Finding myself again

Over the past year or so, probably even longer, I feel like I have been so busy. Having dogs, having a job, having a baby, having a daycare, having volunteer work, having races to train for – there’s just so much.

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Before I left my previous job, I spent a lot of time thinking about my priorities; what is important to me. I was doing too much, I was wearing down, I wasn’t very pleasant to be around at home. I wasn’t argumentative or anything like that, just not engaging. Watching a lot of TV. Doing anything to unplug from demands. I just wanted to not be needed every minute of the day.

I knew that I used to be an interesting person. I had hobbies. I knitted. I played guitar. I played flute. I sang. I ran. I wrote. Now what? The only thing I was doing was running because I had registered for a race. I HAD to train. Beyond that, though, I was boring.

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Now that I’m down to one daycare kid again (and she doesn’t come at 6:30 am), I am finding that I have the energy to be interesting again. I’m writing again. I’m dreaming about playing my guitar. I’m thinking about getting more involved in the music team at church when we go to two locations and need more musicians. I’m doing this blog! I feel like I’m finding myself again. I feel like I’m interesting again.

I’m not talking interesting to other people. Interesting to myself. I am proud of who I am becoming. I am growing again. I have creative outlets. I’m not entirely consumed with taking care of my growing family. I am using my brain. I am reading articles again. I am thinking about stuff. Sure, it’s nothing monumental. I’m no J.K. Rowlings or Tolkien or heck, even Stephanie Meyer. The important thing to me, though, is that I am writing. I can share my stories with those I know – I can share them here. I don’t have to get paid to do this to enjoy it.

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Slowly, as I rediscover my hobbies, I have been rediscovering the joy in just living. It’s easy to get distracted by everything – jobs, family, babies, pets, sometimes just getting through one day and into the next. We have work to live but our hobbies are what we stay alive for!

 

O Me! O Life!

BY WALT WHITMAN

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
                                       Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

 

I love the scene from Dead Poet’s society where Robin Williams recites this poem to a bunch of middle school boys to draw them into the power of poetry. We get to these places in our lives where we start to search for meaning amidst the grind, the daily trudge from sun-up to sun-down. What am I doing here? What is my purpose?

In suspending participation in my hobbies, I lost my sense of purpose. Sure, I have a wonderful daughter now to raise, but if I lost everything I was because she is here, what example am I setting? What am I contributing? Wouldn’t I just be showing her that it’s fine to live and have interests until you have children – then you must become so wrapped up in them that you lose yourself?

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In finding myself and my interests, I have found my purpose again. I have found the motivation I need to continue moving forward, no matter what comes. No matter where we live or how long we live there or what we do. I do a disservice to my entire family when I lose myself. I have to remind myself that it is necessary to take time for me because if I don’t, I give my worst to those closest to me. In finding myself, I find my faith renewed. I find new stores of energy, I find the person I want to be. I find the rhythm of the verse I want to contribute.

Have you lost yourself in the grind? What will you pursue to find yourself again?

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