My daughter Prudence recently gave up sleeping with her stuffed animal, Lamby. Prior to this change finding Lamby before bed was a must that almost always resulted in tears being shed over not being able to find her blessed lovey. I had noticed over a couple of nights that Lamby had been left lying around but never made it up to the bedroom at night. When I approached Pru, she cavalierly responded that she just didn’t need her at night anymore. It shocked me. Not because she is too young to give up a lovey but because of how maturely she decided that having a cuddle buddy was just something she didn’t need anymore. It was a non-thing type of attitude that I really respected.
It made me question if I made those same decisions as seamlessly as I matured.
I can’t remember childhood clearly because I was preoccupied with working to receive love and affection. My teen years were riddled with trying to fit in with everyone and so my memories are clouded with whatever was “popular” that year. My college years were too busy with credit hours, forty hour work weeks, and regular get togethers with friends to remember the maturing process. Post college has been a blur of raising children while despising “working for the man” and struggling to make ends meet which has been rapid fire-quick decision-think on your feet type living that doesn’t allow for a lot of personal reflection time. So basically the first 30 years of my life went by too fast for me to take time to consider things properly, which feels more like an excuse than a statement of fact. I give consideration to the possibility that I chose to “choose other people’s choices” rather than think through any choices for myself. That I made up on the spot and yet feels inherently more honest than “life flew by”.
Regardless, where I am at now is in an interesting place affording me some luxurious “personal reflection” which I why I am pausing to question what is going on so I might better know how I actually want to proceed.
When I see my daughter so calmly put down a part of her life so easily, I question what parts of my life can I separate from in an attempt to grow?
A lot of my time is spent in prayer conversations with God while I go about the daily business of being a wife and mother. When I am needing a break I seek artistic and creative outlets of expression. However, when time actually presents itself for “free play” I always choose to opt out of creative expression excusing myself because “I don’t have enough time”. I realize that if I could get myself out of the habit of “wanting” things to be finished from start to completion than I could facilitate more pleasurable leisure activities that will accumulate to create pieces of work/art that I can have to show for my efforts (work in bits and pieces over time).
As it stands, when I opt out of doing something worthwhile, I always fall back into lazy activities such as watching television or playing Candy Crush or reading articles about things I am not really interested in. In total this time adds up to be much more than I am willing to spend on meaningless endeavors. And all the accumulated time fails to leave me feeling like I contributed to my life in any meaningful way, which is a horrible way for me to pass my time.
I consider life to be a work in progress. My current workload is overwhelming to me but I want to properly consider whether the tasks at hand are more than I can handle or whether I am not giving myself proper rest and relaxation to recuperate each day in order to continue functioning at a healthy level. Life is interesting that way. I am not sure whether I am doing it wrong or whether life is handing me more than it was supposed to or even if I am being stretched to my limits to break through a glass ceiling that has been set for human functioning. Who knows?
All I know is I have some free time that I am not using as well as I could. I also am aware that I feel that I do not get enough time for myself. These two facts feel as though they oppose each other when makes me believe I am the problem, not the quantity or quality of free time available.
Considering that makes me optimistic that there are other facets of my life to explore where I am the one holding myself back from positive experiences and growth.
Until the next post I am going to be pondering what areas of my life are just reflections of other people’s interests rather than my own.
Special Family Notes: In honor of Saint Patrick’s day (we have a Daddy Patrick and a baby Patrick-Henry) we are having sausage and sauerkraut. As a treat for the kiddos in the household I found green Mint Vanilla milk which tastes very good despite the initial repulsion I had seeing it at the store. So far three of the five children have had some with rave reviews. Providence (the insanely advanced toddler) is looking adorable running around in “Lucky to be this Charming” pink, green, and white holiday outfit while baby Patrick-Henry is decked out in a green onesie proudly stating “I’m cute, My mom is cute, and my Dad is LUCKY”. I love when Daddy goes shopping for the family, he always comes home with such adorable outfits. Life is far from fixed but I can happily say that on this holiday I will be celebrating in a warm and friendly environment with close family that numbers more than just my husband and children. Looking back at my situation at the end of 2015, I am extremely happy with the direction my life has taken, difficult as it is to process.