Some days, dusty floors and dirty dishes loom like precipices between me and my hopes, squarely blocking the path to fulfillment. Other days, they seem as familiar and unassuming as old friends, offering the quiet satisfaction of caring for my family.
Some days, being a mother is just another chore on a too-long list, and when the chore regenerates itself for the fifth–and then the fifteenth–and then the fiftieth time, I can feel my bones wearing through. Other days, it is a dizzying gift, and each moment I get to spend with my little girl warms my heart to life like sunshine.
And food, of course… Some days, our hereditary need to eat feels like a curse, pinning me to the stove with the weighty expectation that I will produce something edible, and then pinning us to the table to fill our demanding stomachs yet again. Other days, mealtime presents a delightful creative challenge–think “Ratatouille” without the rats or the France–and gives us a lovely way to relax.
I wish I could pry open the secrets of each day, to find out what magic makes some float and what snags others down into the silt. What makes sunshine glaring vs. cheerful? What makes an unscheduled 24-hour block daunting vs. freeing? What makes work wearisome vs. satisfying? How do I vacillate so easily between days when breath itself is pure happiness and days when even my precious family is not enough?
I’m afraid that the only secret is that my life has chronic bipolar disorder… and they don’t make medication for calendars yet.