So, this is going to be a two-part thought I think. Stay tuned for part 2, about being a working mom…it’ll be a bit of a followup to Mommy Dreams. This is part 1. Partially inspired by this post from dear RB.
I’ve been thinking about life. Maybe everyone does this, but I find myself getting introspective whenever something in my life changes. Right now, I’ve been trying not to get too introspective. That way lies melancholy and anxiety. So I’ve been escaping.
I’m rather a pro at escaping real life. I’ve been doing it ever since I could read. I would take my book up a tree and read and read until I was forced to come back down by supper or chores or other commitments. As soon as I had a room alone with a bedside lamp I would stay up well past midnight, reading and reading and reading…
I devour books. I fully immerse myself in them and after they are finished, if I enjoy them, I can re-read them over and over again.
You get the picture. I read a lot. And having my phone around all the time has only made reading material more accessible. I can scroll through Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr endlessly, reading anything that catches my eye. It is very easy to spend all my spare minutes escaping.
But I have a daughter. And this is not how I want her to behave. So I can no longer permit this sort of behaviour in myself.
That’s it, that’s all.
I asked myself: what do I want my daughter to see me doing? What do I want to teach her? What can she learn from how I live? And, closely connected to these questions: What does my ideal life look like?
Those thoughts are connected because I want my daughter to possess all the skills and knowledge and abilities to be able to identify and construct her own ideal life. Ideal, in this context, isn’t about perfection. I’ve seen people call it “living my best life”. I think I’m well on my way to figuring out mine and I want my daughter to be able to “live her best life” as well. Even if, in the end, it turns out not quite the way I might dream for her.
I want to live intentionally. And I want to set an example for my children.
First Things First: A Plan.
I’ve never been a big planner.
I’m learning German. Little by little, every day.
I want to spend less time escaping in non-productive ways.
books, art, music.
I want to travel
I want a new car, eventually. I want to find us a place in the neighbourhood near the German immersion school, so Lizzie can go to school with her neighbours and my commute isn’t so long every day. Those things aren’t urgent, more like goals for the next three years.
Equal parts exciting and terrifying, I want to have a second child.
Part the Second: Work
The shrewd among you will have noticed that the goals above deal almost exclusively with what I do on my own time. Work, which actually takes up the majority of my wakeful life, is a whole different discussion.
Today I read an article, poignant and provocative, on the construct of the 40-hour work week and bemoaning, among other things, the rather careless spending habits it seems CONSTRUCTED to encourage. Having been back at work for nearly a year, I can say this is extremely accurate. This, especially, resonated with me:
Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.
We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.
I know I’ve fought that vague dissatisfaction almost every day of my life. Lately, I’ve actually gone to the mall right beside my office and bought things because I was restless and unhappy, but not bored enough to sit down and make some serious changes.
Adulting is hard.
It’s about balance and intentionality
Also inspired by this article.