I have been seriously absent from writing new posts lately. For the last several months, in fact. Not that I haven't had reasons, other demands on my time. And a sneaking suspicion that maybe my ramblings are only interesting to me, but I don't really want to think about that right now.
So, I have decided, right now, tonight, to just do it. Just write something.
One of the major reasons that I have been so lax on blogging is the fact that I am in an all-out sprint to the finish line of my undergraduate degree. Today ended the eighth week in a ten-week quarter. I have two weeks of classes, then finals, and then.....nothing. Till graduation in June. Nothing. Well, nothing but big decisions to make about what I am going to do next.
In an act of blind faith, I recently bought study guides for the GRE (grad school test) and the LSAT (law school test). I say "blind faith," because that's the kind of faith that I have, that I will know what to do, when the time comes. I've gotten quite comfortable up here on the fence, and the view on the grad school side looks a lot like the view on the law school side. A lot more school, more papers, and ideally, something at the end of the road to show for my hard work.
But I also have this new option to consider, that I hadn't really thought about until very recently. Maybe I won't go back to school at all. Maybe I'll continue doing what I'm doing right now: working part time for my Reserve unit, writing history. And I'll be an active engaged mom, instead of the frazzled, always-running-late-for-school-pickup mess that I have become. I am eternally grateful to have a supportive spouse in Captain America, who picks up way more than his fair share of my slack. When he's home. He does laundry, he drops off and picks up and chats with the moms at least as well (probably better than!) as I do. He does dishes, and he manages the busy social lives and practice schedules of Moe, Larry and Curly. And boy, am I ever grateful.
But last weekend, I had a little moment where I questioned myself, an epiphany of sorts. When the boys come looking for me (which happens less and less often these days), they come to the computer first. Mostly, they look for dad. But if he's not home, they have no choice. And it bums me out immensely that they have internalized that I'm generally too busy working on schoolwork to deal with their requests for snacks or their arguments, or just to help with their vocabulary homework (if it's math and dad's not home, they're really out of luck).
I get that it's important for me to do something that means something to me, whether it's work, or school, or a hobby; a pursuit that feeds my soul, and fulfills me in some way. I have said 'yes' to many of these things: I work part-time, I write freelance, I volunteer frequently at the dudes' school, I teach preschool PSR (parish school of religion), I go to school myself, I am part of a mother's prayer group, I have joined a book club, I help coordinate and put on Vacation Bible School in the summer. And I have a family that needs me to be present, and friends I want to spend time with...you see where I'm going with this.
It's a familiar refrain...learning to say 'no.' We women are helpers and nurturers by nature, and it's difficult to say 'no' to someone who is asking for help. I think maybe it's more of an issue of learning to say 'yes' to the right things, and concentrating on giving your best to those. So what is it that truly feeds my soul? Where can I channel my efforts so that I can feel like they matter and they make a difference?
I'm a Libra; I can see both sides of any issue and am hopelessly wishy-washy. Hmm, maybe this law school thing isn't the best idea for me.... In any case, making a decision is often really hard for me, especially when it affects everyone else around me too. Going back to school again involves time given up with my family, and saying 'no' to some things that would make me happy.
I need to make decisions, but I'm afraid to, afraid that I'm choosing the wrong thing, or that my choice will make someone else mad, or that I'll regret the choice I make. But fear is no justification for a decision, and if I pursue something that ultimately fulfills me and makes me happy, then I'm a better person, and better mother for it.
Just do it.