Hooray for Ambiguity

Is it possible to be both over and underwhelmed simultaneously? Because I think I am.  Work is overwhelming.  Life is underwhelming.  The daily grind is… grinding.  The kids are beautiful.  Life is busy.  Feed the baby.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m having the thirty-one year itch.  I perform meaningful roles out of duty and habit.  I’m not jealous of anyone else’s life, I’m just not sure what to make of mine at the moment.  I live from the fulfillment of one person’s needs to next, never succeeding in the impossible quest to fulfill them all, constantly being reminded of the 20% I fail and never being credited for the 80% where I don’t.

I want to simplify, downsize, and prune it all back to the essentials.  I want to throw away everything in my storage room.  I want to throw out the clothes in my closet that are twenty pounds too small and stop feeling guilty for not being the same size I was before three kids.  I want to launch the pretty shoes I bought that hurt my feet over the boundary wall of the house, because it’s not like keeping them around will remove some of the guilt I feel for not being a better kept wife for my husband.

I’m not sure if I live in my pajamas or sleep in my clothes anymore.

I only have two hairstyles, up or asleep.

I’m too tired to socialize and too busy to want to.

I heard once that the best way to tell if someone is depressed is to spend an hour talking to them, and if, after that hour, you feel depressed, then they’re depressed.

I doubt if this post is making anyone happy.  Least of all myself, and now I’m annoyed at myself for being annoyed with things that perhaps should not be found annoying.  I need to scream into a cave, but my cave is full of people and the baby is sleeping and I don’t want to disturb anyone.

I’m not a good mother, a good wife, or a good director.  My house is disorganized, my children are bored, and my business is sloppy.  I’m a barely passable Muslim, and that is probably what’s bugging me the most.  When my Iman is high (my faith, not my three year old) I feel alive, I feel free, I feel empowered, I feel humbled, I feel real.  When it’s low, I feel worthless, useless, and failed.  My heart withers and verges on death until I pour the life-giving water of zhikr on it- and it comes back to life briefly but then I get busy and forget to water it again, and the cycle of chronic spiritual deprivation versus occasional resuscitation continues, but it continues unevenly.  I had an African Violet once.  A friend left it for me when she moved away from the UAE.  I was only supposed to water it with one teaspoon every two weeks.  I would forget for six weeks and then inundate it out of guilt.  Naturally, it died.  Naturally, I feel guilty.

Am I complaining? No, there are two reasons why I’m not complaining.  1.) I have no reason to complain. Allah has blessed me with more mercies and gifts than I could ever count, let alone thank Him for, even in an eternity.

2.) If I say I’m tired then they say I don’t have enough energy.  If I say I’m overwhelmed they say I’m in over my head.  If I say I’m stressed they say it’s my own fault.  If I say I feel anxious then they say I’m always panicking.  The problem with sharing your feelings is that sometimes they’re held against you.  Complaining is shooting myself in the foot, because then people think I am an incompetent idiot versus an overwhelmed idiot.  So I’m not complaining.

So there.




Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on Muslimmatters.org.

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