Day 76 of 100.
What percentage of happiness is worth the struggle?
For the past few days I’ve been helping my sister look after her two year old daughter, Chloe.
Thursday night- turning to Friday morning, I made my way to Long Island with my mom at 1AM, When we arrived my brother in laws parents were over, and Chloe was screaming bloody murder for her mom.
My sister had left to go to the hospital with her husband for a C section, and as a result has to stay three nights in the hospital. It was her first time away from her mom. It took 4 grown adults (3 of which had collectively raised 4 children) two hours to quell the baby to sleep. Tonight was night 2.
I’d always wondered if I would ever want children, solely because I’ve never had any desire to. It strikes me as odd to not have a maternal desire. I’ve had friends who’ve always known they wanted to be mothers. They’ve always planned their dream weddings, known from the second they shot out of their moms vaginas that they would eventually one day want to do the same.
Taking care of Chloe for the past two days has been jarring. When it’s terrible, it’s terrible. The terrible twos are a real thing, and I’ve only got a peek of it. Shrieks can pop your ear drum, and I’ve never bargained with a two year old before.
But on the other end, Chloe is one of the sweetest most beautiful people I know. She surprises me in every way. Sometimes she’s so sweet, she makes sure to share all her candy and toys with me. She pats my arm if she thinks I hurt myself. She screams in excitement when she sees me. My name was the first that she called out for after her nap today, and sometimes the way she asks me a question or talks to me just makes my heart melt. When she fell asleep in my arms I thought I could definitely be a mother.
Then tonight, on our way back from the hospital, she cried the entire way 30 min ride back to the house. Shrieking. Flailing. Nothing could calm her down.
So then it made me wonder. Is it worth it?
Not just for children, but things in life. Is it true that happiness means being only 5percent more happy moments than sad moments? Does having children or running a successful company mean it’s good only like 65 percent of the time, and the rest is just cleaning up a lot of shit?
This makes me recall a chat I had with a former coworker. She left her job as a producer at a production company to start her own letterpress company- printing and designing custom invitations. It’s since been a hit, and has grown over the years.
When I asked for her two cents, she told me that she was miserable. That it was a struggle to start her own business. That she had two days of vacation over the past two years. That she was tired, so, so tired. That she was busting her ass and doubted herself, and that her advice for anyone who wants to be a small business owner is Not to do it.
And there was a huge but here..
Look, it’s what I want to do. And I was busting my ass so hard for someone else, I’d rather it be for myself. So if you feel, and know that you can do it, and WANT to do it- then please try. But know that you have to BUST your ass. It’s hard work, but st least your busting it for yourself.
So then I have to think and remind myself that everything is hard work, and often the media and world thinks it’s better to keep the tough parts in the shadows and only highlight the good bits.
Well, I think it’s ok to not be sure, and to talk about these things to figure them out. I don’t have any rush to right now, but I do know this- that whatever one decides to do it is rarely the way it is portrayed, and often involved a lot more hard work.
Now wait, I think Chloe went to bed. Good nigh!