You know when you have a song stuck in your head and you can’t for the life of you get it out? You find yourself humming it while you’re washing dishes, singing it off-key in the shower, and hearing the lyrics run in your head when you’re trying desperately to fall asleep. There are two things that are really annoying when this happens. The first is that it is never a good song by someone you like. For me, it always has to be Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus or someone equally annoying and untalented. Sorry, not a Belieber. The second thing, which is completely a result of the first, is that I never know all of the words. Sometimes I only know a line or two, so I am singing the same two horribly written lines over and over and over until I just start making up my own verses.
Something my therapist said at our last session has been running on a continuous loop for over a week now. Except it was said by someone I respect and trust. Which makes it much harder to ignore.
We were discussing how to put a plan in place so that I could keep my depression and anxiety in check when I return to work full-time in the fall. She asked me to think about what I think is going to be the hardest part about that transition. The tears started streaming down my face immediately, surprising both of us. I answered without any hesitation: “Missing out on my daughter’s life.”
That’s when she said it. “You have a lot of balls up in the air right now. And you’ll have even more once you go back to work. You have to decide which balls to drop. You can pick up the work ball again. You can pick up the education ball again. But you can never get back your daughter’s childhood.”
Ok, I’m no detective, but it sounds like she’s trying to tell me not to go back to work, right? Which is confusing me because it was never a question. I’ve always said I’m going back to work. I love what I do. And I need the structure and routine to keep triggers at bay. I’m going back to work. Right?
But now she has me questioning everything I thought I knew. Am I doing the wrong thing? Am I dropping the daughter ball? Is that selfish? Am I going to completely regret my choice?
So then in my mind, I used her own words against her. She told me once that, with the exception of a very few, no choice or decision is permanent. I can change my mind. If I go back to work, and I realize it’s no longer the right thing for me, then I can make a change. Because the only thing worse that could happen is that I don’t go back at all. And then I will always wonder what if. So for now, I’ll keep all of my balls (this is starting to border on inappropriate), and see how good I am at juggling. I can always change my mind.