Anxiety · Depression · Family · Friendship · Grief · Happiness · Life · Unemployment

My grass isn’t greener

Sometimes I think in blog posts the way I thought in status updates when I first joined social media in 2007. In my quiet times, usually when I’m walking around the grocery store or in the shower, I prewrite my next post in my mind. I have a conversation with myself about the quality, ask if I’m saying what I want to say. It doesn’t always go well. Some of my posts are a lot better than others, this I know. That’s the way it is when you force yourself to write a certain number of times per week. I’m ok with it. 

Occasionally in my thinking I get the end of the post all figured out, sometimes just the middle and I don’t know how to end it at all. Every once in a while I get only a title. This week while I was grocery shopping I had one of those “I don’t know how to end it” episodes. 

You see, I had already mentally written my post about what I expected my life to become in the last year and what it has actually become. I was going to write about how I had these great ideas of becoming something other than a teacher, though I didn’t know what, something well paid and respected and professional. I was preparing to tell you all about how I didn’t think I would miss certain people and I knew certain others would never let me down. In my head were words describing how we just knew that Husband would hardly have to work and would be able to be the stay at home dad he’s always dreamed of being. Sentences about how we knew we’d never complain about the heat or the rain or the pollen, how we would be away every weekend visiting friends and family, and how no museum or monument would be left unvisited in the first two years after the move had been crafted. 

I was then prepared to tell you all about how I was completely wrong. 

I was going to write a frustrated and sad post about how I still don’t have a job I want, partly because all I want to do is be back in education. I was ready to have a little pity party because Husband’s hours are almost as long but his pay is certainly less. I was going to tell you all about how I’d been let down by people I thought I could trust. I complain about the heat and the pollen. There are several people I’m still desperate to see, and we’ve still not gotten Daughter to DC. Boohoo, woe is me (I), this would only happen to me. 

All of this was going through my mind as I stood in front of the fresh pasta in the supermarket. You see, our store brand has an eggplant parmigiana ravioli, and it’s pretty dang good. It’s an easy meal for me to make and everyone loves the heck out of it. I use a jarred sauce, even, so I don’t really cook at all. We hadn’t had it in a while and Daughter made a request. But I couldn’t find it to save my life. I was just standing there, staring at the packages of pasta for what felt like forever. I swear I read every single package, every label on the shelf, but I could not see it. I started to wonder what I could do instead. There was a whole internal monologue- a set of them really. One part of my brain was ruminating over the blog post, another part rereading labels, a third part trying to come up with a completely different dinner, and a fourth part thinking that I was going to have to give in to Daughter’s millionth request and actually make eggplant parmigiana. Then this tiny fifth part of my brain told me to stop. To look with my whole self. To be present there at that moment in the store. 

Sure enough, it was right in front of me.

What do these things have in common, you ask? It’s as simple as this: I would not have been able to do that before our move. I was so unhappy and my brain was so distracted that I would never have seen the pasta. But I did. Because my grass may not be greener on this side, but it’s still damn good grass. 

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