Wake-up call #2: We have an awesome new Beehive advisor in Young Women's. And she introduced herself, and asked the girls to introduce themselves and say what they like to do, etc. When it got to me, I said, "Uh, well, I'm Natalie, and uh, I have four kids, and, um, I..." I think I mumbled out something about teaching piano, and later was all, "Oh yeah! I love chocolate! And Coke!" Seriously, I couldn't think of a single thing that I currently do in my life that is just for me, just for fun. And I felt lame that two things with which I defined myself were food items. Am I...just an absorber/calorie burner?
Wake-up call #3: Jake and I were talking one day. And he asked, "Mom, what do you like to do?" Again, I fumbled with an answer. "Well, I, um, I like to cross stitch." I thought about the last time I had cross stitched something. It was at least two years ago, a piece I had done for my mom. "I like to play piano." I play all the time, but when was the last time I just sat and played for myself, or learned a new piece just because I wanted to? "Um, I like playing racquetball." Again, the last time I played I think I was pregnant with Brock. 5+ years ago. "I like to scrapbook." Though I haven't done that in over two years, and besides, I'm moving to the digital world in that arena. I kept thinking, are my hobbies things of the past? Am I made up of things that I used to do? What are my hobbies now? Am I just so busy with the daily grind, and so mixed up in my children's lives that I don't have time to be me any more?
Wake-up call #4: A couple of Sundays ago, a cute little girl played the violin in church. She did a fabulous job. I've always loved hearing the violin, and I was totally crying. Jakob was sitting next to me, and after she was done, he said, "Mom, that was so beautiful. I sat like a statue to listen. I could be a statue all day long." I agreed with him. I could listen all day long, too. I kind of had a twinge of regret, that I haven't tried to learn something new.
So, let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.
Basically, I'm wondering where I am. Where did I go? Did I get lost in my "job", so much so that I no longer have interests outside of my kids? Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, I love what I do. But lately, I've felt like all that I do are the things I should do (which is still fun and rewarding and fabulous), rather than something that I want to do, that is totally just for me. I almost feel like I've let time slip by.
When I was younger, my parents enrolled me in different classes-gymnastics for a year, jazz dancing for a year, singing lessons for a year...But the only thing that stuck long-term was piano. I also did other things for several years, like water skiing and snow skiing. At first I hated both, for years and years. Then I eventually liked them. Now...I'm kind of at a point where I could take them or leave them. I'm just saying that I'm not going to buy a season pass to a ski resort, or go out and buy a boat. Here and there, sure, but they aren't something that I absolutely love.
I think there were other things that I could have tried, that I should have tried. I took swim lessons, and I remember in one of my classes the teacher told my mom that I was a really good swimmer. She suggested that I join the swim team. (A city team? A school team? I really don't remember.) I was flattered. But it never came to be. I don't know if it's because I was shy and lacked confidence, and so I didn't try, or if I left it in my mom's hands to pursue the option, and she just never followed through, or what. But, thinking back, what if I had done that? Missed opportunity.
When I was a freshman in college, I decided to take a racquetball class. Just because. My roommate told me I'd hate it. But I LOVED it, from day one. And almost every semester, I signed up for a racquetball class. It was twice a week, but I'd go once or twice a week extra with friends. I'm glad I got to try it. And I would love to go again. Though right now I'd have to find a babysitter if I wanted to go. But that's kind of beside the point. The point is, I tried something, just for fun, and if I would have hated it, then oh well, at least I tried, kind of like I did when I was younger with dance class, etc.
I want to try stuff again. New stuff. I want to pick up on the old stuff that I love, too. And not put it off because I have something that I have to do. Because I always will have stuff that I have to do. That list just never ends. I always think, oh, someday I'd like to... or, maybe such-and-such would be fun... or, if I have time tonight, maybe I'll...
That was a lot more 'splainin', a lot less summing up. Let me try again.
I need to stop "some day"-ing my life.
So, what's on my Bucket List? What do I want to do/learn/try/pick up again?
-I want to learn a new instrument. I love the harp, the cello, the violin, the guitar. Apparently, I'm drawn to string instruments. My mom said there are community classes offered where I could learn guitar or something. I really want to check into that, hopefully this summer.
-There's a piano piece that I've always wanted to learn. I even have the music. "Rhapsody in Blue", by Gershwin.
-I have a beautiful cross stitch, just sitting in my closet, ready to pull out.
-I want to go to Austria again.
-I want to go to Grand Cayman again. (Pete and I are planning to do this for our 10-year anniversary.)
-I would love to take a photography class.
-I wish I was artistic. Some kind of pottery class or something would be fun.
-Gotta do the digital scrapbooking. I've been thinking about this a lot lately.
-I've always wanted to be able to do back handsprings. But I think the window has closed on that one for me. (And I get all twisted around when I go upside down-I can't tell up from down. I know I'd fall flat on my face.)
-I love dancing. I took a ballroom class in college, and loved every minute of it. Dancing like that again would be so fun.
-I love to read. I feel the need...for read(ing). (You can tell I watch a lot of movies, though. Sheesh.)
-A cake decorating class would be awesome. I tried doing fondant, and it was fun, and it was terrible-looking because it was the first time I had done it. But making cool cakes would be so fun.
-I graduated in finance. I want to actually do something with my degree.
So, that's the tip of the iceberg, bucket list-wise. There are so many things I want to do and try and be. And not that I want to push aside my responsibilities and be completely selfish, but I want to experience. And I don't want to wait to experience until my kids are out of the house. So, maybe a little here, a little there. So that, when someone asks me about me, I can say what my current hobbies are, and what I'm actually doing, instead of what I used to do, or what I'd like to do someday.
I saw this quote on Mormon Mommy Blogs the other day. So, for a sum up (for real this time):
"If we as mothers do something we absolutely love alongside raising children we absolutely love, we will almost guarantee that our children will be raised in an atmosphere steeped in joy." -Debra Sansing Woods, It's Okay To Take A Nap