Before I can write the house needs to reach a certain level of cleanliness or I can't focus. Because we don't make enough money to eat out very often, I need to cook at home, and then I need to clean that mess. Or, I can work more, make more money, and eat out a little more, yet have less time to clean the house or write while also tiring myself out. And it would be nice to socialize every so often. My conclusion inevitable ends up being: I don't work enough, I don't clean enough, I don't write enough, and my social life is nearly non-existent.
Owen is in a similar boat: he doesn't study enough, he doesn't sleep enough, he doesn't work on house projects as much as he'd like to, and he doesn't socialize enough. So as if I weren't stressed out about my own inability to get enough done, I also stress out about whether or not Owen will make his paper deadlines or study enough for his tests. In response we typically don't allow ourselves to do the things we enjoy because we don't have time. Yet we can't help crashing a few times a week. We veg on the couch either watching television or pouting about how hard life is.
Why do we feel like we can never do enough? We have a beautiful home, we live in a friendly city, and we love each other, yet all of that is overshadowed by the stress. We know how we should react to this situation and how we should feel. We should take an hour a day to do something we enjoy. We should focus on the journey and appreciate what we have. We should be patient and gentle with ourselves and stop asking the impossible. Oh we know. But for some reason knowing how we should feel hasn't been enough to feel it.
I don't think I have any advice on this matter. This is more of a, "Yeah, we can relate, life is difficult sometimes," post because I don't think that we are alone in this. Sometimes I do get caught up in the idea that we're the only ones who feel this way, or that I'm the only one from my graduating class at St. Olaf who hasn't achieved anything career wise. But it's not true. Even those friends who did pursue high paying jobs after graduation don't seem happy with what they are doing. They still struggle with purpose.
All we can really do is try to make ourselves happier one little step at a time. Today we've made the decision to go to an art museum because we enjoy it and it helps us feel more creative. This decision took months because it is so outside of our daily patterns and habits. It even produces a small knot of anxiety to do something out of the norm leaving questions like, "Do we really have enough time to do this?" or even, "Do we really deserve this time to ourselves when we have so many other things to do?" Today we've decided to have faith that investing time into our happiness is worthwhile.