As you know, I’ve been working on a journaling project recently so that my son can get a glimpse into who I am as a person. I want him to know me as a woman who has dreams and aspirations, maybe even a life before he came along – and not just as a Mom. This project has been a lot of fun for me. It’s prompted me to reminisce about things I’d long since forgotten. It’s allowed me to get creative and think of the things I really want Dom to know. And just as importantly, it’s helped me to learn some things about myself that I hadn’t previously realized. Let’s dive into an example…
Over the course of the 6 years or so since I was released from the hospital – inflammation free – and ready to get back to normal life, I’ve noticed something really annoying about myself: I don’t like working. Do you have this problem? Okay, so a lot of you probably do. Maybe that doesn’t really make me special. But I feel I even take it one step (or 2, or 3 steps) further. When given the opportunity to do something other than work – I’ll take it. I’ll take it and run. And we’re not talking about just a little procrastination here and there – “oh everybody would choose play instead of work” type choices. I’m talking about – ignore the housework, don’t make dinner, let the AMEX receipts pile up, I’d rather get up at 6am to do the invoicing instead of doing them tonight because I want to write a blog post or watch a movie – type choices. (For those of you who don’t know; I do the invoicing and reconciling of the AMEX accounts for our family business, Straight Wheels.)
Well, this past week, I had an “A-Ha!” moment. Have you ever had one of those? They are really, really cool. Unless you’re learning something about yourself that you don’t like, and mine was somewhere in between. When I gave my mom the reconciled AMEX statement, I could see this sort of quiet frustration beneath the surface that she was obviously trying to squelch. “What? Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked her. Her response stung me like a bee.
“I just know what you’re capable of.” She says, as she’s holding my perfectly organized statements, sorted by card user with all the respective receipts stapled to the back. “We could be getting so much more from you.”
Ouch. True? Yes. But still, ouch. She’s referring to me helping administratively at Straight Wheels, in case I hadn’t made that clear. She then lets me know that she’s just learned that I’m not going to do anything I don’t want to do, so she just stopped expecting things of me. O-U-C-H! Understand now, that she was not being mean, or even angry. This could not have been said in a more matter-of-fact tone. I knew this about myself on some level. To some degree, I know that I can be irresponsible and play when I should be working. I guess I always just figured that when push comes to shove, I’ll get the important stuff done. And I definitely didn’t realize that other people were seeing this in me.
So I pondered on this for a few days, and talked to Hubbalicious about it. He agrees, and says I “go in phases.” Apparently, that means that sure, I may not keep up the house that well for a week or two, but then I really kick it into gear and the house looks amazing for a couple weeks and dinners are made every night. He tells me, he usually just waits it out. Hmm… How do I feel about this? I don’t really know… I don’t think I like it. And yet, part of me does like it. I think subtracting things from your life that make you unhappy is a good thing. Of course, that doesn’t include housework because nobody likes it, but it must get done. And obviously taking that to the point of being irresponsible is a bad thing. But to some degree – as I thought about the fact that I had chosen not to take on more (and make more money), because I was focused on my blog – I realized I was proud of it. I made that choice. And yes, I could be doing more. Yes, we could use the money. But how many more years did I want to let go by before I pursued my dream? None. And that’s why I’m here.
Okay, so this is the point where it all came together for me. Why have I had such a hard time focusing on getting things done that I just don’t want to do? Well, when I was writing down my 3 Legitimate Fears & How They Came About, I typed something that I didn’t even know until the second my fingers pounded the keys.
“I’m afraid of dying young, and it’s changed the way I live.”
Whoa… I’d never put it into words before, but that’s exactly what’s going on. Now, my Mom seems to have had her finger on this notion for quite a while, because she’s said to me several times over the course of the last few years: “I just think you came so close to death, that your priorities changed.” I had heard that, but it never really clicked. I just thought, yeah – that’s probably true. But my “A-Ha!” moment, hit me as I typed those words.
“I’m afraid of dying young, and it’s changed the way I live.”
Geez, well no wonder I’ve had a hard time managing all the things I have to do. Apparently, I’m too busy trying to squeeze in all the things I want to do instead. I didn’t realize I felt so rushed… So, yeah – I’ve got some work to do. Like I’ve said before, with recognition comes improvement. There will be some changes regarding time management at my house over the course of the next few weeks. I’ll work to find that sweet, elusive, delicate balance we’re all searching for. But will I give up all the things I want to do? Not a chance. Those are my bread and butter. Those keep me sane. Those, are My Lemonade.
No, instead of giving up things I want to do, I think I’ll even add to the list. I want to be an amazing homemaker. I want to be a help for our family business. I will always make time to play with Dom, even when my house is a mess. I will always strive to be a good wife to Tim, and a partner he can count on.
I will always pursue my dreams through this blog. I will figure out how to work my camera and learn to take pictures. I’ll write a book and tell my story. I will make sure every person with Crohn’s Disease can come to my site for support and education. All of these things are my passions. They make my life awesome and worth living.
I almost died…
So now, I live.
** Leah **