Chasing Contentment

Monday, April 25

I signed up for an online writing focus group at Artella, and I have got these thought-provoking questions I am supposed to be journaling. That they are about motherhood seems appropriate as Eliza is sick, and I'm torn between where I need to be tomorrow.

Anyhoo... in this first exercise, I'm to describe what my idea life choices would be if I had no financial worries and I had to choose now for an entire year. I would work part-time because I thrive on both having a job and doing it well and on interacting with other adults. I enjoy the task-oriented nature of working, the ability to have something tangible finished at the end of the day. I enjoy going to lunches with co-worker and friends. I enjoy having an hour to myself to run errands or whatnot. So I'd work part-time, but I'd get off in time to pick Griff up from school each day.

Of the things I miss now by working, it is picking him up after school and hearing about his day in that immediate way. As much as homework drives us both nuts, I love those days when I'm home and we do it early, together. So, in my ideal world, he would not need after care.

But Eliza would continue going to daycare for the part of the day that I'm gone. I know that she gets so much mental and social stimulation from being there that I would want her to continue having that.

I've come to realize that it doesn't so much matter to me what I do for a living. I used to think that my dream was to write, and while I would love a job working with words - whether writing or editing or reading - I can also be content with that as a hobby rather than as a vocation. What matters to me is that I have task-oriented things to do, that I am able to interact with others, and that I am able to do something well. And so, for me, I cannot envision an ideal job, other than maybe the one I have now with less uncertainty and fewer hours per week.

As for my free time, in my ideal world, I'd have an extra childcare provider for one afternoon each month to give me time to shop or get my hair done or have massage. I'd have a monthly Chel day. I suppose my free time other than that would be spent much like it is now. I'd spend time with my family and friends. I'd read. I'd bead. I'd take bubble baths. In my ideal world, Mike is finished with his dissertation and spending his free time with me. That would be ideal!

Look at that! So much of what my ideal world would be is already integrated into my life. What I want out of this life is to benefit those around me, to be what my God would have me be, to laugh and cry and love. My goals are for me and Mike to end up very old and very happy together; to rear two loving, gentle, kind, Christian children; and to be continually working to make myself just a tiny bit better.

I think that doing things like this... participating in this focus group, submitting the article to TCW, trying new things like the beading... are ways that I can keep working to open my mind and my heart. I want my children to see me being willing to take risks - small ones though they may be - so that they, too, might find joy in changing, in becoming more.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, April 25, 2005  ]


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