Who Am I?

Yesterday, the rain held off.  It was the perfect time to catch up on some yard work that needed to be done.  I mowed the lawn, put down some grass seed (our lawn still hasn’t recovered from the burst water pipe last year), trimmed some hedges, and potted some plants we had purchased the previous day.

While I was doing this, the boys were inside with B.  They could have come out, but they don’t like the noise that the lawn mower puts out.  JSL, who came out for a little bit, freaked out that every small flying bug was a bee coming after him.  Besides, I had set up NHL on my computer and he was having a blast playing Angry Birds, Gravity Duck and other games online.

So I had the time to myself.  It was nice.  I had peace and quiet and could think while I lugged heavy bags of dirt or pushed our mower up and down the yard.  I began to enjoy my “Dad’s Day Out” until it hit me.  This *was* the closest thing to a dad’s day out that I’ve had in awhile and I was doing yard work.  Some day out.

I began to think about how I’d rather spend a day out by myself.  Suppose B came up to me and told me that, this coming Sunday, she would take the boys and I could do whatever I wanted.  What would I do?

I don’t have any family or friends here and it often feels like I switch between “Worker Mode” (where I’m in an office all day with little to no social interaction beyond “we need you to do this for us”) straight to “Dad Mode” (where I try to cook meals, take care of my wife and kids, clean up, etc).  If I’m not in “Worker Mode” or “Dad Mode”, who am I?  Who is TechyDad when he’s not coding web sites or being a dad?  I’m not sure I have an answer for that question and it scares me.  I love being a web developer and I love being a dad, I don’t think it is too much to ask to be able to be “just me” from time to time. 

The dream I had last night isn’t helping my mood, either.  I was with B and my parents visiting my grandparents’ grave site.  Only, I didn’t know exactly where it was.  Somehow, I got separated from everyone.  As I tried to find them and the gravesite, they visited the grave and then prepared to leave.  I tried to explain to them (via cell phone) that I still needed to visit the grave, but they told me they’d leave without me if I didn’t get to the car.  Then, B came by to bring me back to the car over my objections.  I was almost in tears over being denied the opportunity to visit my grandparents’ grave when I woke up.

I’m not sure if the dream is somehow related to the “Who am I” feelings from the previous day, but this wouldn’t be the first time that I dreamt about something bothering me.  Between yesterday’s identity crisis and this morning’s bad dream, you’ll excuse me if I’m feeling emotionally on edge today.


  • KrellPW

    Tough place to be. I crossed a similar bridge a little more than a year ago. I don’t know if this will help, but for me…I had to search my head and find the activities beyond my family that really mattered to me and carve out the time to re-engage in those activities at some level.

    It translated into mountain biking (a concession to living in the South as opposed to the Northeast, where I was a downhill skier) and just recently joining a Crossfit gym. Once I found the activities that really gave me pleasure, finding the communities, and new relationships beyond my family developed on their own.

    I’m not saying that physical fitness is the key for you. They just happen to be the avenues that satisfy me. But if you give it some thought/examination, I bet you can identify a couple of passions or hobbies that you’ve set aside since becoming a parent. I’d encourage you to look at them again. Think about why they gave you pleasure, and then look at whether or not it’s reasonable to pursue them, or a variation of them again.

    Note: Not all of the endeavors were successful either. I currently own a gorgeous guitar that I keep SWEARING, I’m going to get around to learning to play. 😉

    I wish you luck on the search.

  • This one hits home for me. I’m experiencing the same things. “My time” has lately been writing, but I had to make a number of adjustments at work in order to do it (resulting in a lower salary). If the amount of things to be done doesn’t make it hard, the guilt of knowing that my wife has to cover for me at home does.

    I can’t say I have an answer for you, but know you’re not alone with this one.

    eric@ivebecomemyparents.com recently posted..So- about your band- son…My Profile

  • Pingback: Autism, The Friendship Void, and The Communication Chasm - TechyDad » TechyDad