Finding myself in the Middle East

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yanky has a Bigger Piece of Cake than Me

"So I think between the night nurse and the full time housekeeper and the morning babysitter and the woman who will come in the afternoon to cook for me and watch the older kids, I'll be able to be a normal person afer the baby is born."

She patted her belly and gave a small, tired smile.

I blinked.

Somewhere, off in the distance, a baby cried.

The world gave a small groan, and then started turning again.

Wow, I wanted to say. A normal person. And all along I thought that I was normal. (Or something cattier.) But all I did say was, "I hear. Good for you. Well, look at the time. I better get going." Then I pushed my non-babysat, not cooked for, non-night nursed baby home, with the help of my girlies.

It took me a while to realize what made me so annoyed about that conversation. Then it hit me. Like a ton of uncooked suppers. I do not begrudge her the wonderful help that her money can buy her. Good for her! (well, Outdoorsman said that I do begrudge. A little bit. Because I'm human. Well, maybe a liiiiiiitle bit. Because a night nurse? Sounds freakin' awesome.) What annoyed me was the end of it--with thousands of dollars worth of help every single day, she would be a "normal person." That she seems to not recognize the fact that not I nor any of my other friends can afford such unbelievable luxuries. That she does not recognize that they are luxuries in the first place.

I read in a great little book that when a person says that they don't have time, it's a false statement. We all have time, because we all live in the same 24 hour time slots. So it's not that we don't have time to do whatever it is that we can't do. We just choose to prioritize something else instead. Sleep instead of calling your grandmother. Going to run errands instead of baking cookies. Not saying what is more important, but just know that you CHOSE how to spend your hours. No one took hours away from you.

There will be a connection between the last two paragraphs. Never you fear.

Because the bottom line is, someone will always have it easier than you. And you can always say, "Well, when I have that that and that, then I will be able to do more chessed, to be more relaxed with my kids, etc etc etc."

But if that conversation showed me anything (other than the fleeting thought to call out "Is there a Night Nurse in the house!" whenever the baby wakes up now) it's that we get used to anything. Anything. She needs all of that help just to feel normal. She doesn't think that she has more time freed up that I do.

I went to shiur last night, and the woman speaker spoke about being proactive instead of reactive when it came to areivus, the concept that we are all responsible for one another. And automatically, we all started thinking of reasons why we can't, not right now, with little kids in the house...the speaker smiled and said, "You think you have more free time when they are older? You don't."


I guess my rambling, loosely knitted point is, only you can know what you are capable of. Only you can know how much time you are wasting, and how much time you are using. Only you know how much energy you have, and what you did with your morning.

Before I marched my unhousekeepered and uncooked for self back home after that conversaton with my friend, she said one more thing that stayed with me. She said, "I don't know how other people do it. Maybe I'm just made of different stuff."

I don't know what "stuff" you are made out of, dear friend of mine, because I am not in your head and heart. But I know what kind of stuff I'm made of, and I know that I can be doing more that I am. Thank you, because in a really roundabout kind of way, you let me see that.

Oh, and if your baby starts sleeping through the night and that night nurse is bored? You can give her my address.


debka_notion said...

This is a total side-line, but it fascinates me that to your friend, a "normal person" is effectively a childless person...

JerusalemStoned said...

she doesn't feel that way! she feels tired at the end of the day...


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