Monday, June 17, 2013

A Sputtering Spark

Howdy Humble Readers...

Almost two weeks ago, I read this post over at Too Many Fish To Fry, and I said "YES!  I NEED TO DO THIS!"  (Please take a moment and go read it.  It's awesome!)  I was smiling as I read it and I started to feel myself getting excited...

Spending the summer focussing on my dream.  On that thing that gets me excited.  Eight weeks to get out of this rut in which I seem to be stuck.  It sounded great, until...

WHAM!  It was like I ran straight into a plate glass window. 

What the hell is my dream? 

What do I get excited about these days?  I can tell you, not a whole heck of a lot. 

When I was 19, my dream was to go to college, get my degree in youth and family ministry and get a position in a church working with kids and teens and families.  I worked two full time jobs in order to save for school.  I went to college (one of the best experiences of my life), got my degree (and learned a LOT about myself and my faith), and made some great friends.  After graduation, I got a position in a church just as I had hoped, prayed, and dreamed.  That job transitioned into another position a continent away.  Unfortunately, I hadn't learned how to defend my personal boundaries, and I crashed and burned out after four years. 

So I moved home, not sure what was next.  Yes, with my parents.  And it was rather propitious that I did.  Later that year, my mom got lung cancer.  The jobs I worked at the time weren't what I would call dream jobs (my parents' office, a grocery store, and a Christian bookstore, although I'd always joked that if I ever left ministry I would likely work in a bookstore), my primary role in that timeframe was to look after my mom.  During those seven years, mom would develop and recover from five different types of cancer.  While it wasn't something I grew up dreaming about doing, taking care of my mom was important and I'm glad I was able to do it.

The year that Mom was recovering from lymphoma was the year I met my Beloved, and a different dream took hold.  Yes, of course, I had always hoped I would get married.  By this time I was 31, and statistically I was more likely to get hit by a bus than get married, so I wasn't sure anything would come of it, but I sure hoped.  That dream came true in a big way, and here we are a little over seven years from when we met, married and living a good life. 

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the hobbit with a baby carriage... Right?  That was the dream.  That was the plan.  Of course, we all know how that went.  Two losses in quick succession, and a diagnosis of recurrent pregnancy loss due to (primarily) a progesterone deficiency and (secondarily) advanced maternal age. 

IF/RPL took over my life.  I immersed myself in books, online forums, and of course the ALI community.  Like most dealing with IF, trying to conceive became the preeminent thing I thought about.  Taking my temperature every morning, watching for changes in my cm, scheduling our love life around the vagaries of my reproductive system, and then the dance of phantom symptoms that messed with my mind and my hopes month after month.  I ate, slept, and breathed the process. 

And miraculously, thankfully, we were blessed with our precious wee-lings.  I love being a mom.  I am completely thrilled that, while it's a challenge, we are able to make things work so that I can stay home with Ginny and Pip.  Being a mom isn't always fun, but it is rewarding.  And what I'm about to say in no way is meant to imply that I don't value being a stay at home mom. 

I think I've lost my dreams. 

Yeah, I have the vague ideas of stuff that I dream about.  A bigger home (where both wee-lings can have their own rooms, and we could have a second bathroom), travel with my Beloved (the UK, Europe, Africa, all around our beautiful continent), what my next 'career' might be when the wee-lings go to school. 

But I don't have anything that gets me excited, that inspires me, that gets my juices flowing. 

Yes, the weightloss thing is great.  I'm glad that I'm getting to a healthier weight and learning to control my blood sugars long term.  But it's a necessity, not a passion.  I'm never going to be a fitness junkie who talks about the beauty of the runner's high.

I love books and movies.  I get excited about upcoming releases (sometimes excessively so), but as soon as the book has been read or the movie watched the high of the anticipation fades. 

Cooking is fun, but I have never felt the inclination to do anything with it other than make good food that my family and I enjoy. 

Crafting is hit or miss for me.  Knitting never stuck.  Crochet and scrapbooking just don't work for me.  I can't draw.  Cross stitch can be enjoyable when my dyslexia isn't messing me up.  I'm not gifted in photography or music. 

Pinterest and Criminal Minds reruns have become my hobby.  And how very sad is that?

This state of affairs concerns me.  A lot.  I don't want to be one of those stay at home moms who loses themselves entirely into the world of 'home'.  I don't want to become my sister, who talks about the same things every day (the school doesn't open the doors early even when it's snowing/raining/windy, nobody had better mess up her clean kitchen, the amount of homework given to fifth graders is appalling, what a cow her MIL is, the other school-moms who drive big SUVs that they don't know how to park). 

I want to have something interesting to say, something that gets me fired up...

It goes beyond 'want'.  I NEED to be someone outside of being a mummy, for the sake of my children, my marriage, and myself.  But what the hell does that mean?  What does that look like in my life? 

Where did I put my 'spark of madness'?

I want to set some goals.  I want to see some progress being made.  I want to feel like I've accomplished something.  I just don't know what I'm working toward. 


  1. What about volunteering? Cuddle babies in local hospital. Care for pets at animal shelter. Put you degree to work with youth organization.

  2. I have been wondering myself this for a little while, and also have no answer. And there is the set of circumstances that is working against me: the gap in my cv, while everyone understands that I chose to stay home with the children, they are less eager to give me a job, knowing that the job will always rank third on my priority list at best; the expat thing; the age thing (somehow, people are NOT rushing to hire almost 40 years old, curiously enough, no?). I would very much like to know how you handle this journey.

    And I just have to say, while Pip is a lovely boy, Ginny is just such a lovely young lady! It makes me think how it would have been to have a daughter, and that does not happen often.

  3. I have many friends who are going through this exact same thing and I think the way you phrased it was so good. I hope you find your niche, your thing, your calling. We all need something! We are mamas, but we are also more than mamas too! :)

  4. Oh, I sound lame even in my own head. But right now my focus is on learning to homeschool in the "Thomas Jefferson Education" model. It's excellent, and really perfect for me because I also LOVE reading. I was stuck in a rut for a while, but I started to focus on what I wanted for my children and for my family. While I was looking for something to make me feel passionate again, I honestly couldn't find it. (What's that old expression about happiness being like a butterfly?) But once I started to try and figure out my ideal vision of the future for myself and my family, then I found those goals which would help me attain that vision, and now I'm obsessed with getting my crap together so I will succeed.... oh I'm rambling. No sleep last night, sorry. Anyway, Good luck finding your calling!

  5. Sometimes I feel like my spark is missing too. Like I shouldn't need to work so damn hard to find the motivation to make my art! Sometimes it makes me seriously doubt that I'm going in the right direction with my life! I hope that you find your spark soon!


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