There are plenty of times when I am going a million miles a minute. There are days and weeks – months even – when I don’t think beyond what’s on the agenda today, what absolutely MUST get done, what I would like to get done if I have extra time (whatever that is), and who needs to be where and when and how we are going to get them there.
Perhaps it’s an early midlife crisis, or perhaps it’s because I’ve seen people die suddenly without any forewarning, or perhaps it’s because I am not going to have any more children so I’m closing the door on my baby bearing years. Regardless of the reason, I’m realizing that I’ve spent a good portion of my life and energy just managing to make it from one day to another.
I am fairly conservative when it comes to finances and planning. I am a good girl in that I do what I’m supposed to do – pay my bills on time, save for retirement and college, go to work each day regardless of whether it is fulfilling or frustrating, and meet my responsibilities as a mom, a wife and an employee.
However, there are days I feel that I am missing the point of life. Is life really about being responsible to everyone else at the expense of myself? I am fairly sure we only have one chance at this (regardless of how much I like the idea of reincarnation), so am I really using my one shot the best way possible?
From the outside, it probably looks like I am. After all, I graduated from college, got a good job with great benefits, fell in love, got married, had 3 kids and 2 fabulous stepsons, and quickly advanced up the career ladder.
From the inside? It’s not quite that simple.
I would never give up my children, not a minute with my stepsons or our three. Whenever my thoughts drift to questioning my life, the one and only spot I am sure of is my kids. However, I was also never the woman dreaming of the day I was a soccer mom driving a minivan. I never once dreamed of my wedding or having a family and living in the suburbs. It just wasn’t on my radar.
What I’ve realized in the past few years? My life doesn’t fit with my vision of myself. At times I feel like I”m living someone else’s life rather than being true to myself.
Am I delusional? I always had this feeling that I was destined for greatness. Whether that meant a famous actress, the scientist that found the cure for cancer, the first woman President of the United States, a long lost princess of some hitherto unknown country – I don’t know. But having 5 kids, a 9 to 5 job, a mortgage, and playing on the company softball team really wasn’t what I ever aspired to be.
Thankfully, I was very fortunate to have recently lost my job. I know that’s a weird thing to say, but I feel deep in my bones that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
I feel free.
The real world will knock on my door here sometime soon and I’ll have to figure out how I’ll pay the mortgage and child support and bus fees and preschool tuition. But for right now? I’m taking a deep breath and enjoying the idea of the unknown and the possibilities.
What about you? Have you been trapped by golden handcuffs? Are you in a seemingly perfect scenario from the outside that is chafing and wearing you down on the inside?