So I’ve recently dusted off a life planning course – formerly called Upstream, now the newly released Like Your Life – that I’m hoping to actually finish this time. [Those of you who know that I’m currently nurturing a pregnancy, raising preschool boys, and teaching college English are free to guffaw a bit at this juncture, I do.] Anyways, the course brought with it an optional accountability group. This sounded useful; and on joining I bumped into that inevitable group request – introduce yourself! Also somewhat inevitably, I found that once I started writing an introduction, it seemed to grow tentacles (or at least paragraphs) and wound up on the introspective and perhaps glum side. Yet I finished the intro and flung it out to the public and intend to fling it out here. I find that, if nothing else, the snapshot of who I am or what’s on my mind in this season is a reminder in future days that some of these things do pass. That what seems insurmountable today might someday be but a twist in a story that ends well. Let us hope it is so. In the meantime, here are some of the things I’m juggling around these days.
This course and group are coming at a time in my life rife with the intersection of several large changes. My husband, after 7 years as a commercial pilot (a job which, frankly, took him away too much), has just switched careers this summer. This new season of having him home more is exciting but there are still a lot of unknowns as to how we’ll operate and what we will be as a family.
Also, after several difficult years of full time stay-at-home-parenting (where the difficulties stemmed not from our tenacious and endearing 3 and 4 year old boys but from a snowball of physical/emotional/mental issues with me), I have just started working part time this semester while my sons are at preschool in the mornings. I was surprised at how natural and fulfilling it immediately felt to be teaching college English again. This re-confirmation of what I suspected all those years at home (that some kind of work not connected with mommying/homemaking does fill me up a lot) is complicated by the fact that I know for sure that I won’t be teaching next spring. Not only are we saving aggressively to move to a larger house in the spring (and I will need time to, ah-hem, move), but I’m 6-months pregnant with our first daughter – due the second to last week of class!
The thought of trying to gather all these strands together and forge a cohesive life-purpose (or even a list of priorities that will last more than a few months) frankly feels a bit ludicrous, but here I am. I’ve started both Upstream and other goal setting tools (Powersheets anyone?), but have never finished them. Not only am I definitely an obliger too, but I almost despair of making useful goals when I don’t know how all these changes will affect our family 6, 12, or 18 months down the road. Should I start homeschooling our older son once he finishes preschool like I’ve felt I really ought to? Should I fight to make college teaching a part of my life even with three kids under the age of 6? Should I scratch the even deeper, more risky itch I’ve had for a year to make a go at writing? Should I stick with the safer option of teaching? What if I start to feel pretty down again like has happened a couple times in the last 5 years? How can I make goals that last when I’m not exactly sure what we as a whole, functioning family or I as a whole, functioning person look like?
Whoops. Did I just drive off the deep end of messiness? Sorry, friends. I am so glad to be here, to learn from everyone, to see what happens. Alongside my fears and my planning overwhelm is the determination to see if something coherent emerges from my efforts here.
That’s the gist of what I wrote. Even with some revising here on the blog it’s… it’s… well, as one son remarked, “It’s as clean as a mess!”
That’s about where I am, as clean as a mess. We’ll see what can grow up out of the dirt.