Monday, January 5, 2009

Sorely Tempted

Outside my office window is a tall tree, holding a simple birdhouse our neighbor made.  A squirrel has been laid out on top of it for the las thour or so, staying still in one position for so long I thought he was dead.  He shifted a few minutes ago, though, and so I know he is only sleeping, soaking up the sun, occasionally repositioning himself, his round little butt hunched up in the air, his paws curled.  I should be working but instead find myself staring at this little guy, and thinking about my babies, back at school today, and wondering what in the hell.

Usually, I am much more relieved than sad when the kids go back to school.  The long days of entertaining them, and dealing with their squabbles, their refusal to nap, their snacks and lunches and tantrums and boo-boos, all used to seem pretty boring, exasperating, even.  And, I usually like the beginning of semesters--I still get that school-girl thrill on the first day of class. 

But these last few weeks with the kids were actually lovely, and today I am feeling weepy and sad that they are gone and that the house is quiet.  I'm dragging myself through work emails and grant proposals and conference calls and wondering every minute if I'm doing with my life what I really want to be doing.

Not that I don't appreciate how sweet my life is.  I read, write, and teach for a living, and I make okay money doing it, and I get three weeks off in December and a slower working pace in the summer.  I get to work from home frequently.  My schedule is fairly flexible, so that if I have doctors' appointments or my kids are sick, I can generally stay home.  I get to travel (though on Wednesday, it's off to Vegas, worst city in the WORLD).  I have good health insurance.  I'm slowly trudging my way toward where I need to be to get tenure, I think.  I like the people I work with.  I like my students.  The economy sucks, and I've got a lot of security.  Don't think I don't know it.

Still, I wonder if this is it.

Today, it's probably just that I have to transition back into the busy life of the professional, and I'm sleepy and resentful.  I probably shouldn't make any life-changing decisions at the moment.  But I'm tempted, ooh, I'm tempted, to daydream about what a different life might look like. 

No comments:

Post a Comment