Becoming a different me
Posted on June 25 2019
When I was young, I remember fantasizing about becoming a mother! My first baby doll was named Karen, and she had a pink dress and white shoes, and I was EPIC at the motherhood thing.
We went to the imaginary park everyday, we ate endless snacks, we laughed and giggled, we played board games and watched movies. I was the cool mom, the fun mom, the endless fountain of energy mom. It was fantastic. And I knew that when I grew up and had MY own kids, I would never be like my father or my mother. I wouldn't be too tired to play like mom, or too busy to play like dad.
And then a few days ago, I was getting ready for the day and looked in the mirror, only to be hit by a ten thousand pound reality check. I was my mom and dad. I am always tired, always running from point A to point B. Always stressing out and never having time to live and enjoy because I am too busy fighting to survive.
Wow. That blows.
So I sat down and really cornered myself and thought about what kind of life I wanted to live, rather than the kind of life I have defaulted to living. You know, I always wonder why my 12 year old is a stuffy stress bucket, with a short temper. The reflection told the whole truth of how that happened.
The scary truth is we live in a culture that has programmed us to believe that "stress" or feeling "stressed" is a productive activity. If we are rushing, stressing, chasing the next goal, chasing the next milestone, well that means we are working! It means we care, and that we are committed to achieving. If we take time off, have a sick day, go on vacation or sleep in, we are lazy and without drive.
I know this, but breaking that habit is so hard. Choosing to walk away from working to play candy land, choosing to close my laptop to go to a graduation, choosing to put the phone away, and eat dinner as a family, choosing to take it easy and not work myself into the ground, they are all MY choices. But I feel tremendous guilt when I make those choices. And I know, I am not alone in this.
It is time for us to make different choices. It is time to think about who we want to be as people, as parents, as spouses, and not who we happen to be. Bad habits are easy to fall into and hard to break, but once we are aware of them, we can control them.
I want to be a different kind of mom. I want to be energized, I want to inspire my children to play, and giggle and laugh and take it easy. Of course I want them to be driven, and motivated and reach for high goals, but I also want them to know how to experience joy, and self forgiveness.
Who we are is our choice. Funny isn't it? Doesn't always seem that way. But it really, truly is. You can be whoever you want to be. So don't ever believe you can't be who you want to be. You get to choose who you are, and you are never ever too old to reinvent yourself.
And if you ever doubt it, just remember I dragged my ass to NYC and went to acting school at 38! Your only limitation is your will.