In my senior year of high school, if I remember correctly, I was very busy. There was, in no particular order, debate, cheering, the school paper, band, national honor society, French national honor society, the literary magazine, student council, several advanced placement classes, my after school job, caring for my mother, my friends, my boyfriend, and a whole host of other things I’m probably now forgetting. Granted, most of this didn’t happen at the same time, but I was almost always busy and almost always had too much to do.
Right now, my life is just as overscheduled. There is, in no particular order, my marriage, my child, my house, my job, my blog, my memoir, my gig at yeah write, the PTA, my fitness goals, my friends, and probably a whole host of other things I’m probably forgetting. This is not to imply, of course, that my husband and son are things to be scheduled or “to do” but I’m just making the point that having people in my life (and my house) means that they come with responsibilities and that means there are things to do. I wouldn’t change any of that for the world.
I have filled my days with so much to do for as long as I can remember. I’m not complaining, though perhaps it sounds that way. This is just the way it is.
It’s not that I can’t say no. It’s that I can’t stop myself from offering up my assistance. I can’t stay uninvolved. I jump in and do, even to the point where I overwhelm myself. If I’m not 110% busy, then something isn’t right.
I don’t know why it’s this way. I can’t say that I’ve ever explored this deep need to be needed, wanted, or thought of as necessary to the mere survival of everything around me. But it’s there.
How nice it would be, when I finally drop dead, to have people just stand around wondering how they’re going to carry on without me. Not weeping or inconsolable, mind you, just contemplating the void I will leave now that I’m gone.
It likely won’t happen, save for a few circumstances where I like to think I do make that much of a difference. Let’s face it, I’m not one of a kind in most scenarios.
It’s not as though the realization, which isn’t new, that I am not actually necessary to the survival of most people and things hurts me. It just is. PTAs and jobs and laundry all existed long before I did and they will continue to go on until the world stops spinning. That’s OK. In fact, I may duck out of those things at one time or another and who will really notice or care? That’s also OK.
So why does it matter? I don’t know. It probably doesn’t. And yet I get up each day and tackle all of these things as though all of them are the most important thing I could be doing at any given moment.
I don’t want or need anyone to praise me simply for being around, but I like to pretend that in their minds they are doing it. I like to feel important, even if I’m not. I don’t mean that to ask you to pity me and tell me I am important. I know where I am and where I am not, I just mean where I’m not I like to pretend that I am.
I could likely spend thousands of dollars and hours in psychoanalysis trying to get a handle on all of this if I felt the inclination. Sometimes I consider it. Most times I don’t.
I often wonder what I would do if I didn’t feel the need to do all of the things. Some day I’ll find out. But for now, there is just so much to do.