I have been graced with finding great love in my life and also great love for myself in my thirties. December is the close of the year for most everyone. Yet, as December is my birth month, for me, it feels like just the beginning. I am now thirty-six. We are edging towards the big 4-0 now. The end of one decade of my life is inching closer. It is funny how time keeps ticking by. So, my personal new year began about three weeks ago. Tonight, however, the calendar year renews and we shall enter 2017. New Year’s Eve, folks. The last little bits of Christmas magic are dissolving into new beginnings.
I love these past six years of my life. I finally feel like I know things. I feel certain in some things about my life:
- I am a mother. When I am called a mom, it feels true. It took a long time to feel that way. When Miss M was first born and placed in my arms, I just remember thinking, “This is a terrible idea. I’m unqualified. I’m terrible at life.” Being called a mother made me feel like I was an impostor. Yet, here we are seven years later. Mom is an integral part of who I am.
- I can work-to-live. I know that I can keep a job for benefits and money, but that does not stir my soul. I will show up despite the fact I find little joy in my employment. It is what most of us do. My thirties are about foundation building. They will continue to be. Making choices that re-build myself financially and spirituality after my life ended up in, well, fucking shambles. This decade hasn’t about my calling as an individual. Rebuilding strong roots, relationships and finances was what I set out to do. It is still be a big focus this year. Yet, now that I’m on the back end of these years, I am inching closer to things that will fulfill me for the rest of my days once my children are grown and making lives of their own. I have to make some decisions. I have to figure out what career is financially is viable, but also gives me some purpose.
- I have accepted and found love for my life with small children. My entire day will be filled with being interrupted. Want to switch the laundry? Someone is sure to cry, wake up or come in the bathroom whacking me with the door. Want to make dinner for your family? Phone will ring, siblings will decide to fight with each other, someone will fall down swinging from a bunk bed. Want to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee and work on your blog before the your day begins? Hahahahhahahahahahaha. The minute my butt hits that couch, someone is calling, “Mom!” Some days this fact-of-current-life will not bother me and others I will feel like I am losing my mind. The luxury of starting and finishing a task in one sitting is never overlooked. This post… I started writing this around the beginning of December. I do the best I can and I often have to leave things I love behind for short whiles to take care of the little I love people. Some days I feel a little resentful. Others I feel blessed that I have so many wonderful things calling to me. Often, my house has dishes from two days ago sadly sitting in my sink. After being interrupted twelve times, I gave up that day. For my sanity. Because sometimes walking away is more sane even if it means I have larger mess to combat the next time. And a slightly stinking sink. My entire day is filled with beginnings that never have coherent, chronological endings. A maddening lesson in patience and virtue is taught to me each day. Sometimes I am an exemplary student… other times I’m more of a failure walking around clenching my jaw and muttering “for fuck’s sake” all day.
- Right now, for my family, I am staying at home. It is not my first choice. Being a stay-at-home-mom or SAHM is hard. SAHM. Same. Same. Same. The same struggles everyday without reprieve. Working– soul satisfying or not– was something different. It was a life outside of being a mom. It was financial independence. I am not a great housewife. Organization is a struggle for me. Cleaning effectively and maintaining that all week is a skill set I have yet to master. It is a never ending job where I feel constantly stressed out about. I do not enjoy not having my own money. It bites the big one. It feels precarious. I hate that because my boobs produce the milk to feed the baby, I am chained to this responsibility. That every feminist part of me is weeping at the sexist gender roles I’m falling into with Match. Yet, despite the tinge of unsatisfied, I also recognize I will never get this time with my children back. That this is the most important part of me set on repeat. So, at the end of the day, this time is a gift. So, yes, I am trying to treasure it, be mindful of it and find joy in it. This is one of those things that will ultimately be a small part of my life, but perhaps a big one in my children’s lives. I am in a part of life I find uncomfortable. Uncomfortable is usually good. It helps reveal things we might not have appreciated, known, or realized beforehand.
- I know there are many kinds of love. In my thirties, I have come to believe they are all equally important. We tend to think that finding a person to grow old with is the point of everything or, at least, the most important kind of love. This idea of romance makes us crazy. For along time, I too thought romantic love was the point. It was the most important! So, when I found that heart-stopping, mushy feeling of love with my Ex, I thought I had found the most integral part of my life. That electric love after all was the point of existence. We had to make it work out. Well, frankly, that was a load of bull. Absolute horse shit. How many of us keep ending up in shitty relationships because we feel we should be searching for “the one”? I think at this point the only truth is “to love.” Love for your siblings. Your children. Your parents. Your friends. Your mentors. There is love for so many inter-personal relationships. Those are what should sustain you. The relationships that are going to survive shit storms of relationship troubles.. those are the ones we should search for. You need more than one loving voice in your life. Especially because that romantic love is the one thing we often end up too close to. You can’t have perspective that way. You need those voices of other relationships to give you pause. To bring you small truths. Being with someone does not guarantee less loneliness. Or less problems. That search for someone to build a life with is only helpful when you have other love to sustain you as well. Having a person to be your husband or wife is wonderful. But not more wonderful than the combination of every other person who has participated in the cumulative give and take of your life. Love of a romantic partner is a bonus. Not a purpose.
- My relationship with Match seems to baffle some people a little bit. It is an imperfect pairing of two people who share very little in common interest. Except our few shared interests are where we began to build a friendship. We had a mutual affinity for Michael Weston. Neither of us prefer to drink ourselves drunk, but we do like to have the occassional few beers. We are avid coffee drinkers. We made babies with long time loves who didn’t work out. We both light up when we talk about our children. We had financial challenges we were working on overcoming when we met. We both wanted peace in our next relationship. We have a noteworthy chemistry under the sheets. We were not looking for a marriage or much more than pleasant company. We did not want to waste effort and time. What started as dinner at a local bar is now something bigger than either of us planned: a house, two more kids, and a ring that has been lingering on my finger. The passage of time in our relationship feels a little odd. Some days I feel like we just met each other and other days I can’t imagine life without waking up and staring at his stupid tattoo. I don’t know why we work, but we do. We work. We bring out parts of each other that need tending to.
I think that while I am 36, I am ready to get married. Again. At least to plan a wedding for sometime before we turn forty. 🙂 I think I made my peace with all apprehensions. I spend most of my days, everyday, happy. Happy seems an a very resolute place to commit to.