I can remember the conversation very clearly.
“What makes you happy?” a friend asked me.
“My family” I responded automatically.
“What else?” she asked with a smile.
I had nothing. My mind was completely blank. I tried to change the subject, but she wasn’t letting it go so easily.
“What do you like to do?” she asked. “When the kids are not with you, what is it that brings you joy?”
I felt cornered and my defenses went up. What was she getting at? Was my life terrible or something? Isn’t being a mom enough?
“I don’t know,” I said.
The words hung in the air and I started to marvel at them.
I really DID NOT know. I had lost myself and I had no idea it had even happened. I remember feeling a sense of complete awe at the notion that I had nothing separate from my children. How had I let motherhood be everything? How could I have not?
That was a year ago. Since that time I have found some answers.
What makes me happy?
Family. My children continue to be a huge source of my happiness. They make things interesting, fun and challenging. They constantly test my patience, tug at my heart and show me things that I would never have seen without them. They are my inspiration.
Writing. The very act of sitting down and composing my thoughts fills me with indescribable joy. This blog has allowed me an outlet for working things out and just expressing the things I hold inside so tightly. It’s like a coil has been unwound and the words often pour out quicker than I can type.
Friends. Being open has allowed me to really meet some amazing people over the last year. I have been given permission to be myself and it has created space for some incredible connections. The feeling that I am alone is slowing being replaced by that of community, love and support.
Dance. How had I ever forgotten how wonderful it feels to just let your body move to music? There is nothing like letting my entire being be moved by a beating drum. Forgetting everything and just swaying, jumping, prancing and feeling. I can’t live without it again.
Service. I had the opportunity this year to help several friends in times of crisis. I allowed myself to be in a forgiving, open and vulnerable position. What I received was a feeling of self-worth and love that I had forgotten about. “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” — Albert Einstein
It is a New Year. I told myself that I would not write a resolution or reflection blog.
Looks like I just did.
I guess pulling out that new calendar makes us reflect, even if we don’t want to.
My kids are obsessed with looking at pictures of the past year and talking about the year to come.
Did you know I will be 10 this year mom? Yes, son. I hate it.
Did you know I will start first grade this year mom? Yes, daughter. I hate it.
So, following in the footsteps of the brilliant Renegade Mothering, I will make an Honest Resolution.
I will not forget what makes me happy.
I think I can do it.