Saturday, December 6, 2008

When everything becomes clear.

I've been reading a lot of other people describe the stress and strain that science causes on their personal relationships, and to them I say "Amen, sisters".

Prince Charming has been complaining lately at our lack of intimacy- emotional and physical. Believe me, I agree. However, acknowledging the problem is a far cry from fixing it.

He is busy at work, I am busy at work. The difference is, he works hard at his job, while I work a little bit here and a little bit their and then come home to put on my "mommy" hat- there are so many things that pull me in all these different directions that not only does Prince Charming fall to the wayside, but he also neglects to appreciate the magnitude of the sum of the work I do. I think we are complaining about the same things, but it is one of those Venus-Mars moments; he gets bitter and defensive, I get frustrated and angry.

And then in the midst of it all, he poses a supposedly hypothetical question: "What if I came home one day and said 'That's it, I'm done'.?"

I have had those moments myself. I joke- but am I joking?- when I complain that he has been having an affair for the past few years and his mistress was his computer video game. He was so far from our lives- me and our girls- for so long, sitting up in his home office, that I got used to his absence. Truly, it is not healthy for a 40-ish year old man to be so obsessed with a video game, but then again, that is how he is: he gets obsessed with something and can't tear himself away. I remember when that something was me. But I always thought that as long as the problem was that I wanted more time with him, not less, then it was a problem worth fixing. And that was my response. And then, without thinking about it, I said I'd quit my job, give it all up and focus on him, on us, on the family. Because truly, that is the most important thing.

And that surprised me. But I realized in that instant that yes, I would quit. I would give it all up for my family. A few years from now I'd have to pick up the pieces of my broken career, and it would probably not be in research, but I could do it if I had to. A PhD from Ivy League University has to be worth something, even away from the bench. Better a broken career then a broken family. It isn't because I am not passionate about science... it is because I am more passionate about my family.

That is what we need. Passion. Overt, obvious, take your breath away passion. Deep down under the stress and exhaustion and loneliness, it is still there. It it time to rekindle the sparks, before they go out forever.

1 comment:

ScientistMother said...

passion. yep thats what we need, but I am just.too.tired..