A Stranger in the Mirror

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English: : A mirror, reflecting a vase. Españo...

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Again, my Thursday group with my clients has gotten me thinking.  I was trying to come up with a good topic surrounding Groundhog Day.  In my brainstorming, my mind went from Punxsutawney Phil to the movie Groundhog Day and somehow landed on the movie The Bucket List.  The one movie really has nothing to do with the other, but my mind went there, so thus our topic: A Bucket List.

All of the clients completed the “assignment” with various levels of ease, as would be expected when faced with such a task.  What I didn’t expect was that I would struggle with it so much!  About 8 years ago I made a similar list, and it was long and interesting.  My list included such gems as participating in a protest, completing a triathalon, and learning to play the guitar.  My list today was SO lame in comparison.  I listed swimming with dolphins, visiting a couple of exotic places, and becoming debt free.   My first list had about 50 items. Today I struggled to come up with six.

One thing that I realized (from a positive perspective) is that what was important to me then is not so important to me now. My priorities have changed as they should when you become a parent.  But my other realization (my depressing perspective) was that I have very little that I am passionate about anymore!  I am boring!!  Being in a protest seems pointless; Learning to play the guitar would be nice, but seems time-consuming and impractical; A triathalon is downright out of the question!

I never wanted to be defined as “mom” and solely as “mom,” and I wanted to stay as far away from the ‘stereotypical monotonous surburban lifestyle with kids and loveless marriage’ as possible!   In yet another list I made (I think in college), I defined several things I never wanted to occur in my life.  The list included (and I am I not making this up):

  1. Never call my husband “dad” and be called “mom” by him;
  2. Never use the toilet in front of my husband;
  3. Never garden;
  4. Always share a bed with my husband;
  5.  No fannie-packs;
  6. No mini-vans….

I can’t remember the entire list, but you get the picture.   So, items one and two were broken years ago.  Three, I have softened on but really don’t see myself doing anytime soon, though I would be happy to garden if I had land, know-how and energy; Four is still holding strong.  Five will never be broken (really, fannie-packs people?). And six, well, lets just say I have been shopping!

Re-establishing my identity since my daughter was born has been really difficult for me.  I like being a mom, and I think I am pretty good at it.  But I still really want to have a ‘me’ outside of mom-ness. So the question is:  How do I re-figure out what I love and enjoy doing?  How do I feel some excitement in my life again?  I can’t necessarily make myself passionate about what I used to be passionate about, but I have to be able to be interested in something other than my daughter! Who am I? Perhaps I need to make another list!


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