Saturday, April 01, 2006

Where I Am

I am starting this blog in an attempt to reinvigorate the journaling that I know can be benifical to the inner workings of my mind. I used to try to journal when I sunk into bed at night, but these days I am so exhausted that the last thing I can do at that point is write an eloquent transcription of my days and my thoughts. Logging in this blog seeems like a much easier way to plug in when I find a minute here and there. SO. Here is where I am.

I am a full-time Stay at Home Mom and a part-time Non-Profit Director. My children are an amazing boy who is 4, and a spunky little girl who will be 3 in June. They are my "pride and joy". Cliche? Yes, but it's become a cliche for a reason as it is quite appropriate to describe these parental feelings. My children's Dad, my husband, works full-time to allow us to lead this totally blessed lifestyle. Not only does he win (and make) our bread, but he is kind enough to recognize and acknowledge so much of what I do. He makes a real effort to be the best father/husband/him that he can be. I am incredibly grateful for him. Most of my work with the non-profit is done from home. Another blessing. My job was initially something I stumbled across browsing the on-line classified of the small local paper a few months after we moved to our current home. I wasn't looking for a job, but a flexible, part-time Assistant Director position at a non-profit sounded so ideal that I couldn't resist applying. I was thrilled to get the position, and after a year I took over as Program Director.

Our house is plugged into a subdivision in a rural Wisconsin 'village'. It may sound quaint, but quaint is not what comes to mind when you look out the back door and see the interstate on the other side of our back fence. While this house is a far cry from the farmette that is our ideal, it is a good stepping stone while we prepare for the "Someday" stage of our lives. We have done our best to make the house as eco-friendly as possible. We use organic, low maintenance lawn care, which is especially minimal since the majority of our yard is filled with perennial gardens. My husband has taken up organic gardening and has turned the yard into an exercise in permaculture. His passion for it is truly inspiring.

Now for the deeper stuff. I spent much of my early adult life as most all of us do, trying to "find myself". Looking back, I believe that the reason so many young adults have myriad problems is that focus on "finding" themselves. Some may turn to drugs or alcohol, whether to "liberate" their minds, or to fit in. Others may join clubs or religions to try to find a place where they fit in. Still others search in vain for this secretly hidden "self" only to find deep despair when it doesn't seem to manifest itself. The labels we choose can become so dangerous to us as well, as we try to force our selves into the boxes we've chosen. It's difficult for someone who is "Depressed" to expect happiness. Our culture makes reference after reference to "finding" yourself, but what we should be doing as adolescents and young adults is creating ourselves. We should explore different music, fashion, religion, art, style, diet, philosophy, without the expectation of finding the plug that we fit into or latch onto. We should instead be encouraged to absorb the aspects of all of these things which appeal to us, and to practice them. It is those explorations, and the aspects that we pull and practice, which truly create who we are. So while I believe that we certainly must all explore and find the things that we love~that sing to us and that we want to incporate into our lives, it should be a goal of creation, a journey of design that never ends.

I feel that I am finally at a peaceful place in my life because I have turned to creation instead of searching. Instead of asking "Am I a Catholic? A Buddhist? A Taoist?" I've found Unitarian Universalism, which doesn't require me to define anything more than my basic moral principles, which I believe should be the foundation of any spirituality. Instead of asking "Am I a Vegetarian? An Omnivore? An Organic Consumer" I choose a lifestyle which is mostly Vegetarian, and mostly Organic, and stop worrying about adhering to the boundaries of one label or another. After 10 years of telling myself that I am a skinny person, so I can just wait around for my 20 extra pounds to melt away of their own accord, I have taken responsibility for my eating and exercise habits and lost 1/2 of my extra weight in the past two months. I'm learning that I can do whatever, and be wh0ever I make myself.

For now, I see myself as a hip eco-mama, living a sustainable lifestyle and working to teach my children the values of respect and stewardship. And I'm so happy with who and where I am.

1 comment:

Beo said...

Congrats eco mama! As one who is sharing the journey of creation with you I look forward to helping you stoke the flame of your next tomorrow.