Typically when I’m mid-post, husband will ask, “what are you blogging about?” to which I respond “let me finish, I’m mid-thought.” After I’ve wrapped up, I give him the cliff’s notes version. However, last night I should have stopped what I was doing to give a verbal run-down. It would’ve saved some confusion for all involved. Because I missed my point. Well, more accurately, there were about 45 points made, which equals pointlessness. So after the said discussion, I’ve started to narrow down what was actually festering.
My larger issue is that time and energy no longer falls into my possession; these elements belong to those who need me. Even nap time belongs to those who control the internal sleeping clock; I’m not free to do “whatever” I want because, well, childrens’ services frowns upon those who leave small, sleeping children at home, unattended. Even if it’s “just for coffee, real quick” (No, I haven’t tested these waters, but a friend in the world of social services has assured me of the accuracy of the aforementioned fact).
So, when time and energy are swallowed by those around you, sometimes it’s nice to have a way to recharge the batteries. Through the convo with the husband I was also able to begin to differentiate my need for recharging from his need for unplugging. After a long day, a time of staring at an electronic screen and pretending to drive a car (or, to be honest, shoot things) is what he craves. After a long week he’ll escape into a movie. These things are nice ways to disconnect and require little to no energy or thought, but they’re not rechargers. It’s like the aqua-robics version of jazzercize or mall walking vs. a quick jog. Low impact.
Before I ever concieved (in all trueness, before I was married), I told a friend that it was important to me that I not “loose myself” when I became a mother. I have interacted with some women who allowed their role as mom to swallow up the rest of their passions. I didn’t want that. I enjoyed the creation that God made the first 27 years enough to say that she shouldn’t disappear altogether. And I don’t think it’s good for the kids – I think one of the best things we can offer our children is a picture of wholeness, a mom who loves them AND is passionate about things outside the home. Perhaps it will give them a vision for serving a population outside their immediate situation. But I digress. (Are you surprised?)
However, being a mom changes you. Priorities shift. Parenting is God’s way of helping you become less selfish (and helping grow patience. And an iron stomach). So in no way do I think that I have “a right” to pampering. That’s not what I’m after.
So what am I after? That’s the exact question Husband proposed no less than 3 times in our conversation. Clearly, I’m unclear.
I’m after Sabbath rhythms. I’m after time that doesn’t qualify as “work” and that rejuvinates the soul. I’m after a breath that refreshes. I’m after that which leaves me with more energy than when I began.
And what does that look like? Ah, the pennacle question. In the words of the great David Crowder, I… don’t…. know. But today I made progress. I started a mental list.
What leaves me energized and excited about life (but not in a “I finally found the bottom of the laundry room floor!” kind of way):
- Browsing through a bookstore
- Having coffee, dinner or wine with a friend. Some of my favorite conversational partners include KLR, Patty B, college roomates, Roberta, Dan Who Knows Everything and AW. Also my old Bible study ladies from Upper. And Judy.
- Talking about youth ministry and coming up with ideas for events or lessons.
- Having coffee or dinner with “my kids”, such as KS, AK, MK and AG. Also current youth kids at St. Pauls, there are a few of them that have really strike my conversational fancy.
- Going for a run. A walk simply doesn’t satisfy.
- Aimlessly meandering through Target, specifically the office supply/organizational aisles.
- Daydreaming. Imgaining what could be. Coming up with ways to make it happen.
Perhaps you know me well. I’d like your input. Or, perhaps you could share what makes you come home and talk a-mile-a-minute in a teenager-type way, so the rest of us can try it out and see if it works for us? Then, when I finally schedule a Mommy Time Out, I have a go-to list of ideas to try.