Monday, February 4, 2013

The Boredom of Everyday Happiness

It's true, I have been busy lately. But not really and particularly busy, just slightly busy, slightly preoccupied, slightly tired and slightly nervous. All of it could be traced back just to mundane facts, like kids sleeping badly at night; or duties and responsibilities piling up and apparently dragging me back from being the ordered and organized person I daydream to be. All that has summed up in a ever growing anxiousness and fear of failure, and some little but important failures well suited to confirm my inner fears. Not that it should matter, but it is two weeks in a row that I wish to but cannot find the time to bake a simple pound cake. This weekend I just made it to cook one decent dish, surviving for the rest of the weekend on pasta with ready-made souse and oven-baked potatoes. Of course, the kids didn't even eat the "decent dish" (meat with salad), and preferred to go hungry to bed. The apartment is messy, toys covered in dust, rolling on the floor and making slowly their way to under the sofas. I am postponing to pay bills, to fix appointments. In the night I dream that I fail interviews (that, luckily, I don't have at all in real). And most probably - this time for real - I failed an exam in German that didn't really matter, but fits well with the overall picture.

So, it feels like nothing special, but all-consuming-me at the same time. What I dream for is to sleep, sleep long and dreamless; or, even better, to hide in a hole, close eyes and hope that it will all adjust in a spontaneous and better way. But it doesn't happen like this. It happens that every morning at 6:55 the alarm rings, kids wake up hungry and grumpy, breakfast, teeth-brushing and putting winter-clothes on, and we leave all in a hurry to catch the train at 8:09. Moreover, there are things to be done, and urgently at that, dissertations to be written, urgently, and brilliantly at that, and, somehow, some family comfort, peace and joy needs to be kept up.
It is way too exhausting.

In the frame of this decay, comparable maybe only with the end-scenes of The Great Hopes by Dickens, known in more modern terms as The Global Whining, I am trying to stay down to earth and practical. To keep my mind focused instead of floating away, or to concentrate on my improved ability to converse in German instead of to my worsening English, or maybe to find out dishes that are minute-made AND healthy AND kids-friendly, i.e., I am hoping for miracles. But I am a realistic believer, and I am really hoping for small-scale miracles, maybe if both kids could sleep all night through for several nights. Or if I find five (for each day of the week) magical non-pasta and fast to cook recipes for the kids.

I guess, ultimately, I just lack energy, and hence creativity. And what I am really trying to do is, in small steps, every day, to get something done, a little step in the organization of the housekeeping, a big step in the organizing of the self. Because, I know it, losing hope can be just as dangerous as having great hopes. I just need to follow the little, tiresome and sometimes boring path in the middle, the path or real life leading to real happiness.

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