02 November, 2007

What Would Happen if Atlas Shrugged?

I think I know how Atlas must feel. 
Alone, on his own, weathering the elements and other challenges while he balances the world on his shoulders.  He is aware that there is no end to his plight; no one is going to give him a well deserved break.  Most of the time he doesn't think about it, but sometimes... I think Atlas wants a break.  I think that Atlas would welcome the opportunity to rest his shoulders and his back, to flex his muscles, maybe he would even like to relax in a hot bath and let someone else hold the world up for a while.  
This is one of those weeks when I feel like I am Atlas, holding the world.  Or maybe even one of those people who balances plates on sticks - the plates must keep spinning on top of those sticks or they will all come crashing down, shattering into pieces.
What would happen if Atlas shrugged?  Would the world come crashing down with the shifting of his muscles?  What would happen if the sticks stopped spinning and the plates shattered?  What would happen if, for one day, I was irresponsible?
Since I was little, I was the "responsible" one.  I always knew better, behaved well, and could be relied upon to get the job done.  Perhaps it is because I was the oldest child in the family, but it is probably a result of my personality as well.  I just "do it!"
Things haven't really changed.  I am still the responsible one.  I do what needs to be done with little complaint and usually without much thought.  But there are sometimes, like this week, when I feel like I want someone else to be the responsible one for a change.  I find myself in envy of people who have nannies or wishing that I shared parenting responsibilities with someone.  I watch as other parents have time to travel, read, share coffee with friends, or jointly discuss the issues surrounding their children - each playing an active role in the life  of the child (whether they are married or divorced).  Why can't this be me? 
It has just been one of those weeks - emotionally draining and physically exhausting. 
This Atlas wants to shrug!   


Wombat said...

Have you read the book, EO?

KennethSF said...

Ayn Rand's novel suggests people who are carrying the burden of the entire society should shrug off the weight to protest the unfair setup. Just something to consider.

(I should, however, state for the record that I'm not a fan of Rand's philosophy or her writing.)

Carrie said...

I think we all need a moment to shurg - and it's not unfair for you to take a moment to do so. For the moment in time you take to care for yourself will undoubtly improve the moments in time where you must care for others.

TAG said...

I am a huge fan of the Ayn Rand novel. That aside the burdens of single parenthood have to be immense.

Do you have family who would love to have the Diva join them for the occasional weekend? Or perhaps you know other mothers in the area with whom you could make a similar arrangement. The Diva must have some friends with whom she'd love to spend a weekend.


AaroN said...

It would seem Atlas needs to find a man, interested in commitment but not marriage, to help out around the house. ;)

Enigma said...

Hi , IT is bloody hard being a single mum,I know from experiance...
and also the feeling that you have to do it all can be draining. However you are also teaching your daughter, through your actions, what it is to be strong, and independant.
good luck, and try and take a break if you can.

Kat Wilder said...

As a divorced mom working the angles to keep the gravy train running (ooh, sorry for the cliches!), I empathize with how you feel.

In the wake of my divorce, I sought help that forced me to explore my own issues, blah, blah, blah, but one of the things I walked away with was, it's OK to ask for help.

It's vey hard for people to do that, especially women.

In your life, among the many people who care about you (and, you know, I am sure you have lots because you seem so genuine and honest online; people gravitate to that!), I will bet that if you asked for something — an hour, a day, a night, a weekend, a "help me paint" party, whatever — you would have many who would gladly say, yes.

Ultimately, we are all alone in this world, and our responsibilities are our own, no one else's. As hard as that is to accept sometimes, it does make it easier to be happier (our expectations are more grounded in reality) — and to reach out to others with compassion.

I wish you the best.

The Exception said...

Wombat - Yes, but the title and the book were just coincidence. I do feel like Atlas sometimes.

Kenneth - I have mixed feelings about her work. There are some interesting ideas, but I am not on board with all of them.

Carrie - I should be able to, but I can't! It just isn't as simple as it sounds. Who will do what needs to be done?

TAG - Nope, family is all in the west. Her dad has other responsibilities. It is just me and her and the world!

Aaron - Now, this made me laugh... and I needed that!! Thanks!

Ah, to find such a man! ;)

Anonymous said...

I actually just wrote a blog about the stress of holding the weight of the world, I feel like atlas some times what would happen If I shrugged, would everything end or would life simply go on ?