Monday, October 3, 2016

Identity

taking a moment to appreciate the gorgeous trees all around our city

I've devoted 95% of my brain space, time, and energy for the past 5 1/2 years to my kids. Add to that the past 2+ years where I've devoted the remaining 5% to houseboat-hold and family management, I really should not be surprised that I sit here wondering what my identity is.

There's tons of "identity" talk in mom circles. Work-life-family-self balance. Girls' nights out. Date nights. Spa weekends (ha!). Yoga classes. In this privileged, intentional circle I live in - one in which I choose to stay at home full-time with my kids, forfeiting a paid career for myself, but only b/c my partner can provide enough income for all of us - we're living in the realm of #firstworldproblems.

But here I am. And they're my problems. For the past 5 1/2 years I honestly thought I had it all figured out. Of course I did. That's my personality. I like my life to be ordered, with purpose, with short and long term goals, all neat and pat in one package.  On the side I've had years of grumblings, this nagging feeling of needing to "be productive." Hence blogging, book writing, and endless organizing projects on the boat. I resisted any talk that I was trying to etch out my identity among the dirty diapers and storytimes. I'm a proud person and I also hold myself to the mantra of "you lie in the bed you made," so I have embraced my kids-home life to the fullest. And, yes, I've been loving the past 5 1/2 years.

But hello world. Boy have I had my blinders on. All that identity talk that I scoffed aside - smugly sipping my lukewarm coffee and yelling at the kids to "be quiet for a minute I'm on the phone" - it's hitting home now. The girls are in school now, full-time, and suddenly I find myself with 30 hours a week of time all to myself. Glorious, uninterrupted, alone, quiet, free time. It is AMAZING,

AMAZING.

"fishing" with Hans. He fishes, I bring a book. It was a really, really HOT day.

For the first couple weeks I wrote lists of things I want to do and Hans and I spent so much time together, alone. It was fantastic. Then he went back to work in a full time plus kind of way and my list looked a little hollow. This nagging voice in my head is starting to ask...so, what are you going to do now? What do you want to do now?

(On a sidenote, it's amazing how completely inefficient I am with my time. I could have gotten so much done in terms of boat work, personal health, volunteering, etc. by now, but most mornings I'm still drinking coffee at 11. Am I suffering some kind of PTSD for going for so long without that free time? Or have I completely forgotten how to be a functioning adult without two kids screaming at me?)

So this identity thing is no joke. Yes, it is something that lives in the world of privilege. Yes, it is a #firstworldproblem. But after devoting all your waking (and sleeping) energy in one direction, it's hard to bounce off that tangent and do something different. I feel like I'm staring at my future and it's, mostly, a wide open book. The kids are older, they're less needy, I have more time. And my time is my own. So what do I do?

I have ideas, plans, goals. Some days it's exciting, other days it's daunting, other days I find myself considering homeschooling because the alternative (figuring out who the heck I am now) is a lot more challenging. It's humbling. Feeling like I've known myself for so many years and now realizing that I have a lot of questions and a lot of options and no specific path.

Overall it's very exciting and positive, but, wow. I never expected at 37 years of age I'd be asking myself these questions and contemplating this kind of stuff. At least at 37 I'm much better equipped to tackle this "problem" than I was as a 22 year old new college graduate.

How I'm spending my time so far
  • gym membership with a personal trainer
  • yoga on the dock
  • GED tutoring every wednesday
  • Spanish conversation every wednesday
  • cleaning, organizing the boat (ha!)
  • thinking of boat projects but not doing them
  • coffee with friends
  • solo beach time! 
  • cleaning and organizing. Freja's own space on the boat to create.
     
  • and sometimes a boat project. Taking down the changing table!!
     




3 comments:

  1. I say to not beat yourself up. This is newfound freedom and a huge life transition. Enjoy that coffee until 11am. I bet soon enough you'll figure out if there is something that motivates you to finish the coffee sooner, OR there won't be, and that's okay too! Even with 30 hours of freedom you are still the primary care giver. And that is taxing on the brain, always!

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  2. Really amazing All post . i like your all post Keep it Up.
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