Lately I've been feeling pretty burned out, and I'm not sure why. I have a job I love, a miracle baby I adore, the best husband ever, good health, and a good shrink who has me on good antidepressants. The baby weight is gone, the cats are doing well -- the neurotic one pees where he shouldn't only on very rare occasions -- and, let's see ... we're finally going to have our long-awaited bathroom remodeling!
So what's eating at me?
The death of one of the doctors in our group is probably affecting me more than I admit. I hardly knew her, though I've been filling in at her office for the last few months. However, her death hit close to home in some ways. She was only a few years older than I am. Her patients were her life (I almost said her job was her life, but that's not true; while she worked like a madwoman, she did socialize -- but mainly with people who were also her patients). I feel like I almost ended up the way she did, since for a while I didn't expect to ever marry. Her death makes me feel very grateful for what I have, and yet it's still sobering.
I also feel right now as if everything I'm doing is for someone else. I teach and counsel med students and residents. I see and counsel patients. I'm supposed to be working on a study, but I'm not the principal investigator, and I'm not actually terrifically interested in it. When I get home, the baby is on me like a large tree frog. When I do something just for myself—buy new shoes, look at other people's blogs, read junky magazines—I feel guilty. I even feel guilty for feeling burned out when I should be feeling grateful. The weird thing is, before I gave birth, I almost never felt guilty—afterward I joked to my husband that I never knew guilt was a hormone.
Putting down the list of things I do just for me was a bit eye-opening: I realize I could hardly even think of what I do just for myself these days. I can hardly think of what I WANT to do for myself anymore.
And paradoxically I find myself feeling sad that I very likely will not be able to have another biological child. My first was IVF in my late 30's, neither an easy pregnancy nor an easy baby, and I just couldn't even imagine trying immediately for another. So now time has gone by, and it's probably too late for another bio kid. I've always been open to the idea of adoption, and the possibility comforts me, but then I start thinking, what am I, crazy? I already find life overwhelming! Why would I want another child? Just for insurance?
Anyway I've been thinking that having my own blog would be something just for me. (Especially since as a new blog, it won't be read by anyone else!) Feeling a little better already.