On becoming…

If you know me, you know I’m engaged in a life long process of ‘becoming.’  I guess that’s not interesting news – you’re all on the path too. One big piece of my personal work has involved crafting a life that makes sense; deliberate and purposeful integration  of my life occupies a lot of my brain space (and I don’t have that much!).   I am sometimes woefully short of my goals – or find that my goals don’t make sense when bundled together – or discover that I’m simply grabbing something that really isn’t hitched to my heart and soul.

The offers for ‘becoming’ stalk the landscape of my days; different schooling, try yoga, be a vegetarian, sell my belongings and simplify, activate as an activist, grow vegetables, weed my garden, spend more time with my kids, learn how to run a non-profit, read more and read better, write a new high school human rights curriculum, run or bike daily, bird in solitude, travel more, strike inertia with a hot poker…or simply, take the dog for a walk! Gads. I search constantly for feeling content, feeling fulfilled, feeling complete. I’m grateful for my full cup of mothering – for a perfectly imperfect family – for the spaces of deliberation and the means to tackle opportunities OR create them. I have that piece pretty well managed, but it doesn’t complete ME. Family *is* the one thing that feels like my forever sweetness, but I still have this nagging nagging nagging empty space. What the heck is it?

<I feel self absorbed putting this into words, but here it is, ugly with whiney privilege>

I sit here with 2 days a week that are unencumbered and with personal and familial permission to attend to my ‘becoming’. I’m a bit paralyzed. I’m on family leave this year from teaching high school. I had hoped to teach part time, but when that didn’t work out with my school, I asked for family leave to tend to the continuing attachment work that is important for sweet Blue (and oh my gosh we’re having really great days!). Yet,  I’m not sure how to proceed on the 2 days that Blueberry is in morning preschool  followed by afternoon play-time with his little Ethiopian pals. Truly. 2 days. Holy cow I’m woefully unprepared for this. I don’t remember how to pay attention to myself (did I ever? I mean, in a positive way?) without oodles of background noise and demands.  AND I don’t know how to attend to my ‘becoming’ in such open space.  “Pick me, Pick me!” yell my competing interests (some of them not interesting at all, like the laundry!) I fear I will wallow in indecision and spend it doing the oh so uninteresting laundry and cleaning up of  chaos that is always  sometimes our home. Staying in the comfort of ‘mindless doing’ is my specialty – –

Yeah, so I had better get my head around what’s next….because this really could be exciting. And I need to do it – just do it – without apology or excuse. I just have to give myself over to “it”, to the ‘becoming’.  How to do that…how to do that….and how to figure out what the heck it is!

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5 responses to “On becoming…

  1. Yeah, girl, you’ve got a lot on your plate. I could sit here right now and count at least 8 or 10 different non profit things that you’ve got going (and I don’t even know the latest…there could be even more!). You’ve got tons and tons of energy and drive. Do what you can do- when you can do it- and don’t spend those 2 precious days judging yourself for not doing more. Also I don’t think “staying focused” on just one thing is that fulfilling. I personally like to flutter about like a butterfly. Doesn’t mean I accomplish everything that I would like, but it gets enough done. 🙂

  2. If you figure it out, wow, that would be pretty impressive. Then again, you already do so much and are so successful that anything you add will just be bonus, so hey, pick a few things and go with them. Impossible to choose wrong — even if it is just getting the laundry done sometimes (which is next on my list, as I ponder my own “what to be when I grow up” thoughts). I, too, have an endless list of things I’d like to do to better myself, or to “become” before time passes me entirely by. (Yoga next?? Maybe…)

  3. Are you reading my mind???? I totally get it. And if you can spare the time- this is where I suggest starting- you’re going to laugh- cause it is oh so very very very basic- but this is where I have to keep returning to as a start point. The shower. Uh huh. Shower. Scrub. Exfoliate. Use a bunch of the way too many products we carry (chuck the rest). trim your nails. Shave (oh the luxury of shaving!!!)). Doing my hair- whoa. That is big. Start by doing all those very basic self care things. The next steps are often easier as they can transition themselves. (If I’m lucky I eventually end up cleaning the bathroom too. But hey that’s just me getting all crazy. )

  4. You took the words right out of my mouth. I am so not good at thinking about myself and figuring out what I need to do to fulfill all of the different parts of myself. And you’re right, even thinking of these sorts of things feels incredibly self-indulgent. ugh.

  5. I was thinking of you today and wanted to clarify my comment- (yes- perhaps one of those jr. high- “I should’ve said” moments…) Sometimes we get stuck in the complexity. The intense cognitive processes that so inspire us- can also paralyze us from the simple question of “what now?” and looking at the hundreds of options and situations we’ve hypothesized for seemingly forever. Sometimes going back to very basic self care of self- very very very basic- (eat when hungry. go potty when need to. sleep when tired. etc) can help to reinvigorate and refocus. Anyway- know I, and clearly many of your adoring public, are thinking of you and looking forward to this season. Good Luck Meghan!!

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