Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Sleepless in Geneva

I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday night and couldn't get back to sleep for the worrying. You know that feeling? I used to have it a lot worse. When I was still in grad school or in the process of leaving, I had such problems being able to get back to sleep when I woke up. I've had very little trouble with it since I a) left school, b) got a little pharmaceutical help with the anxiety and c) started my new life as a host organism to a really cute parasite (see photo). In fact, I'm sleeping more than I have since I was a child. So this inability to get back to sleep was unusual.

I was worrying a little about the summer show that I'm doing, but that's relatively minor. It has actually begun to make me feel creative again, and getting my sketch pads and pastels out has lit that creative fire that I've been missing for the past few months.

I was worrying more about where we're headed. I've been blathering on for a year now about how I want to move back to MN. I mean, excuse the expression, but shit or get off the pot, right? You can only whine about something so long. But there are a lot of factors. I was feeling guilty for being slow about job hunting. We're really far away, and I feel like that's been a liability thus far. Also, I'm getting closer and closer to needing to take time off, and I feel like that makes it less and less likely that I'll be able to get a job. I know that it is illegal for me to be discriminated against because of my "condition," but at the same time, it does limit some of the jobs for which I might apply. I could look for a summer appointment in some sort of greenhouse or nursery, but I'm not really up to a lot of the physical requirements of these jobs. The summer camp gardening teaching positions I've looked at need a guarantee that you can finish out the term, which usually ends about a week before my due date. It probably won't be a problem, but what if I get put on bed rest? Can I honestly apply for that job when the job description clearly states "Applicants must seriously consider their ability to complete the entire appointment."

Or am I just making excuses? While the camp ones sound kind of fun, I don't really want to be in science anymore. Another thing I've been whining about for a year. I'm looking for a job to get us back. To give me benefits so I can have a baby without having to pay exhorbitant health insurance premiums through Cobra for too long. I need to suck it up, and in my head, I'm mostly ok with getting a job to get us moved. It's temporary. It isn't very motivating, though.

I'm also concerned about money. Who isn't? It's always a factor. We're in big time debt repayment mode. We're making progress and we don't want to interrupt it. Right now, I'm wondering if it's best for us to use our savings so I can take a longer maternity leave (or any maternity leave, depending on my employment situation?), or do we use it for a downpayment so we can have a place to live when we move, or will it be necessary for other things I'm not even thinking of? Or do we need it to cover living expenses when we move if we don't have jobs. It's not a bottomless account. In fact, I can see the bottom quite clearly! [Fortunately, moving expenses are covered- thank God for eager parents who want their next grandchild to live in the same state!]

These are the things I was sitting there at 5 am thinking through and feeling scared. The one thing that is certain in my life right now is that the baby is coming at the end of the summer, regardless of what else is going on. Finally, my cat came over, curled up near me, and purred. I'm an extroverted person, and I've had great success with talk therapy, so I started talking. To my cat. And he sat there, looking at me the whole time and purring. Almost made me cry. But what was the most useful to me was hearing things said out loud (even though I was whispering because SVH was asleep in the next room). I said, "In 2 years, our financial situation is going to look so different! We'll be in so much better shape, we'll be able to afford more house, and live a bit more comfortably. I might not even need to work full time!"

And I began to contemplate staying in our little 1 bedroom apartment with the litterbox in the closet and the annoying lack of space while adding a baby to the mix. And I contemplated staying in my current job, which really offers very little in the way of advancement. And Carl staying in his current job, which offers absolutely nothing in the way of advancement. And I thought of how bored we are with our work. And I thought about continuing to live in a town I don't like, working in a job that doesn't interest me, living in a too small apartment (or heaven forbid moving to yet ANOTHER temporary home) and dealing with a husband who is even more unhappy with it all than I am. I said to my purring, furry shrink, "But the answer isn't to stay here."

Rarely in my life has settling for the known ever gotten me where I wanted to go. Staying here would only keep us, at best, in the same situation and going at the same pace we are currently going. There is no possible chance to make progress. By staying here, aside from being unhappy, we could be missing out on so many opportunities. Out of fear. We'd still need more space. So if we're going to move, we might as well make the big move. I'm a pretty adventurous girl. I'm willing to take risks. You should play cards with me. This is no time to get cold feet. Not when we're about to bring another person into our family. There are certain conditions we need that simply are not available here and now. Period.

The cat decided he didn't want to snuggle with me once I laid down to go back to sleep on the couch. In fact, he looked quite put out that I moved him from his spot. The magic spell had been broken. But I felt so much better. I still have that scared little voice in the back of my mind. I still have this fear that I should somehow become the uberstable mother and make all decisions based on absolute security. But I know moving on is the right thing to do. Even though I'm slow about it. Even though it might be scary and tough. And I've not had any trouble sleeping since.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Your cat would have a lot to discuss with my cat from the sounds of things! Since I hit the 30s, I've started to wonder how all of those seemingly competent adults I always knew (like my folks) pulled off this "being a grown up" thing so convincingly. I'm beginning to realize that to a certain extent, we're all faking it and doing the best we can. I'm right there with you on the moving thing - and I know, it's really really hard to figure out when the right time is. Being emotionally ready to pack up is so much different than being financially ready. Do what you've got to do. Lean on the grandparents a bit - they'll love it.