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May 30, 2010

Too Damn Busy

2dambusy This photo is a perfect example of why I make sure to carry a camera at all times. When I stumbled upon this license plate in the supermarket parking lot I was thrilled to be able to get a quick shot. I have a growing library of vanity license plates, but this one could be an all-time fave. 

I think it is safe to say the majority of people who passed this car in that lot had the same thought that I did, "Aren't we all?" After all it is late May, the time of year when transitions and celebrations collide and spontaneously combust. As moms, we wake up with to-do lists and a calendar of events that seem almost impossible to achieve. 

I started my personal blog. i could cry but i don't have time in reaction to the feeling of being '2DAMBUSY'. Working and raising children can pull a parent in every direction. But so much of this is self-imposed. None of us is half as indispensable as we imagine ourselves to be. The perception is almost the 'mom food' that we thrive on. We parent, organize, plan, strategize, work, play, drive, drive, drive... all with the same level of intensity. And always humming in the back of our heads is that mantra: 2DAMBUSY! 

We are sort of ridiculous, no? Is it that we tie our self-importance to the amount of things we can do in a day? Do we measure our worth in the tasks completed? And most important, do we remember to stay present? Ever? Or are we just checking off the boxes on that list like maniacs? 

I have thought about this a lot lately. After 21 years of custodial parenting my years of having children living at home are drawing to an end. Gone will be the days that I feel like I should be with my family when I am working and that I should be working when I am with my family. The mommy conflict will be removed. I will have two kids in college and my days will be my own to fill with what needs to get done. 

I do not worry about how I will fill my time. My work and passions can keep me busy all day long. The idea of not having to worry about the schedule of a family will be liberating. When asked what we will do when our kids are gone the answer has always been, "Whatever the hell we want!" But the dynamic will shift. And as much as we will enjoy our new found freedom and the chance to 'just be', somewhere in the back of our minds – or perhaps heavy in our hearts – will be that void that is left where the family once dwelled.

This past year I have tried very hard to stay present in the moments. Knowing that they were drawing to a close I no longer resented buying the cases of sports drinks and pounds of snack foods, running to soccer games and spreading myself thin to get it all done. Finally, I learned to enjoy even the insane days with the understanding that this is the definition of family life. Funny how we finally get what a life phase is all about as it is drawing to a close. 

Will I no longer be 2DAMBUSY?     I doubt it. I think it is a personality type. But maybe I have learned to take it all a little less seriously. There is no prize for doing too much and there are certainly rewards for learning how to stop and truly experience the moment.

And of course I will certainly enjoy the sweet chaos when they breeze back into the house for a few weeks.

Original 50-something Moms Blog post. Amy also blogs at i could cry but i don't have time and leaving the zip codeFollow her on twitter @amyz5

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