Thursday, October 4, 2007

cheeky thoughts

If you're a blog reader and a mom (even if you're not actually!) and you're not a regular reader of Lena's over at her Cheeky Lotus blogs (she has two of them!), then I'm here to inform you that you are missing out. She is one of the most witty, hilarious, sarcastic but purposeful and thought provoking writers in the blogosphere. In my opinion.
Anyway, I found a new post from her today, and not only did it resound with me because I happened to watch the second half of The Bridges of Madison County this past weekend (LOVE that movie... makes me cry every. time.), but because this was a topic I've been rolling around in my head for a Thoughts for Thursday post. Actually, this kind of sums up and just barely hits the tip of the iceburg at the same time. Lots of thoughts I branch off with from here. Maybe I should do a three part series, haha!
Back to point, instead of rambling and bumbling through my own post, I'm putting hers here for you to read...

Short List of Things I Do Not Recommend

1. Watching "The Bridges of Madison County" too close to your period.

2. The same month your only child starts Kindergarten.

3. While infertile.

4. And drinking a 2006 Trader Joe's Shiraz.

One quote stopped me dead in my Ruffle-dipping tracks.

Meryl Streep's character says, very haltingly:

"Having children in one way ends your life. ...A new life begins that is wonderful. But, YOU are over. Your life becomes about details. ...And YOU stand still. So that everyone else can move around you. And then they leave. ...And they take those details with them. ...And you're supposed to move on. But, you can't remember what moved you. ...Because it's been so long since anyone asked."

It's been so long since anyone asked.

From my keyboard to your heart, no? How often do you feel like if you could only get a MINUTE ALONE, THEN you could figure out what moves you. Then you would know what your plan is. Then you could have a conversation with you again. If you could just step out of the details of family life for a minute to reconnect with YOU.

Meryl Streep portrays a housewife in the 1960's, but the sentiment rings true today. Perhaps even more so. Because there are so many more opportunities available to moms today - so many new ways to feel like you're failing if you don't take them.

I thought about her words "It's been so long since anyone asked". I realized that that is what makes all the difference.

Someone asking.

Someone to remind you of who you are and where you're going. Someone to remind you to check in with that quiet place in your heart. Someone to nudge you to keep moving forward.

I'm so lucky that Chris has always been so supportive of whatever it is I want to do. He's the first one cheering me on.

When I wanted to become a mom ten minutes after we married, he said okay.

When I wanted to quit my job, he said do it.

When I wanted to start my own business, he announced it to the world.

When I wanted to go back to school, he was right there.

When I wanted to take on writing gigs, he said go for it.

And when I wanted to raise ferrets, there he was. (I'm kidding. I never raised ferrets, but I could have. See?)

Now, after seven years of marriage and six years of mommying and with the possibility of having another child dancing on the horizon, I'm in the beginning stages of starting up yet another business and without a doubt, I know my reliable husband will be right there by my side every step of the way. Asking all the right questions. Sharing my enthusiasm. Nudging me along.

It's his way of whispering in my ear "What moves you?".

Because without someone asking, we may never be forced to answer.

So, let me be that someone today. What was your passion before you became a mom, a wife?

Is it painting? Acting? Running? Singing? Dancing? Photography? Cooking? Writing? Reading? Your career? Pole dancing?

What moves you?


I've been thinking a lot about this lately I think because of our move and getting settled and meeting people here, and also taking such a long trip back to Oregon so recently. I've been feeling lately like I've been missing a lot of that "what moves me" stuff. Along with the "someone asking". Being back home I realized how much I've been missing those someones over the past year and a half. Moving, being in limbo about where we would be going, moving again... not exactly prime conditions for focusing on me stuff. I'm realizing I miss Me. Not only do I feel like I don't have time to do the things I want to do, but I don't have a lot of the people encouraging me, asking about ME, or often just the ability (read: babysitters) to do them. That's what I miss. Real friends who can get past the chit chat about the kids and the schools and the playdates and who want to dig down and hear about Me. Who ask about Me. Who care about how that Me is doing. Really.
I struggle with staying true to being Me and not just a Mom. Last week I wanted to touch on stuff like that, with Katie's post (GO! READ! NOW! --awesome post I've been meaning to say!) getting me going in that direction. But it was just too much effort. Because I'm not where I want to be, and once I dig into that, there's nothing left to do but move myself. It's like once I acknowledge that, I have to do something about it, you know? I used to have it easy... I had my roots established, I had my "own" life with my friends, I had family who could take the kids when I needed Me time or couple time. I had our Small Group at church for sharing life and encouraging and lifting each other up in prayer and for accountability. I had a routine of Me, of Us as a married couple, and even when the kids came along, I felt like everything was nicely balanced. I was still very much Me.
Now I'm starting to wonder. I feel like Me is getting lost.

I know it's just a season. I know it's hard to move twice in one year across the country away from friends and family with small kids. I know we'll find more friends here and find a church home where we belong. It's just the in between time that's hard.
But it's posts like Lena's that make me want to be more intentional about making all of that stuff happen sooner rather than later. I need it.

Enough of my analyzing Me. Thanks for hanging in here and reading so long!
What about you? Do you make time for You? Or do you let life carry you along and all of a sudden look around and realize you're The Mom, or The Wife, or The (Whatever your job is) and you've forgotten about You?
Do you remember what moves you and do you do it?


Christina said...

I've told my husband before that I feel like since I've had kids I sometimes feel like I have just folded me up in a drawer and closed it for awhile....that life isn't about me anymore, but me doing everything for everyone else around me. Now, I know that is what God has given me as my ministry, but sometimes I wish I had ME time too. It doesn't happen very often, almost not at all honestly. I often wish I could just go take dance classes here and there, or a cooking class, that would be fun, or just go to Starbucks get a Pumpkin Spice Latte and a good book and not have a time limit. All in all, I'm so blessed and thankful to be a wife and mom, but I do wish I had the resources to have some ME time sometimes. For now, I get it at the gym while I'm working out for 45 minutes-1 hour. I'll be thankful for that and keep dreaming until I do get more someday.

Tracy said...

Good post. It's funny that you posted this because this past week I have really been pondering these things. I have been a SAHM for the past 4 yrs. and love it. I have returned to working about 17 hrs a week doing PAT. When we lived in AZ I was a culinary arts teacher and loved my job but also felt split with being a mom to Sammy. When #2 came along we knew it was time to stay home. I jumped into the mom stuff and loved every moment of it. My days were mapped out for me filled w/ friends,church,etc. We had no family in the area so we filled the gap w/ great friends. I have alot of great friends and family here but I just haven't found my niche yet.

I have found my me time late at night. I am usually up until 2 am a couple nights a week. I love creating/designing outfits. I love the challenge of seeing how much an outfit will sell for on ebay. I don't get to do this as much since I am working pt. I love when jeff and I get a sitter and get time together. This has a been a life saver for us especially with life getting more complicated this year.I feel like we are both always on the run. I do need to do a better job of finding myself this year and decide what I truly want for me.
Feel free to stop over anytime to chat. I love to get out of the house.

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