Too short of a life for all of it

I have so many things I want to do. I've become curious, eager to learn, and filled with desire to try new things. For much of my life, I was in school. You know the place, where you are supposed to be learning the whole time you are there, day after day, year after year. But alas, I had no desire to learn then. You see, I took it for granted. Education had always been there and I didn't realize what a blessing it was. My parents are both teachers and I think the attitude of learning was always around me, but I did not enjoy it. I was taught to set and attain goals and I did that well (consider that goal met). I spent all of those years hunting down the next A on a test and squeezing in as much as I could to be the most successful. And I was. I had great report cards to show for it and a very high GPA. 

Then, the period of formal education in my life ended. I joined the real world, where I continued my job that I had obtained in college. I quickly learned about as much as I could learn there because, of course, that drive to master whatever was in front of me was still alive and present. Suddenly, I was bored out of my mind. I don't blame my employer though. I just didn't know how to function without having goal upon goal thrust in front of me. 

I started searching for new goals, new things to master and move on from. Part of the problem was my mind frame. I mean, what is the point of doing something new if your goal is to move on to the next thing? I didn't get hardly any satisfaction from doing the new activity. I just wanted to check it off the list, done and done. I soon found myself analyzing my life. What was I to do now that I wasn't in school? All of that time spent learning did not lead me to a life time joy. I never figured out what to do with my life. 

What hobbies did I pick up, you ask? In no particular order, I dabbled with cooking (something I had very little skill with and had not spent hardly any time on before), working out (on and off, it never stuck), reading (so much reading!), parenting (not so much a hobby, as something for me to become, learn about, and of course do), crocheting, blogging, gardening, DIY crafting, organizing, piano (for fun, not for school or my mom as had been the motivation for most of my life), sewing, watching movies (what, not a hobby? but can definitely take time...), decorating cupcakes, eating healthy (obsessively becoming a vegetarian, or following a paleo diet, or eating only whole foods) and other less significant things. 

You see, I still have a need to learn. What I was forced to do in my youth has become something I want to do. I think that we all have a desire to learn, but how we learn between person to person is different. I'll always need to learn something. But now I enjoy learning new things. I'm so grateful that I actually want to keep learning.

My husband learns from doing. That is so foreign to me, as I just struggle not understanding what I am doing first. He starts out, not afraid of failure like his timid yet determined wife, analyzes what he sees and digs right in. I, on the other hand, like to know exactly what is going to happen before I do it. I research by reading as much as I can about it or listening to someone who can explain it thoroughly and then dig in once I'm sure I understand it

It's just the way I like to learn. 

All of that to say, I'm struggling right now with all of these learning desires in my life. I've been warned to not lose myself in parenting. Sarah is a person too, and it's no good to myself or my children to only live for them. I have no desire to make my children into gods that I worship only to have them look down on me later for not being my own person. Yet I'm also told to love them as much as I can, help them learn, guide them the best people I can help them to be. It's conflicting, can't you see? How can I do both? 

The obvious of course is that I can pray about it. Pray without ceasing, something I'm better at in theory than in practice. Practically, how do I do that? 

Of all of the hobbies I have picked up, I few stand out now that I have a huge desire to continue.

Reading. I can read such a huge variety of material, stories, books, blogs, etc and not feel like I'm learning enough. Yet that realization that I can learn about just about anything through reading keeps me trying to keep up with my  never ending and always growing reading list. There is just so much out there I want to read.

Running/Strength training. Part of this is that I want to be healthy. I'm tired of focusing on food and have been considering my future with this struggle and what I am going to do. More on that in another post. One thing I know is that I enjoy running (when I'm physically able to do it of course, thankyouverymuch stress fracture).

Piano/music. I have a huge love for playing piano. Lately, I've realized that I kind of like composing music as well. It's completely foreign to me, yet I kind of get giddy when I think about doing it. I have the tools to do it, now it is just a matter of giving myself time to do it. The thing with composition is that it takes quantity as well as quality to truly grow. 

Writing. I knew growing up that I was decent at writing. Particularly, the grammar part of it was no problem. I got stuck in a world of liberal teaching and encouragement and it turned me away from it. Not because I was close minded or not willing to expand my views, but because it was stuffed in my face in a "no tolerance for anything else" kind of way and it made me sick. I had no idea that I could write about what I loved or felt in my heart without being corrected for being "wrong." It makes me sad to look back on my years of education and see that pattern and path I couldn't get off. What could have been had I been influenced differently? Regardless, I've learned how truly therapeutic writing can be and the more I do it, the more I want to do it. I also believe that my personal writing style only improves over time and again, quantity is necessary just as much as quality. It won't all be good, but it will get better.

Cooking/Baking. As the main cook in the family, I will always be trying to improve this area of my life. I enjoy it and have to do it so I might as well continue striving to be better.

Organizing. I get so much joy from managing a house that is organized. It takes time, though, and sometimes that time can be better spent. I have to learn how to juggle this so that I'm not just wasting time moving things around, reading how others do it, and staring at my closets/drawers/shelves to figure a new system out.

History. My trip to Europe while in college opened up a whole world to me of the past lives lived. You know that class we take in school called History? Well it turns out, I should have loved it. I just didn't, because my head was foggy with the wrong understanding of why we learn. Now, though, I cannot get enough of it. Real life (picture field trips, adult style), reading anything I can get my hands on, and listening to various forms of speakers keeps me wanting more more more. It used to just be Eastern European history, then slowly Western European, and now (gasp) even American history has become interesting. Then, just the other day, I heard something about Latin American history and I knew that at some point I'd become obsessed with that too. This world is so fascinating.

Then of course, there are things I have not yet learned, but want to learn. I would love to get a nice camera and take decent pictures. I'm not as interested in mastering photography (yes, you heard that right! Sarah, the super perfectionist, isn't wanting to master it? There is growth happening over here, at least a little). I would just like to get a little better and have a higher quality starting point (since my phone camera is pretty much the bottom when it comes to quality).

How do I do this all? I'm still working on that. Part of my problem is that I feel guilty when I do take time to do my hobbies. Again, there are whispers (lies) that I hear in my own head and from around me that say that I am being selfish, putting myself ahead of my children when they need me and I should be enjoying them. Of course I should be enjoying them but isn't it possible that maybe I can do both? Isn't it possible that they will see me doing these things and maybe, just maybe, want to join me? Want to learn for fun and not just because they have to? 

And of course, the whole purpose of my life is to praise God, glorify Him in what I do, and not become self obsessed and focused on sin more than Him. 

So that is where my heart is at right now. I haven't figured it out. I'm likely to come back to this on the little old blog. But as I said before, writing is therapeutic. I can process things better when I write it out. Hearing from you helps too. Hearing ideas, encouragement, suggestions, kind words, all of those things are a perk to writing publicly. Bear with me as I figure out how to live this life I'm given in a way that doesn't always have me pulling my hair out, sitting complacently in front of a TV, or crying on the bathroom floor (figuratively speaking, this doesn't actually happen. Usually it's on the couch or in the shower). 

It is possible, I hope.

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1 comment:

  1. fascinating, well-written, so many interests and yes, so important to be more than just a mom. I wonder what skills God is strengthening in you for the future. . .it's an interesting thought. I actually think you are like your dad in this way, really needed a challenge and wasn't fulfilled unless learning something, but also didn't quite recognize that in himself.