Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Me and My High Horse

I always get a little offended when I find that I am no different than a statistic. I have always prided myself as different.  I have always marched to the beat of my own drum. Consequently, when I find that I have the same thoughts, feelings, and frustrations as other women of my own age, I feel as though I have succumbed to the expectations of society, rather than me, myself, and I. 

That's just a little snobby and self-aggrandizing, so it's a good reality check too.  Everyone needs their ego popped every now and again. 

Truthfully, I am just like other women of my age/generation.  I have come to realize that the whole approaching-forty thing is a real phenomenon and one that shouldn't be blown off.  After 17 years of steady work, having two kids and a fifteen year marriage, I seem to have it all.  And I'm tired, pooped, and exhausted.   

Hello!!!  Aging sucks.  

I keep wondering when it's fair to think of retirement; to think of what I want to do, rather than what my kids and husband need me to do. I dread the realization that it's so far off.  I dread the realization that it will come far more quickly than I am ready.  I fear that choosing to work has been bad for my kids. I fear that I stay in my job for the wrong reasons, and then turn around and feel guilty because I have the perfect job considering the life I live. I fear I won't meet the goals I set in college and I realize time is flying faster and faster in my professional, academic, family, and life in general. The kids are growing older more quickly each year. Some goals seem to be further and further away. The desires to be a world renowned professor, researcher, public speaker, missionary and super woman are tempered by the ideals of taking care of my family, raising good kids and the quiet (but no less important) call to be a leader in my local Parrish. Suddenly, at this age, you face the question and wondering if the sacrifices of career and dreams are appreciated by those you love most.  Will your kids ever realize that mommy had a brain--a very good brain-- and while she's not a Fortune 500 CEO, she might have sacrificed what she could have done for what she has done?  Will this ever be recognized? 

Probably not. Just gotta say there are no Nobel prizes in mommy-hood.  

And yet, as I look at the world; the problems that face us; the acerbic comments on Facebook about raising a better generation; I've come to realize that it's on the backs of mothers and fathers around the world that are making similar sacrifices to raise a generation of kids that will continue to make the world a better place. What we teach our kids, and the faith we instill in them is no less important than finding the formula for penicillin. Not everyone can be an astrophysicist, but the contribution that we make to the world in raising kids and creating communities of love is no less important. Maybe that's not the degree I got in college, but it's one that I am working on "expert status" every single day.  

"Be the change you want to see in the world" happens at your doorstep, not just at the podium of some major institution. If mammas and daddies went away, the world would fall apart.  

So, although I have come to realize that I feel very much like other women in my age bracket, I am beginning to embrace that statistic. We DO feel this way. We do question constantly the career/family/spiritual/financial/community decisions we make every day. We question whether or not we are making a difference in the world as we intended in our irrepressible youth. I hope as we mark the passage of this period in our life, we realize with utmost conviction we are executing God's calling in our life. One step in our every day journey, we are making the world a better place to be.

This one is for Andrea, Sara, Jenny, Jenn, Amanda, Lindsay, Heidi, Michelle. Xo.