I am so engrossed. All I think about, dream about, focus on is school. We have started going to the hospital for clinical rotations....the newest of the new of health care providers, unable to do much more than take blood pressures and temperatures, to lend a listening ear and document what we hear, change linens and help people out of bed. So much lies ahead that it is almost unfathomable to me, and the ugly face of nursing school and hospital politics has shown a glimpse of their faces now that the early days are over. Yet I am not deterred. I have an inner fear of seeming naive and unrealistic. It has never been my desire to be a dreamer and I hate nothing more than feeling foolish in front of others. But even knowing all of this and even within my attempts to rein myself in, gain my footing and proceed forward in an air of practicality and systematic accomplishment, I still find myself walking on air and engrossed in what I am doing to the exclusion of everything else. And this, subsequently, brings me a great deal of guilt. I come home and do my school work, focus on where my life is going, daydream of all the ways the knowledge I am gaining is going to impact my life and hopefully those of others. And then the kids get home or Joe comes through the door and it is almost startling to realize how much I was NOT thinking about any of them, for hours and hours upon end. I find myself looking for signs of discontentment. The housework I am struggling to keep up with screams "neglect! neglect! chaos and tragedy! You are going to wind up alone!!" at me. It is enough to make me neurotic. If Joe doesn't come to bed at the same time as me. If I have to ask Stewart to hang on to the boys during inclement weather in case they have a snow day but I do not. All these things hang on me, pulling like a weight of fear on my heart. And my experiences with Joseph's brief life tangle me up. The boys will finish growing up while I am on this journey. Is that a mistake, for me to do this right now? I am going to miss things. But they are so happy for me - it is as if they sense it. I have not talked about it to them openly. But last weekend I explained to them about the housework and the four of us living here, that their age and the nature of keeping a household makes them very capable of helping out, and that I need them to. I gave them a list that seemed neary overwhelming to me. Yet in the span of about two or three hours, they had their rooms cleaned and vacuumed, two of our three bathrooms scrubbed, the dishes done and floors swept and each had done his own laundry complete with folding it and putting it away. What's more, they did it without a single grumble of complaint. In fact, they seemed focused and cheerful.
Either I am underestimating the men with whom I share my life, or underestimating myself. Perhaps both. I get so anxious and tangled. I have no interest in going to work, yet when I do, it is fulfilling and stress relieving. I want to do nothing but keep studying. Even when I am in the tub, the book I choose to read usually has something to do with what we are doing in school. All of us will benefit from me doing this, certainly monetarily, but probably in other ways as well. Why then do I feel so guilty and so scared? It is neurotic and I know it, but I don't know how to stop it. I think if I were not so contented in this educational process and if I were not so engrossed, I would not feel that way. It is the sense of "resurfacing" when I come out of my study as Joe gets home or I pick up the boys. The feeling of having to adjust, look around, see what's going on in the rest of the world. I feel like I am going to miss something, some sign that I should heed. I worry about them being happy. And I feel guilty that something that involves them only on the periphery makes me so fundamentally happy....that if I had none of them and were doing this, it still would be making me happy. It is a first. It is disconcerting. Joe gives me repeated permission to hold and contain and savor this joy and I feel very fortunate in that. I may need to hear it a lot before I really get good with it.