Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Something's Gotta Give

Several elements have been working together lately to encourage me to reassess my priorities, to look at where I am and where I want to be. My husband’s own reassessment of his professional goals, the two Celebrations of Life that we’ve gone to recently and my own aches and pains that remind me that, regardless of how I feel inside, my body is no longer in its prime, all have been causing a muddling in my mind. What I once thought of as my known path now seems to have branched off in some indistinct direction where I don’t know my surroundings and I’m not sure which way to turn. As I’ve thought my way through this I’ve realized that, at 52, it’s time for me to look at how I spend my time and use my energy because if I’m not doing what I want to be doing now, the advancing years necessitate that changes be made before more years fly by and my dreams and desires continue to sit in the file labeled, “Later”.

When I started writing this blog over three years ago I wrote in my profile that I was a drummer and writer wannabe. Well, three years have come and gone and the drum set which sits outside my office door has remained untouched – if it were in my bedroom, it would have become a clothes rack – and the only thing I’ve written has been these entries into my blog. There are some responsibilities in my life that are non-negotiable – our children’s needs, our family’s finances and related bookkeeping. Time spent on kids and family cannot be dismissed; this is time that comes with having the title of “wife” and “mom”, but other responsibilities, particularly those labeled “volunteer” can be eliminated and, after much thought, I realize that it is time to take that step. From the age of 19 to 37 I was a banker, a professional, a working mom. With the addition of the fourth child to our family, I realized that it was time to make the tough decision to do something different; something that would allow me to spend more time with our children. I left the bank and decided to take six months off while I figured out what would come next. That was almost 16 years ago and what did I do next? I stayed home, I took care of my family and I became a volunteer. Now it is time for me to focus on my own dreams. It is time for me to step back from my volunteer commitments in order to free up time for those dreams. This has been a really tough decision for me to make; I like my volunteer jobs. I feel as if the work I’ve done has made a difference. However, I could go on doing these same jobs for the next 20 or 30 years and my drum set would still be sitting there unused and my writing would still consist only of short little entries in my blog. Rock on! Write on! Here’s to new beginnings.


Nikki said...

Hey mom,

I'm proud of you for making that decision, it's an important one. But don't forget that you have still set an amazing example for myself and all your other children. The reason why we want to volunteer and enjoy helping other people is because we've seen you do it throughout our entire lives, you've been and still are an inspiration. You deserve the time to take up other interests and pursue other ambitions.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

You have always been a great example for everyone, your family and your community. You are a giver, but it is time that you start taking; take time for yourself, take time to smell the roses, take time to relax, take time to rock on, and take time to write on. If you don't take care of yourself and your wants and needs, then you won't be in any shape to take care of what is most important in your life, your family. They love you and need you. Cutting back on the amount of volunteering does in no way make you less of a person. You can make your mark by being happy doing the things you love to do and not feel guilty about it. I've always been one to say no to a lot of things. Just because I am a stay at home mom didn't mean I had to volunteer for everything. Pick and choose. Pick the things that make YOU happy.

(Nikki! Thanks, after reading your note, I almost needed my sunglasses. Your mom is very proud of you and you just showed her that she has made a tremendous impact on you. She's very proud of you and I am very proud of you. I sure miss you!)

Debbie S said...

Wow! Big step - congrats on making it. I look forward to listening to, and reading your next creations! I suspect the last three years of writing your blog entries has gone a long way in making you into the writer you wished to become. I know you have inspired me to start my own blog, and your entries often bring tears to my eyes. So, writer friend, write on!