A bit of heart-sharing today, but enhanced with the color of Anguilla just to keep it colorful on this rainy NW day.
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With so much travel packed into a corner of this spring season, I try to silence the tiny voice that tells me I really should be home with the kidlets. Somehow, when the trip is for both PH and me, I have no trouble heading out the door (knowing that my in-laws are more capable than even us at taking care of the offspring). Yet, when a trip is for work (like for Ignite) or personal growth (like Brave Girl), I let the obnoxious “mean girl” temporarily spoil my sacred moments of airplane silence with her own little guilt trip. Luckily, it’s fleeting…and passes more quickly than it used to…but I find it a bit irritating that she even shows up at all.
I’m not a “gotta a have a seasonal girl weekend in Palm Springs” kind of person. Although, I totally see the value in that kind of getaway for those who do. I’ve always just equated tropical or sunshine fun with escaping with PH. We are compatible travelers and love doing the same things when we’re on vacation, which I am grateful for. Yet, I do yearn for wanderlust adventure (say…in Europe or the flea markets of the US) with sister friends who live in other states. This winter an irresistible Alameda Flea Market adventure invite came my way and after looking at my overstuffed planner calendar, I had to say no and it made my heart ache. It made me think a lot about what goes on inside of a lof of us (Wanderlust Women, I mean) and how it affects our outlook on life.
It’s not just about travel either…it is about having a creative experience or outlet outside of the family. In conversations with other kindred spirits, I have heard about hard it is to go against the grain in a history of families with moms who didn’t take time for themselves. I’m completely willing to be the poster child for this Wanderlust Crusade—-I know that (to quote Mr. Buble’) “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…and I’m feeling good.”
I know that the kidlet stages play into it a lot. I had the awesome opportunity to stay home with my babies, but of course, I had a side business going within the first few weeks of my first child’s life. I remember doing the feeding/diaper folding/counter cleaning routine, wishing that it was all I would ever need for inner fulfillment. I was even a little envious of women who relished every minute of their stay-at-home time with kid/house duties and managed to keep her mind clear like some kind of Ninja Zen Baby Whisperer.
“Why do I have this innate desire to create outside of this little box?” I would ask myself.
These days the question has changed, thank goodness. It’s more about “how am I going to find time to do all of the creative things I want to do and be the mom my kids need?” Believe me, there’s been a lot of soul searching dealing with my own childhood stuff and how that plays into the own mean girl voices I create. There’s also been a lot of progress about communicating what I would like to do to those around me, and of course, the ever present job of LETTING GO. There was a time when a lot of my art pieces seemed to have this title! Hmmm..I’m sensing a theme.
I don’t believe in the word “balance” anymore.
If you really take a minute and look at what the standard American schedule has become in the quest for raising “well rounded kids” (and I question this model all the time..see here), it’s so beyond balance that it almost makes me laugh…hard…out loud. It seemed to me that so many of us did a great job of manifesting inner inadequacy if our child isn’t playing a gazillion sports, taking a foreign language, playing an instrument, studying an ancient craft and mastering all of the martial arts. I’m kidding of course, but I felt the pressure of the “I must expose the girls to all interests so they’ll be sure to pick the ones they will have for life”.
This kind of outlet, dear lovelies, combats “balance” like a swinging bat.
So—instead of striving for balance (and I’m really serious about taking that word out of play all together)—I’m heading in the direction of being present in whatever situation I’m in. If I’m home making brownies on a weekday afternoon, I’m taking in the chocolate encrusted mouths of my children and capitalizing on the downtime by listening rather than talking. If I’m in the studio, I’ve got my alarm on for when I need to do pick-ups so I can completely lose myself in what I’m creating without worry of really losing track of time. It’s Presence of Mind that seems to matter more than anything these days.
I would, however, love to let Presence of Mind seep into my own experiences away from family life. Last summer in Paris was one of the first times I truly let go on a Wanderlust trip.
The trip was about taking senior pictures of a beloved friend’s daughter, drinking rose’ and eating delicious meals that last two hours in sidewalk café’s, and sleeping in (!). It was a turning point in being able to release any trepidation about absence having adverse effects on the girls. In fact, it felt good to have them see that “mom has interests she loves and pursues them, but always comes back to home base”. I needed to see for myself, that it is possible to have these worlds coexist.
I’m interested with this topic. I’m assuming, since you’re in blogland, that you consider yourself a creative person with lots of interests. How do you mingle these two worlds together?
Hope your week is lovely, lovelies~