as soon focus on a big glass of wine at the end of the day.