Friday, March 1, 2013

The Way We Roll

What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to beI feel a bit like a stranger to my own blog. Sometimes the writer in me goes on a little vacation, and then I forget she's there. It's interesting to be 34-years-old - a mom - and still feel like such a little kid at times. I wonder what it is about us that we give young people the impression that we have it all together and know what we're supposed to be doing with our moments. I am constantly amazed that I manage to contribute in keeping a house over our heads, clothes on our bodies, food in our bellies - that I feel so foreign to all of this and yet I am raising a child. How did I get to be a part of that crazy blessing?

It's something I have been thinking about since I turned 34, when my mom gave me a birthday card with a list of all the things she had yet to accomplish in her life at my age. I was just about to begin this new teaching job and my mom's insight was touching. It helped me realize how little credit I give myself. Many of us spend a lot of time feeling like we haven't done what we're supposed to, we haven't done enough, we aren't as good as we are supposed to be. But I think we don't realize how much time some of this takes.

I have a list of things I thought I would or might be: a speaker, a poet, a doula, a parent of multiple children, a world traveler, a teacher, a writer, a seamstress, a good cook, a baker, a knitter, an advocate for the environment, an activist, a stay-at-home mom, a gardener, a blogger, a friend, a wife, a hiker, a camper, a person with passion, a person with free-time, a dog trainer, a scrap booker, a barista, a reader, ... To be honest, it kind of freaks me out that the list could be any longer. Pa Ingalls was a farmer. He decided to be a farmer and he did it. In the modern day, we get to try so many things, make a lot of mistakes; and then try some more things.

I'm not sure which formula I like better. Were we designed for one thing? Are there so many options that we lose the ability to find our true passion? Some of the things on my list things are pipe dreams. Some of these things I have done and disliked. Some I have done and loved. Some of them have been kept from me no matter how much I try, and some I could have done a lot better.

This teaching gig has been good. I mean I really, really like it. It's an abundance of work. The amount of research and reading I am doing speaks volumes to how much easier this would have been had I started teaching straight out of college; not running away and allowing myself to get rusty on the subject. I come home from work feeling spent and can sometimes hardly wait to get to bed. My family has been patient and understanding with me as I've occasionally put them on the back burner in an effort to be "more prepared." I'm learning how to balance that and am mindful of putting my family first. I'm watching this incredible kid called Rosemary grow up before my eyes, and I don't want to miss out or look back and wonder where I was. I love my husband a lot and would hate to think our marriage is something I took for granted.

Teaching has been a good fit for me and it's shocking to look at all the things I care about, and feel like I need to decide what to care about most. I don't want to love and do everything, and be spread thin. I would rather do a few things really well.

All of a sudden, I feel like it looks like I'm writing a goodbye to this blog ... which is not the case at all (and would probably be kind of silly since most of my readers probably think I said goodbye long ago)! I like this place and intend to keep it.

I guess I'm just rambling because [seriously] it was my intention to come here and post a picture of a romper that I finished knitting in January. I don't have a thesis (something I spent most of January teaching the importance of). My audience is simple - you and me. My purpose? I'm sure so many of us are in the same place: Growing up. Really growing up and realize it's nothing like we expected it to be.

It's not better or worse, it's just something that is. It's easy to do too much and it's easy to do too little. I'm still working to figure out what's just right, and each day I think I'm getting a little closer to that knowledge. We're all such neat people, and we all have great things to share. If we're always spreading ourselves thin, we are going to miss so much of life.

Oh yes, here's that romper:


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