I used to listen to NPR in the mornings, to all the people doing great things and I thought to myself, "They're safe. They're keeping themselves busy and existential angst is no bee in their bonnet." I came to know existential angst in my twenties; a doctor literally diagnosed me with it. I had no idea what was happening to me then; I knew I only felt dread 24-7. I have since realized that my poor career choice coupled with a slew of failed relationships had made a breeding ground for EA. It was a long, shaky road to find what was meaningful in my life, but I eventually did.
EA started creeping back in recently and this old veteran didn't know what to do with it. I questioned myself, why am I not thrilled with taking care of twin babies everyday morning to night? Where the hell am I going with my career? Why haven't I been on NPR yet? Why does everything seem so tiresome and meaningless? Am I having a midlife crisis?
Well, a brain that's been writing and writing and writing for the past ten years or more is used to stimulating itself. You would think that taking care of twin babies would kill off a few thousand brain cells and EA wouldn't be an issue, but that, sadly, has not been the case. I now spend the days researching different illnesses I might have or torturing myself with anxiety about anxiety.
There's humor in that somewhere.
The one thing that stopped EA in its tracks was a quote I read by Mother Teresa. It says, "In this life, we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."
I don't know what Sartre would make of this and I don't care because it rang true for me. As a mother, that's what I do, a myriad of small things, but I do them with a great love. And it may not make the day go any easier, but it's something.