One of my friends said to me, earlier this summer, "Every time I see you, it reminds me that my life doesn't suck nearly as much as it could."
Normally, I'm able to keep a very positive outlook. That's thanks to years of therapy and reading different self-help books about education and personality and dog-headed stubbornness. Right now, I'm not feeling particularly positive or motivated or anything else. Because, quite frankly, my life does suck, and I've been cheated out of yet another summer.
Don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for the things that I do have going for me from this summer:
- a beautiful new baby boy
- an interesting and fun toddler
- a beautiful, smart, hardworking wife who tries to take the world on her shoulders
- a new iPhone (might be higher on the list)
- a Yankees team that plays relentless and powerful baseball
- friends that have been wonderful and amazing beyond any possible expectations
- family that is trying to step up and make a bigger difference
- a school community that is looking forward to getting in class with me
- a 90% completed dissertation, and 100% completed other classwork
- a second Master's degree that is allowing me to earn more money at work
- meeting such wonderful volunteers who have opened their hearts to help us
But, man oh man, it's SO easy to lose track of that in the course of other things happening.
- Younger Bro being readmitted to the hospital, at the same time that The Boy was in incredible discomfort and pain
- ummm... cancer?
- five weeks in the hospital with The Boy, of which I spent at least 75% of the nights
- two surgeries, which might or might not be covered under insurance
- hugely stressful family situation
- again, a hugely stressful family situation. It's that bad.
- a family that thinks my wife is, at best, lazy
- node on my vocal folds that has not allowed me to sing, which probably hasn't healed yet because I >can't< rest my voice
- the complete and utter loss of every single one of my doctors (general practice, asthma, allergies, ENT, dermatologist) because of a change in my insurance
- a newborn who loves to scream WAY more than his older brother
- a missed barbershop contest because of hospital stays
- ONE DAY of actual vacation - a trip to Sesame Place. No shore, no travel, no rest, no respite. Except for that day.
- three total days of exercise since June 20, leading to some moderate and persistent breathing issues
Do you know that I haven't even unpacked my summer clothes? There's two bins of clothing - shorts, bathing suits, polo shirts, t-shirts - sitting in the living room. I have a closetful of short-sleeved button down shirts that I haven't taken out yet. I've worn jeans and khakis (necessary hospital wear because of the relative temperature of the rooms) more often than shorts.
While I don't like swimming that much (10 years of lifeguarding can do that), it's a shame that I haven't gotten in any water at all this year - ocean, pool, whatever. Closest thing is the shower.
Man. I'll be okay, I know that. I'm just irritated as all hell.