I just turned 36 and somewhere in the month leading up to that birthday, I had an exhausting realization:
Unless I regain control of my fate, the only difference between birthday 36 and birthday 46 will be the fact that I'm an older wife and mom with an older husband and kids and a REALLY old house that STILL needs a new roof.
I vaguely remember once saying that I wanted to retire at 45.
Something happened when I had my babies. I instictively felt the need to maintain status quo with every other aspect of my life and focus the remaining 99.99% of my efforts on getting each of those babies, my husband and I through their first years.
And I didn't bother to lose the baby weight between having the girls.
And I wasn't able to put the finishing touches on the renovations we had done to the house.
And I didn't stick my neck out for what I wanted in my job.
It's as though I was afraid to do anything to provoke the gods of change. I needed to muddle my way up to Mairin's first birthday to find freedom from the shackles of post-partem hormones and adjustments and rapid-fire pediatrician appointments and breastfeeding and sleep deprivation and the like.
Working out in any way other than gardening was simply not going to happen from either a scheduling or committment standpoint. I'm not one to set myself up for failure, so I didn't even bother to engage myself in earnest to attempt weight-loss.
The house? Our half bath still lacks switchplate covers and caulk. And I just hooked up the sink a few weeks ago. You'll find more of the same throughout the house.
I passively moved through my baby-having years with my job too. I certainly wanted to keep it, and I maintained my desire to excel. Yet, somewhere between two maternity leaves, dramatically shifting compensation plans and a drastically different subset of clients, my give-a-damn cranked itself down into a regrettably lower gear.
I've been making my way out of the haze since Mairin turned one.
I've flipped my perspective on the inability to wean her - I'm still nurturing her while maintaining a bond she's clearly not ready to break. Yay me.
I'm happily busy with work and clients and all predictible aspects of business development.
My nanny and I are in stride most days. The kids and the house are cared for and I have what I need to be fully present when work is over for the day or the week.
I'm running the North Shore Half Marathon on Sunday, fully expecting to finish it at a 10 minute/mile pace.
My garden is in full swing and my lovely (albeit timeconsuming) landscaping project is coming together.
With all of this momentum building behind me, I need something to push me to the proverbial next level. If I really want to shake it up, I need to stay uncomfortable. Existing within my comfort zone won't produce any real satisfaction; It won't make me smarter or stronger or a better wife and mother.
Pain and growth are closely aligned and no matter the tiedious preparations made for change, the final bit always requires a leap of faith.
I've done the work. All I have to do now is ... JUMP.
Once I figure out exactly what that means, you'll be the first to know.