Today marks the end of first quarter of the school year; parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for next week. Zoe has, in fact, earned a blueberry dwarf hamster. Zander has been handling his homework with more good grace than I imagined possible at this time last year — or even a few months ago. The kids have finished their first big school project for the year (on Native Americans). Zoe is participating in “Girls on the Run” and preparing for a 5K in December. Both kids are sticking with their instruments fairly well (Zander, guitar, and Zoe, clarinet). Mornings are not perfect but are not usually terrible. And the school year that I half-longed for (looking forward to seeing my kids grow and change and master new things) and half-dreaded (anxious about the tantrums and angst and battles) is progressing at its inevitable pace, not exactly a walk in the park but, on balance, more positive than negative, with lots to be hopeful and optimistic about.
Of course, there’s more. Like many people, we are under some financial duress as owners of a small business during a recession. Stress about money is the pits — exhausting and hard to shake off. But it does make me think — as I reflect on how well the kids are doing, even while I feel frustrated that life still seems stressful and somewhat out of control — is it a truism that “there will always be something“? There will inevitably be some aspect of life that seems out of balance, stressful, unsettling. All my life, I’ve waited for — and worked towards — the time when this would not be the case. Today on my 48th (gasp!) birthday, I’ve got to wonder how ridiculous the premise of a stress-free, fully self-actualized life is.
So, no great wisdom to wrap this up — except some vague notion of more thankfulness and appreciation of the good. Keep being healthy. Try to do things right. Easy-peasy.