When I was 22, fresh out of College, I had BIG plans. I was getting married the same summer, my husband was pursuing a masters degree, and I was ready to work for a bit and then tackle the wonderful wild life of motherhood. My parents would live forever and all would be well. I had it all worked out, right?? I was seriously delusional.
Things took a big detour right away. I’m a planner. I have a planner that I carry with me everywhere I go. I love colored pens. I may seriously have issues, but that is not the point. I’m so much of a planner, that I plan menus, grocery lists, workouts, my daughter’s sitter schedule, our vacations and on and on on…
Despite all my planning, the detours of life came. We all have them. The detours. Some are small. Some are big. Some are temporary. Some are permanent. Despite the detours, I have a happy heart. I have a happy life. I have been blessed with so much. As you are aware, I feel lacking in the motherhood department. When I get those hugs and kisses everyday I do know that I am first class in her eyes. I may never feel like a first class mommy working outside the home or sending my kid to public school, or declaring my one-child status to others, but this is part of the plan that I do not understand nor could I ever had planned it. I just deal with it the best I know how. That is the biggest detour in my life, trying to figure out my place in the world of motherhood.
For a while I’ve been praying for refocus. I didn’t really know what to pray for. I just was praying that I get over this hump and I would feel at peace. I didn’t know what I needed exactly. I just knew I needed to focus on something else besides my inability to procreate. I focused on Mallie a lot. I focused on the time we spend together. Is it meaningful? Will she realize Mommy did not go to work in vain? I focused on my marriage. I focused on future goals. I focused on work. I focused on hard things. Complicated things. The nitty gritty stuff that I never understood. I created new lists and plans! Part of those plans, included reconnecting with people. I found that we had more in common than not. I found that my black and white world, was beginning to turn grayer and grayer. I realized that the gray usually happens to people during their own personal detours. I was in the gray myself.
In July, I hiked all day in attempt to refocus. I walked with two of my family members who happened to be ministers. They should have had a direct dial in for answers, right? No direct answer came. I had planned this day, remember? I mean it was marked in my planner in Purple. Purple= FUN DAY! In the back of my mind, this was the day for the final answers. I was so wrong. Dead silence filled my mind and thoughts.
I realized then receiving a refocus, even when I tried to control the environment, was out of my absolute control. My mom would tell me to jump up, move on, and get back to work. A friend of mine has been saying “Let’s Roll” for over a decade, so I rolled. ( Not literally, okay sorta literally, but that would have been really funny, right? ) So I did just that. I put myself out there, in a very very vulnerable way. You do realize that attempting downward dog, planks, and being really sweaty three to four days a week when you are as fat as me, creates an atmosphere where you must make small talk with random and complete strangers. I did roll some- LOL!! Talk about out of your comfort zone!! I’ve met some AMAZING friends in that sweaty environment. Forever Friends.
I found that searching for my answer was hard to find in places where I use to find peace and solace. I found that the peace and comfort came from talking and helping people who were in different stages and from different social backgrounds then myself. I found peace in random service with random people at random times. Like talking to the frazzled mom in the line at the grocery store, whose toddler was begging for the goldfish. Or the lady at the gas station who rings up my Diet Coke. I put my cell phone down and I smiled at her. I got a sincere smile back. Now, I know her name and her children’s names. They are trying to make it here in small town USA. What did she need? I do not know, but in November she needed to know that I didn’t hate her and I wanted her here.
I found myself immersed in random problems and honestly “putting myself in others shoes”. What if I were homeless and was seeking physical shelter? How would I feel being fed by a church group who probably has have never struggled the way I do? What if I had lost a sibling to alcoholism? What if my parents never displayed love to me? What if my husband was verbally abusive to me? What if I had everything money could buy, but I felt lonely? What if I had been raped at 14? What if I longed for a same sex marriage, but had to cover up my feelings due to indifference in my family? To be fair, I’ve placed myself in these shoes before. However, this time, it just was starting to feel different.
My refocus became all the randomness in my day. To the mom who was certain her child had failed, I let her cry. To the young girl facing an unplanned pregnancy, I gave possible resources without judgment. To the elderly woman who lost her husband, I listened. To the friend who felt betrayed and rejected I helped them find some sort of closure. To family, I planned family dinners and special surprises. Instead of dropping of a bucket of fried chicken at someone’s home at a time of death, I called and asked what they actually needed. To the friend who was trying to find her way after a divorce, I actually listened to her sorrow. Through most of these encounters I learned that people are strong. People are breakable, but the detours make people strong. The detour is where we pull ourselves back up again and become stronger. I aspire to be as strong.
Last month a different type of detour knocked on my door. Reluctantly, I went for it. Why not? What was stopping me? My crazy vision from when I was 22? At 22, I didn’t know what 32 would be like. At 22, I never saw myself capable of cracking this type of door open. I pray that I’ve made the correct choice. I don’t know the reasoning yet, but I do know that God is listening and knows what I need. He knows before I even know.
I do not doubt God’s love for me. I doubt his timing, but I do not doubt his love. In the world we live in, we want everything in a split second. We want it now. God’s love is everlasting and his answers are what are best. He is not a now God, he is a “this is what is best for you right now” God. He is a trust me, I love you so much God.
I could never have planned my beautiful life even as much as I have attempted to. God’s timing is his timing. His timing has been beautiful in every aspect thus far. I fail every time I question it, but his love is forgiving and real. He knows my heart. He knows my heart is happy. He knows I don’t understand, but I keep rolling with the detours.
However, this does not mean, I’m throwing away my “Plan a Happy Life”planner or discarding my colored pens. This just means, I’m rolling as I refocus a bit. Literally and figuratively. But maybe I won’t roll during Yoga, that’s pretty dangerous. Maybe a few more sessions and I won’t actually be round enough to roll…. 😉
P.S. Sorry for the ramble! I told you these are rambles!