Browsing Tag

library

PARENTING

I’ve Decided I’m Not Going To Live My Passion

I have recently become aware of yet another deficit in my life.

I am not living my passion.

I went to the library yesterday and I browsed the new release section. The library is one of my favorite places, because it is like shopping, but free! And since I have about the same chance of reading a book I buy vs. reading a book I check out from the library, it turns out that the library is a better option for my budget and all around mortgage-paying-ability.

Now to talk about my failures.

There were beautiful books, with jackets wrapped in shiny fresh plastic, all bearing the label of their release date. And it seemed that the books were nearly obsessed with explaining the secret of following your passion, unlocking your inner magic, going on retreats in the woods for a year without bug repellant as an exercise in finding out what really matters to you, eating only sap from a specific Cyprus tree to find your true calling.

I picked up each one, and I held it in my hand, and for a brief and fleeting moment I imagined what it would feel like to own each book. To have, in my own hands, all of the answers I have been searching for.

Because let’s be honest. A few hours after that trip to the library, it took a herculean effort to get my son’s shoes on so we could go out the door and get to Target. Which is, if you are not already aware, the place I go when I feel sad.

I could use a little bit more finding my passion and a little bit less finding my Cartwheel app.

Unfortunately I don’t think any of those books mentioned trips to Target as one of the steps toward finding your inner wisdom and true destiny.

I have spent the better part of this year reading these books. Because I so desperately want to know more about what it is that I was created to be. Every one of the amazing quotes about “be who you were created to be because what the world needs is you, being you” or variations on that theme make my heart say, “YES!”

Immediately followed by a little bit of panic, because I realize that, while the book was fascinating and the quote inspiring, I still don’t know what that one thing is.

But standing there in the library, holding the fifteenth book that deep down I knew I would never read, I made a decision. I am NOT going to go searching for my one passion.

I am over it.

I’m sick of feeling like I’ve missed the boat to success and that all of the opportunities are passing me by because I didn’t buy (or check out) the right book, didn’t apply for the right program, didn’t shake hands with the right person.

I have been running myself ragged toward a goal that I have not even set, a destination I have not charted.

Enough.

I’ve had enough. I give up.

Trying to live my passion and find my magic has felt more like living my anxiety and finding my inner angst.

I’m giving it a rest. Or I’m going to try to.

And in the meantime, maybe there’s other things I want to do.

I want to live with gratitude. To get up in the morning thankful for another day with my eyes open. Even when some days that morning comes much more quickly than I want.

I want to live with awareness. To notice when I can’t seem to put my cell phone down to enjoy the fact that my son is holding up his art project. To forget the phone at home when we go outside to play.

I want to live with kindness. To take a deep breath when a friend is late for a meeting, knowing that I am far more often making others wait for me. To give without expecting a return.

And those three things alone seem like enough to fill a lifetime, one with or without passion.

Last weekend my family was in town for a visit. It was 90 degrees and our window air conditioners were losing the battle against the heat. In response, the adults sat around the twenty dollar inflatable pool that we’d purchased for the kids, and hung our feet in the water, drinking beer, while our children splashed and screamed and played.

I turned to my brother and said, “I feel like this is the most luxurious thing in the whole world.”

And it was. Family, together. Talking, laughter, play.

In that moment I had no more clarity about my passion than I had the moment before. But somehow it just didn’t matter.

It was enough.

Rachel

 

 

 

friendship PARENTING

Sometimes I don’t want to be your friend

True confessions: Facebook rants fascinate me. Like, I definitely get why they are problematic, but sometimes I just want to pull out the popcorn and read some comments. Kardashians step aside, my friends have your drama BEAT!

So a few months ago I was joyfully scrolling when I landed on a rant from one of my FB friends. I’m not close enough with him that I knew the context of his frustrations, only that he was annoyed with his friends for exclusionary behavior.

Here was his comment:

ross

And ever since, I’ve had a hard time getting his words out of my head. “You should never make anyone work hard to be your friend.”

Being a parent is a pretty great free pass. A get out of jail card I’ve used endlessly. For example, I haven’t been on time to anything in the past two years. When I give you an ETA, it’s really more of a window, a casual suggestion.

It also works really well as an excuse why I can’t participate in activities and events. For good or bad, a sick kid is the perfect answer to how to avoid the social event I’ve been dreading.

In addition, since I have been sick over the last year, I have had an even better excuse. I am a sick mom of a toddler boy (and I work full time). Sometimes I want to just tattoo that sentence to my forehead by way of explanation.

tattoo on forehead

And it gets really easy to operate out of this sense of scarcity. Because I truly don’t have a lot of free time. And saying yes to one thing usually means saying no to something else and if I’m not careful I can over commit and the whole assembly line shuts down completely.

Not to mention that right now it is tax season and my husband is a tax accountant, so we’re busy.

Which is why when my husband and I got an email recently from the pastor at our church, asking if anyone in the church would be willing to make treats for the time between our two church services, I deleted it.

But over dinner that night my husband said he was thinking we should sign up to bring brownies. So I said, “Why, we already do a lot for church. Let someone who isn’t doing anything sign up.”

My husband baked brownies anyway, and I was grumpy about it all weekend.

brownies

(Though maybe a little less grumpy once I actually got to eat the brownies.)

But it gives me pause. Because I think there are seasons of scarcity. But I can’t help but look around, at the incredible life I have full of friends and community, and see not scarcity, but abundance.

And I wonder if maybe, just maybe, there are times when I keep everyone around me at the fringe and margin of my life because, well, it’s just easier. I wonder if there are times when I hold all that abundance closely to myself, hoping that none of it gets away.

I wonder if there are times when I make it hard for people to be my friend.

So I’ve been reflecting on what it looks like to say yes. To live with a little less fear. To trust there is going to be enough for me, even if I share a little with my neighbor. To take a moment to stop dwelling on my own forehead tattoo, and glance up to read the tattoos of the people around me.

To bake a few extra brownies, just in case.

A few weeks ago I met a woman at the library. She was there with her husband and two sons. While watching our boys play together at the train table, with occasional commiseration about the typical mom challenges, she asked if I knew of anyone who was a good babysitter. I asked if she knew about the local mom group in the area. I found out that she didn’t, that in fact, she just moved to the United States six months ago and is still learning the ins and outs of our shared neighborhood.

And I almost left it right there.

But before scooting out of the room to chase my son, we exchanged numbers.

When I got home later that night, I sent a text:

text for blog

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure if the playdate is going to happen. And there’s still a part of me that worries I don’t have time for another friend, or that saying yes to her would mean saying no to someone else.

And I think that’s probably true.

But then again, why not? It would be a good excuse to bake some more brownies.

261755_10150290602379874_2436766_nRachel

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