Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Life is Not a Sitcom- The Carol Brady Experiment Conlcuded

This conclusion is admittedly late. I've been thinking about it. A lot. And I wanted to go back to living my "regular" life (whatever that might possibly mean) in order to compare. And I've done that. I've thought, and I've lived, and I've compared, and here it is. My big conclusion.

My life is not a sitcom. And I don't want to be any of those women.

I can't not work. I have a whole week off this week, and it's making me crazy. Not just crazy. Depressed. I'm really struggling. My work- my music, and my theatre and my writing, OK I'll say it, my art- is just too important to me. Too big a part of who I am.

I can't JUST work. This weekend I had the good fortune to spend an entire weekend visiting a friend who was doing a show in DC. And for three days I got to see the show and talk about theatre and go to parties and hang out with the cast and I wrote an entire chapter. And while I didn't time it with a stopwatch, I'm guessing the longest I went without talking about my husband or my daughter was about ninety seconds. And when I got delayed on the bus going home I missed them so much it hurt. My life is very much about my art. But it's not just about my art.

I can't wear heels and chase a toddler. It's insanity.

I can't just wear whatever I grab first, and I can't just order pizza for dinner. Not on a regular basis, anyway. This, too, would be a one-way ticket to depression.

I can't get much work done when Lily is awake. I've tried. It is not effective.

So if I'm not any of those women, where does that leave me? It leaves me, as anticipated, with moderation. A woman who needs to find some self-worth and artistic fulfillment in work, and who needs to spend time with her family and provide a safe, healthy, happy home. A woman who often finds the balance between these two needs allusive. I'm a woman who cares what she wears and how she looks. But I'm also a woman who spends most of her time with a little person who is learning to run.

I am my own woman, finding my own way.

So then, why watch any of it? Why compare ourselves at all? I suppose we need to understand who we are not in order to understand who we are. And, quite frankly, they are sometimes all we have in the way of company. (See: On behalf of stay at home parents who get really really lonely.) And while we might not be exactly like any of these characters who find easy solutions in two short commercial breaks, they do represent a lot of truth. Maybe not universal truth, but truth for a lot of us. Like fighting over bills and burnt dinners and that darn Jones account. And that's gonna make us laugh. And sometimes, that's all you can do.

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