In the "About" part of my weblog, I write that I'm trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. That's a kinda cute way of saying something that's really a problem: I honestly don't know what to do with myself these days. Somehow in the decade of staying home with my kids, I've lost the enthusiasm and curiosity that can fuel feeling alive. So much of what I do comes out of obedience and duty.
I had a good role-model of this growing up. Mom struggled with mental illness and prescription drugs, and Dad did everything. I can remember saying I would NEVER be like my mom, which in my childish thinking meant that I had to be like my dad. And he was the ultimate in self-sacrifice. He worked, he cooked, he cleaned, he did laundry -- he did it all and the only thing he did for himself was play poker with some college professor friends once a month.
Now here I am a grown woman with the luxury of both time and funds to pursue anything I might be interested in, yet something holds me back. I fill my days, to be sure, but it's like the Pareto principle in action: "Work expands to fill the time available to do it." So my days are filled with exercise, laundry, straightening up, classroom work, and waiting, waiting, waiting.
I've been considering finding a life coach to work with, because my understanding is that they can help create the accountability and the action plan to move you towards a life of purpose. Sounds good, right? And I know two people: my birth mother and my sister, who actually went to a coaching school and said it was wonderful. I went on the school's website and found this under the "What We Believe" part:
"The power of and means strongly holding and uniting desirable dimensions that are commonly viewed as divergent: being challenging and caring, rigorously committed and flexible, idealistic and pragmatic, passionately alive and professional."
I have tears in my eyes as I type this, which is, I believe, my fundamental question:
Is it possible to be both a good wife and mother AND have a life outside of being a wife and mom?
My painfully honest answer is this: I DON'T KNOW.