Today was a little less marvelous than yesterday, because some inner turmoil surfaced and I’ve been thinking about it all day and partly because I worked for a few hours in the middle of the day.
Being alone for two days has given me much time to contemplate and to look within, listen to a book on CD about marriage, and rediscover who I am–separate from being a mother.
I am quiet, a loner, spontaneous, gentle, patient, and intuitive. I love doing whatever I feel like doing in the moment. I love to blend into the woodwork, to watch the world around me without participating. I find joy in simple things and need very little outward excitement to be happy. I don’t like to buy expensive things and am thrilled to find used things at a great price. Seeing the sunset makes me happy. Watching people pass by makes me happy. Watching people pet cats makes me happy. Quirky art makes me happy.
I am also lazy. It is both a vice and a virtue. I am so lazy that eating is an inconvenience in my life, although I do enjoy eating–just not the planning and preparation part of it. I often wish I didn’t have to eat three times a day, but maybe fill up once a week like my minivan. Laziness makes me patient and calm most of the time, but it also makes me overwhelmed because I am inefficient and thus, work piles up. Laziness makes me scattered but also flexible.
I love cats (not kittens as much) because they embody the traits I like about myself. They are quiet and mysterious, solitary, gentle, do not require much attention or special care, and of course, they are lazy and only want to go about their own agendas.
The part of myself that is a mother is not always a part that I like. The mother in me is often patient, but often not. The mother in me is often irritable, overwhelmed, and scattered, dying for freedom and quiet. I have concluded that being a mother is, hands down, the most challenging endeavor I have ever experienced. It has been my marathon. It has tested me in ways nothing else has and probably never will. It has brought out the worst in me, but also the best.
The mother in me is steadfast and loyal, strong and resilient. The mother in me keeps going despite illness, exhaustion, or emotional upset. The mother in me has made me more altruistic; I am no longer the most important person in my life. Having children has driven me to become the best me that I can be. It has pushed me to heal myself, to grow up, and to find peace in my life so that my children may someday do the same. Being a mother is the among the best things that have happened to me.
I do not miss my children yet; I am still soaking up this wonderful freedom of being alone and managing my own time.
Soon enough I will be back to being mother.