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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Wake-up call #1: Pete and I watched "The Bucket List" the other night. It was more philosophical than I would have guessed. Pretty much, though, two guys travel the world and have these experiences, things that they've always wanted to do but just have put off. In one moment of the movie, Morgan Freeman tells Jack Nicholson that the Egyptians believed that you must answer two questions correctly in order to get into heaven. Question one is "Have you found joy in your life?" And question two is "Have you brought joy to others?" I really liked that. But the whole time, I thought, what is on my bucket list?

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


Karlenn said...

First off, I'm so excited that you posted so soon after your last post! Good work! I crave Nat postings. Second of all, I think you have it right. Doing a little here, a little there. That's the key. I, too, have felt really lost in the ways you describe. Which is why I'm going to take that dance class, dang it. And I'll sign up for the cake-making class, too. I want to make cool cakes like they do on Cake Boss. Which is a TV show. Because I watch wayyyyy too much TV. I guess that's my hobby. Sad.

Karlenn said...

Oops, what I meant to say is that I'll sign up for a cake-making class WITH YOU. :)

Anonymous said...

Great bucket list, Nat!! You are an amazing mom. I wish I could be more like you, caught up in my kids' lives. Not that I'm not, I just get more chances to do my hobbies than a normal mommy I guess, is what I mean.

I LOVE digi scrapbooking! It's so much easier than paper, especially with kids! I also think it would be fun to take a cake class, but I don't know if I have time. LOL Oh, and you can be my finance consultant for my photography business!!! I NEED HELP!!:)

Thanks for sharing! I love reading your posts!

Becky said...

Love your blog as always. I am excited for you to start to find your joy and yourself again. You are amazing. I am also excited to share your blog with some awesome women in my life so they know they're not alone. Loves

Aprillium said...

This is where I was at just after Christmas. I SO understand. And you are MORE than just the role of "Mom" you are Nat! Part of taking care of your kids is taking time for yourself too, so that they know you are an individual and that you are willing to take care of yourself, not only everyone else in your family. Who will do it if you don't?

I now take at least 1 hour a day for myself. Right now my "Hobby" is the gym. I love it, it gives me time to just worry about ME and not have a kid pestering me the whole time, it also gives me time to listen to my pod-casts and make my brain think... it's awesome! It also has the side effect of showing my kids that no matter what is going on in life, taking time to think about yourself is healthy!

So go do some of those things you want to do. MAKE time if need be, your interests are just as important as (for instance) Jake's dance class, don't let anyone make you feel bad about taking time for yourself (and that INCLUDES you!!).

Good for you! Keep us updated!

Janae -- Thoughts in Vinyl said...

I have felt that way too, but I was blaming it on pregnancy hormones. Your posts are always so inspiring!
I love, love, love the quote that you ended with.

Rachel said...

I totally agree with you on this. A couple of months ago when the YW and YM went skiing I lent out my ski's so that someone in the ward could use them, and I said no big deal I never use them anymore. But skiing was one of my big passions in life, I love it and haven't been since Savanna was born. I need to get back into doing things that I love too. Your post was very inspiring to me.

lexykay said...

very inspiring post nat. i think i'm going to make a bucketlist as well. on my way to europe they played bucket list on the plane. i watched it and enjoyed it. but as you know, the flight to europe was like 15 hours or something. anyways, so i watched the bucket list and then they replayed it in spanish, french, and some other language (i think italian). yeah it's the only freaking movie they played!

i digress (i think i spelled that wrong but whatever). if you want to learn how to do a backhandspring i can probably help you! in return i want you to teach me how to cook something. sound like a deal?!

Valerie said...

Nat, I think all moms have this moment in their lives. I remember, very vividly, when we had to indroduce ourselves in Relief Society and say what we liked to do, etc. I remember spilling off things - play basketball, waterski, backpacking, etc..but then I had to say that I felt like I was making it all up since it had been years since I had really done any of it. That summer I made Todd go on a backpacking trip with me up in the Tetons. It was so fun. Last year I set a goal to run a marathon. I trained for almost the entire thing on my treadmill in the basement - but it felt soo good to have something to work toward!! It doesn't take much, but you are right, we do have to take time for our real selves. I think it is good for the kids, too. And VERY good for the husbands. They need more opportunities to do what we do...while we are off doing something fun, of course :) AND just to be honest, when asked what I like to do in my "spare" time, I often let people know how much I really enjoy a good afternoon nap. Is that so bad? I don't think so.

Mindy H. said...

I remember how happy my mom was when she finally decided to do something for herself (instead of for the 6 of us) and took the tolle painting class she had been talking about trying for years. You deserve some quality-Nat-time. And you are right... your kids will be better for it!

jomama said...

AWESOME post, nat. i think about stuff like this often. i love what you said about when someone asks you about you, you'll be able to talk about stuff you're doing now, not stuff you used to do or what you'd like to be doing. that is... right on. just as it should be. i think your list is amazing, and now i want to do one too.
i want to take a guitar class with you! (if you want.)

Momza said...

I have certainly been where you are at--the throes of Motherhood.
It consumed my energy, time and resources.
And I have had those moments wondering, "Is this all there is?"
Then, I too, found outside interests that saved my sanity--whether it was a gym membership or something silly like a craft class at Michaels--I had to do it to save myself.
As the kids have gotten older, it has gotten better...I can DO so many things with the time I have now that comes with their independence.
SO hang in there. Can't wait to hear about your bucket list triumphs!