In honor of Julia Child’s birthday, and because I am a slacker and our cable and internet were down today, I popped in the delightful little film Julie and Julia. My favorite scenes almost exclusively involve the Julia and Paul side of the story, but watching this time, I felt a lot more connection to the Julie and Eric side than usual.
I am married to a very nice man. He too works at an unsatisfying job where he is perpetually unappreciated, but it pays enough that I am not also forced to work at an unsatisfying job. Trust me, he is better at it. I have done the 8 to 5 cubicle thing, and I became a very hateful person.
So I have this great opportunity to be at home, to pursue my interests. But it is so hard, and so very frustrating. Life intrudes like an unwanted guest all the time. Health issues leave me sick and drained. School lessons need planned and taught. We have 3 rehearsals a week. Church obligations must be fulfilled. The car needs an oil change, it is taking me 4 days to finish the laundry, I have to go to the market again, the garden is a disaster, and that stupid nasty hard water ring in the toilet just keeps coming back.
Sure, we all have these types of issues, and there are bigger ones too. We’re not happy with where we live: we have outgrown our premature ideas, forged during the infancy of our marriage. We ache for some land, to be out of noise and congestion. We long to start somewhere fresh, where there is access to a larger atmosphere of the things we love and love to do. I’m not simply bashing our current hometown, frustrating as it is, but I find it harder and harder, sometimes moment by moment, to gain any fresh perspective when turning down the same streets, seeing the same landmarks, living the same routine, and nothing really ever changes.
Some folks are perfectly content with this sort of life, and that is perfectly ok. I am not wired that way, and neither is my husband. We are explorers at heart, both knowing that there is a great big, wide world out there waiting to be experienced, to show us new things, to wake us up and scare us a little, to make us cry and laugh.
So how do you? I meant that question, in all its ambiguity. When you don’t rightly know for what you are searching, you have to start with very generalized questions. We know the things that excite us. We know the things for which we yearn. I love food in every way, shape and form. I really do want to try this writing thing. I love to sing and want to be so much better at it. I am teaching my daughter how to learn and fostering her curiosity and talents. I love my husband. He is so intelligent, so gifted, and ever so tolerant. No one else on this earth could possibly put up with me.
And so I try. Some days I succeed, many days I fail. I fall flat on my face. Everything is disappointing. But I so want to do better, to go further, to accomplish…something. So I cook, we eat, we travel, we sing, I write, I teach. We just keep swimming, so to speak, having enough pragmatism to know that all of life is a huge process that really never stops. I just hope at some point we can breathe, and that we can get really excited. About something.