And do you know what? That realization kinda freaked me out! What happened to ME?
In high school, a teacher used to call me "Becky Barbie" because I'd show up to class each day lugging equipment for that day's recreation. One day was a clarinet, the next drum sticks, then a lacrosse stick. I did pole vaulting on the track team for all of 3 weeks, co-produced/co-directed a school play and auditioned for cheerleading and tennis. In college, I took my first dance classes: ballet, modern, jazz and ballroom. I studied advertising and became a freelance graphic designer. I was in orchestra, concert band, marching band and even a little rock band. Interest and enthusiasm for life abounded. And now, at the ripe ol' age of 27, I have no interests? Who AM I?! Am I the only one who feels this way?
I'll tell ya' what happened, though. I got pregnant with little Suzy and went in to mom mode. I decided that what it meant to be a mom, a really great mom, was giving up ones self completely for the growth and satisfaction of the little ones. Taking the kids to the sitter was only an option if I absolutely couldn't be with them. Those occasions included doctors appointments and lying on my death bed. Otherwise, I was there reading books, cleaning house and taking them to the library for story time. Is this your definition of a really great mom?
When I had this realization six months ago, I decided something had to change or I would break. So, for several weeks, I brainstormed and interviewed myself, asking what I would do if I had nothing holding me back. Are there any old interests I'd like to rekindle? What new things would I like to try? Here are the things I came up with:
- Yoga—Peace of mind and body...and some super-hot toned arms would be nice. I did it a few times in college and luuurved it.
- Dance—I started dancing in college. It's insanely invigorating and the best workout for your whole body.
- Blogging—I have this yearning, deep down, to help people, network and make friends. I also love writing and journaling, as they're so therapeutic for me.
- Music—Jeez, that used to be my life! But, I cut it out when I got preggo. I want to start singing and playing guitar again.
- Crafts—I don't scrapbook or enjoy sewing. But, I have always wanted to get in to block printing and simple DIY home decor projects. I've just never allowed myself any type of budget to purchase things purely for my enjoyment...unless we're talking about chocolate.
I guess what it comes down to is giving yourself permission to be nourished. After I had this list, I literally had to give myself permission to enroll in yoga and dance classes. I had to practically write myself a formal letter of approval to remove all guilt associated with spending time putting together a blog. I'd call my husband from the local thrift store, asking if it really was wise and worthwhile to spend a hard-earned $8 on some old frames for a home decor project. His answer? Always a resounding "yes!"
I'm learning that recreating is such an essential part of life. Without it, I was disinterested in life and, most importantly, myself. It's good for my kids to see their parents having fun playing drums and guitar together. We're teaching them how to nourish themselves by example rather than by jumping at their every need. And I'll tell ya what, I'm sure loving myself a heck of a lot more these days!