Friday, September 25, 2009

In which I'm a little deep for a Friday


Yesterday, I thought.

Do you know what I mean by the past tense of the infinitive "to think"?

1. to have a conscious mind, to some extent of reasoning, remembering experiences, making rational decisions, etc.
2. to employ one's mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation.

So yesterday I thought a lot, pondering my life. I have a good life. We just bought a house and My Man is starting his own business. Our finances are remarkably good. I have three beautiful boys that are kissable from head to toe. I have a Man who .... well, I'll keep this G-rated. I love him lots and lots. We're expecting our fourth child, keeping tight to our "plan" that will let us kick the kids out while we still have a few good years left. I'm blessed to have my Favoritest Calling Ever at church, and I get to enjoy it with My Man - even allowing us to sit together during sacrament. He's home a lot more now. We live in a beautiful area where the grocery stores have free baby-sitting. I'm exercising and feeling pretty darn good about myself.

Are you ready for the BUT?

Something's missing.

I've been ... PUTZY lately. Flittering around like a lost butterfly, unable to concentrate on one solitary flower. Nothing holds my interest. I'm distracted, unfocused. Daydreaming about nothing and just kind of empty.

I'm busy - oh, I'm busy. But ... I'm BORED.

I have lists and lists of things to do. I'm one of those people that always has several projects going at once. I like to pretend I'm crafty. I scrapbook, quilt, and right now I have a mosaic in the making. (That sounds a lot better than I really am.) There was a time that any one of those hobbies would thrill me. Did you know I used to wake up EARLY (we're talking like 5AM), just so I could scrapbook? Yeah - I was that excited about it.

And now, even though I have a staggering pile of developed photos and all these fun new pages and stickers to play with ... I'm all NAH.

So I'm thinking yesterday. Why have I lost interest in things I used to enjoy?

And then - WHOA! Isn't that one of the hallmarks of depression?!

(So is talking to yourself, but whatever.)

I spent at least a good fifteen minutes laying on the floor yesterday, trying to figure out if I'm depressed. It was an interesting examination. I squinched up my eyes and tried to feel through my body, to see if it was hiding anywhere. But, nope. No depression lumps. Phew.

I really think I'm just bored.

Talked with My Man until waytoolate o'clock last night, psychoanalyzing each other. Our conclusion?

THINGS HAVE CHANGED.

Not too many months ago, I was a bishop's wife with almost thirty very needy teenage girls to take care of. Lots of service. Lots of visiting and making meals and driving people to doctor's appointments and planning activities and making handouts and consoling the inconsolable. I felt needed. I was needed. I had purpose and drive and people who depended on me.

Now don't get me wrong - those readers who have been around a while know that I used to COMPLAIN YOUR BEJEEVERS OFF that I was too busy. I got overwhelmed. Tired. I had to plan breaks for myself. I would reserve one precious day a week to just pick blackberries and play in the pool. Those days were heaven on earth.

Now ... well ... we play in the pool every day. And ... every day is the same. And ... I'm bored.

Isn't it sad that repetition seems to decrease value?

Home Days were my favorite days when they were rare. Now, Home Days are slowly driving me insane.

And it's tough. Because my family IS my greatest treasure. And I'm supposed to be fulfilled just being a great mom, right? Right?

(But I'm feeling kind of full of empty calories.)

I need some filler. I need to be "anxiously engaged in a good cause." I need something to DO.

Last night My Man and I made a list of Things that Float our Boats. I was very pleased with our list. It was extensive. It was comprehensive. It was only slightly silly. But most of it really isn't in my season right now. (I don't think I'm QUITE ready to join the Peace Corps with three and a half kids in tow....) Because while I want to get involved in something, I also DON'T want to neglect my family.

It's like ... it's like ... like my husband and sons are my roses. The beauty. The color. The purpose in my life. But I need some pretty baby's breath and greenery to really complete the bouquet.

Okay, that was a really lame analogy, but you get the picture. Isn't it a nice picture?

And I don't even really know where I'm going with all this deepness. Only that I'm bored, I need a good cause, and I'm trying to find balance.

You know - same old, same old in the blogosphere.

31 comments:

Sarah said...

Hmm I dunno, my dear, it could also partly be that you ARE in fact, pregnant. I know, you're shocked! And pregnancy isn't exactly known for euphoria enducement, at least not until the kid is actually out. I'm sure you'll start 'nesting' soon, and then the Peace Corps will have to turn down your app on account of those three kids.
Seriously though, I've been feeling kinda bluesy bored lately too and I found one of the better solutions was to explore my new area. Find shops and parks and artsy corners to hide in, drive randomly through the town, you get what I'm sayin.
<3

Happy Mom said...

Wow, I'm often amazed at how you describe my own feeling!!! I too was recently out of my mind crazy busy with 25 young women dependent on me, a part-time job, and multiple kids underfoot.

But they're all in school now and I'm currently the primary chorister (which I LOVE, but it doesn't take much of my time).

I could now be the BEST Visiting Teacher on the planet, but....I'm not and I'm struggling to figure out why.

Thanks for the fodder for thought.

I love your blog!

gina said...

Sounds like when missionaries come home and don't know what to do with themselves! Good luck, I know you'll figure it out.

sshoemake said...

"I'm all NAH"....Lol, cracked me up!
I don't have any great ideas to offer you, because I've been stuck in the same situation for quite sometime, and I don't have 3 kids or a husband :(.....but anyhoo just wanted to say I love your blog.

gigi said...

Good luck and I was thinking the same thing, about the missionaries. Being sort of lost with out such a structured life. You'll figure it out, I have faith in you :)

DeNae said...

This is normal. And it's hard. And if you aren't careful, you WILL become depressed.

It's not like when you were a "new mom"; you've been doing this for a long while now. And you're still looking down a long-ish road of doing the same thing. No light at the end of that tunnel just yet, I'm afraid.

I don't have any solutions to offer, but I can offer a promise: This is temporary. And the really amazing thing is, when you've put aside your own interests to serve the Lord by being a mother to young children, He gives you back your talents and your interests when the time is appropriate.

I never thought I would be able to conduct a symphony and chorus after a 20 year parenting break. I was sure I had lost my edge.

But within a few weeks of starting, I was astonished at how it all came back to me.

Your time will come. Patience and "wholesome recreational activities" will pay dividends.

I promise.

Rachel Sue said...

Wow, I kind of feel unworthy to be posting after DeNae. Because I think that comment was directed at me. Because I know EXACTLY how you feel.

There are so many things that I want to do. Can I just hijack your box for a second? So, I decided to have a yard sale, pretty spur of the moment. Then I found out that my SIL has lost the insurance that covers their daughters psorisis medication, which, without insurance is about 1200 bucks a month. Crazy, I know. So then I decided, why not make it a bake/yard sale and raise some money to help out, right. Except that I discovered that it is impossible to bake a batch of cookies, a batch of brownies, 2 batches of rice krispie treats and 2 batches of cupcakes; get junk ready for a yard sale; make signs; AND care for 4 children.

And I'm annoyed at myself for not being able to do it all. Because I really, really want to. Because as much as I love building blocks, the whole yard sale thing sounds funner.

Okay, I think I'm done now. But, I really get what you are saying.

Lara said...

Oh man, I know how you feel I just haven't been feelinga ton of enjoyment from the hobbies I usually really enjoy. Even blogging. :) I'm not sure why, but I'm sure it will blow over. At least, I hope it will.

And I hope it will for you, too. I think service is a huge key, and maybe I don't feel needed enough yet? Being in a new place and all. We'll see.

And did you have to go and remind me about Basha's? I think they're the only place on earth that does the babysitting thing for grocery shopping. They are BRILLIANT.

Megan said...

Has it been 6 weeks since the move?

Hel said...

We have moved four times in a little over two years and I will tell you that every time without fail, once all the excitement has died down and I am back to what my life will resemble for a long time to come, I get that same exact feeling. (boy that was a long sentence).

And I agree with DeNae - if you don't do something about it, you WILL slowly make your way down the rocky path of depression.

This time around I have MADE myself busy. I have taken it upon myself to take my husband to work every day. This ensures that I start the day.

p.s. Home days drive EVERYONE insane if it is every day. I had a "me" day the other day and made Isabel just come along for the ride (a small triumph).

Not sure if any of my ramblings will make you feel better, but it was nice to recognise that other people feel the same way as I do.

Kim Loudon said...

I GET YOU. I LOVE that your hubby will sit and analyze these things with you. I never have anyone to psycho-analyze with...partly why I CAN'T WAIT for you to come for a visit!\"/ I need my LONG awaited dose of THAT GIRL!

txmommy said...

hhhmmm, so well put, and I loved all the comments. You will find something:)

Mommadj5 said...

I love your comment on how being a great mom is supposed to be fulfilling. Welcome to the world of motherhood (not that you haven't already been there - but you know what I mean....)You have hit the nail on the head my dear, this is one of the greatest challenges of full-time moms - fighting the boredom, the SAMENESS and trying not to feel guilty about being "bored". We love our families, right? Why isn't that "enough"? Yeah, yeah, you will have a season when the kids are "grown" and you can find fulfilling work using that degree, but in the meantime....this is why Heavenly Father gave us GIRLFRIENDS!!! Seriously - plan something with them - girls night out - at least once a month - this is minimum - maybe weekly if you can - doing fun stuff and service stuff. Organize something in your community - whatever. You'll be surprised how it will help! DaNae is right - this is normal and can lead to depression if one isn't careful. Why in the world do you think I do community theatre?? :-)

Mommadj5 said...

I forgot to say, in the midst of all this angst and thought provoking-ness - you still make me laugh. I love that about you!!! Miss you bunches....

wonder woman said...

Girl, I feel ya.

I've been on the overwhelmed side of late, but still bored and putzy.

Superman was out of town this entire week, and I decided to do something about it. I knew I'd go CRAZY sitting around all week, so I made plans for the week. Had a girl's night or two, which forced me to tidy the house. Went to museums and park and lunch with friends.......it was fantastic. One of the best weeks I've had in a long time, to be honest. Except for the missing Superman part. But I was almost too busy to miss him!

Half of me wants to tell you to pick a small project and go to town. The other half of me is saying that in 6 months your life is gonna get a little crazy again and you should just enjoy this down time. All of me is telling me that YOU know what you need, and you'll do what you need to do.

Kazzy said...

I know what you mean. And I think it is deeper than just hobbies or keeping busy. You probably are starting to wonder about your own development as a person. I think it is so normal.

A few years ago, after being home with my kids for 18 years, I decided to go back to teaching just to make some extra dough for my freshman-at-BYU son. It turned out to be fulfilling for me beyond what I might have guessed.

You just never know what is bubbling up in your heart and mind until you let the spirit tell you.

Good luck, and stop thinking so much! :)

JustRandi said...

I totally get you.

Well, I mean, after I got my head around the whole "grocery stores with free babysitting" thing. Because ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Anyway...
I think these phases come and go in our lives. I'm in one now, too, after just being released as YWP and my kids all going back to school.
The best remedy I've learned is to serve someone. It sounds trite, but it works for me.

Now if I'd just get on that...

Brittany Ann said...

I often feel this way, and I completely understand. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a slump and I can't get out...blah. Good luck! And if it helps, I think you're amazing!

Melanie J said...

I think DeNae nailed it. And I think I always feel exactly like this after major moves. They put me in a bit of a funk every time. It's like you put the last unpacked piece of whatever in it's place, and you've been so busy doing that, and then it's done and you sit back and say, "What now?" I think it's great that you talked it over with your husband like that. It's awesome having a friend all the time.

Julie said...

Boy oh boy do I get the whole "I used to look forward to home days" bit. Now every day is a home day. Sometimes I miss having a job just because it's kind of like ... I don't know ... time off.

Weird, huh?

Love you oodles of poodles. Get unbored. Have fun. Play with HSM stickers. (STICKERS!)

Erin said...

I don't have anything cool to say, like the others, but I wanted to leave you a comment to let you know that I feel this way very frequently, and that it often includes talking with my husband (while I cry, truthfully).

We'll figure it out, you and me, eventually. Soon!

Kathy @ Real Mom, Real Life said...

One word: PTO
(or is that really three words smooshed into a psuedoword?)

Anyway, once you sign up -- there is no turning back... they getcha and keep ya. Then you don't have time for boredome.

Oh, and for the record... I would officially challenge your boredome. Instead of being bored, I think you are just being... well, pregnant. Kinda runs with the territory.

Hang in there. Love you!!! And totally love your literary genius!

Kathy @ Real Mom, Real Life said...

OK -- I don't know why I spelled boredom "boredome" -- I am completely embarassed since some super smart people write and read this blog... I will hang my head in shame and slink away now. Thank you.

Heather of the EO said...

UH HUH. Totally get it. Totally. It feels good to be gotten.

janel said...

I spend all my free (and not so free) time as a pregnant woman sneaking in naps. Definitely not thinking about higher things.
Sounds like a bit of culture shock...where the world/ward doesn't have immediate needs that require 95% of your time. It's hard to go from being needed to not so much.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

This is just one small, and admittedly maybe stupid suggestion: When I felt like my schedule was getting into a funk, I had a planning session (much like what you and your hubby did) where I decided what some of my goals were and then figured out ways to work them into my weekly schedule. (The schedule is just a guide; I don't freak if I do different stuff.) Anyway, I built in for example, a service day, where me and my kids do something nice for someone else. Sometimes it's as simple as baking cookies and taking them to someone's house, sometimes we buy flowers and drop them off at someone's work, collect toys and take them to a shelter, etc. Anyway, it helps you feel "useful", teaches the kids a good habit, and gets you OUT of the house. Don't know if that idea would be adaptable or useful to what you're feeling, but thought I'd throw it out there just in case.

Stepper the Mighty said...

I'm feeling like after reading your very well-phrased post and all these women's comments - it's pretty darn good to know that this is normal, and common, and temporary (thanks, DeNae!).

But it still stinks, 'cause it's really confusing.

Ruts scare me.

I love that you and hub made a Floaty Boat list. Great idea. So great an idea. May steal this very great idea.

Also - did I miss it in previous posties? What is your new calling that is your favoritest ever?

Oh, AND - you know, maybe women are like lamps. We're very bright and pretty and come in all shapes and sizes...but sometimes we get turned off. Cool down. Then we get switched on again and all is illuminated.

Thanks, That Girl for this post. And everyone else for the comments. I learned.

Kimberly said...

Oh I get this. I so get this. I went through a period of time when I was transitioning from having been needed, deperately and constantly so, to just being...a wife. And while Neil needed me and there were joys to be found in my new life and in serving him, it was so different...so other. It wasn't that my life as it was was so horrible and depressing, it was the difference...the change. It took time to adjust, and the time in between was rough. I wish I'd recognized what was going on so I could've done something about it. Instead I just moped for a year or so (okay, maybe a lot longer than that...ahem...).

I love that you've identified what's going. Wherever this depth takes you, you seem to be well on your way!

Harmony said...

Well, mywonderfulfriend, you know I'm no good at advice. Besides saying I love the heck out of you, I have only one thing to say:

I love the butt picture.

Janelle said...

Hi,

My name is Janelle and I am an administrator at mormonwoman.org. I tried to email you at your watoozi email account, but maybe I spelled it wrong. I would love to talk to you. Could you email me at mormonwoman(at)gmail(dot)com?

Thanks,

Janelle

Becca said...

I totally agree with the bored thing. Well, I used to. Now I have 3 callings and early nesting keeping me in gear. Maybe its just late spring cleaning. Oh no wait, its "my toddler knows how to strip and poo in the corner, then step in it and run all over the carpets." yep less boredom. I don't know if its always more fulfilling though.