Saturday was my birthday. 35 years old. Yikes.
Honestly, it was/is a tough birthday. Yes, I feel very old, but there's something more, something else that has slowly been creeping up on me and throwing me off my groove.
As many loved ones reminded me this weekend, I do have a very full life, a great life. A loving husband, two adorable and amazing little boys, a home of our own, a second career, an opportunity to further my education, a strong church family, a firm testimony of my Savior. My life is good. But still, sometimes it feels like something is missing.
I am proud to be a wife, honored to be a mother, and grateful to be a teacher, among other titles and responsibilities. There are times, though, that I wonder what or who I am without those things. When I'm not cleaning, organizing, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, running errands, paying bills, playing with the boys, preparing food, getting kids ready for bed, working on the computer until all hours of the night...what am I doing? Or rather, what would I be doing?
For lack of a better term, I feel like I haven't found my "passion" yet, something that is just my own, that I do just for myself. A skill, a hobby, a talent, a "thing" that I can develop and grow into and find joy in (separate from the joy from my children, husband, etc.). There are a few things that I do now that could fit this description, but taking a baby and a toddler to the gym in order to exercise is sometimes more work than it's worth, my time available to read is limited to about 5 minute breaks in between tantrums and building cushion forts, and I don't think writing a blog post once every six months constitutes as a hobby.
Maybe this is just a matter of acknowledging and accepting the stage of life I'm in. Marriage and motherhood didn't come in my 20s like it did for many of my good friends. A small part of me sees these great mothers, with more (and older) children, who seem to have established routines and hobbies and passions, and I think, "I should be like that, too." A bigger part of me recognizes that this is a ridiculous thought, and that "comparison is the thief of joy," and you can't judge someone's life based on social media, yadda, yadda, yadda. But just because you know something isn't good for you, that doesn't mean that you don't still indulge from time to time (sugar, anyone?).
I am not very good at reminding myself that my children are still very young, therefore very dependent on me, which is actually a pretty great stage of life to be in, no matter your physical age, because I'm told there will come a time when they won't welcome the hugs and kisses and smotherly love as much as they do now.
(I'm guessing this feeling isn't exclusive to 35-year-old mothers of young children. Can I get an "Amen," anyone?)
This is probably sounding much more existential and depressing than I mean for it to be. Like I said, I have a wonderful life; I would not trade places with anyone. My purpose in articulating this is more for myself - to process my thoughts and come to the conclusion that my loved ones are right. My life is very full. Overflowing, even
I guess nothing is really missing; rather, I just haven't found it yet. I haven't found my "thing." I don't know if this will be my year to find it, but I'm sure I'll have fun trying.
And I've got time. Plus, what I've found so far in life is pretty darn great.