Well, here I am again.
I sat in this same cafe last Sunday morning, at the urging of The Barbarian, to get in some much-needed me time, while he wrangled and spent some much-needed daddy time with the wee folk. And it was here last Sunday that I firmly decided--and even took the next step of announcing--that I was breaking up with Facebook. The announcement was met with a range of reactions, from admiration to understanding to sadness and even a bit of distress. But here I sit, having officially deactivated my account on Friday, and while I am still adjusting and do miss the ease of checking up on those dear to me, I am very, very happy with my decision.
One day perhaps I'll go into detail about why I left, as that's the first thing everyone has wanted to know. The reasons are many and varied and quite personal in some respects, though, and while I am a pretty open person, I'm not ready to shed light on all of that at the moment. But there definitely seems to be a trend within some circles of taking longer and longer breaks from actively using Facebook, and several friends recently have made the decision to stop using it altogether. And with every new disengagement from the host, I was impressed--and envious. Taking that step felt really, really right for me at this point in my life, and as I can tend to be fickle about decision-making, it seemed important to listen to that.
What I am ready to do is to write. Writing has always been a constant in my life, for as long as I can remember. I thoroughly enjoy it, I find it immensely satisfying, and I have received perhaps the most strikingly generous compliments ever in my life about my writing. And at this point, I need something in my life that isn't connected to my roles as a wife and mama and keeper of the home. I desire something to engage in that satisfies needs other than caring and providing for others. Because those are absolute needs of mine. I am a nurturer by nature. When I did work, I was a professional nurturer in many respects. It's a major part of my being and self-identity. And I like that. A lot.
But my extremely wise sister-in-law said something the other day that I know intuitively to be true, and it really hit home for me as I find myself in a position of wondering something about my life at present--what else? What else do I need? What else do I want? What else do I want to engage in that isn't wrangling adorable barnacles all day? What is something that defines and satisfies me outside of the purview of my home and family? For what she said--and she apologized a bit beforehand, as she described a choice I've made--is that women who focus solely on raising their children and being keepers of the home often find themselves at a loss once that portion of their life is over. They sometimes can't let go of mothering their children once they're beyond a point where active and intruding mothering is appropriate or welcomed. They don't know what else to do with themselves, as their entire identity has been wrapped up in facilitating the growth and maturation of their children. And it can be an extremely difficult transition for some and even pave the way for unhealthy and non-beneficial behaviours, feelings, and habits. Clearly reaching a stage where your children are grown and don't need you as much is a difficult time for every mother. But there is definitely an added element for those who have lost themselves a bit in the journey.
And what else do I have but writing? My career, which I won't be returning to, was childcare. And while many have assumed that I would be interested in opening an in-home daycare, I have zero desire for that. Zero. I put a lot of myself into helping to raise other's wee folk, and now that I have my own, I just don't have the energy to offer additional children (or the desire to do so even if I did, for that matter). Childcare is just not something I can half-ass, and my own children take a lot out of me. It's worth it, of course. But the way we parent is intense. INTENSE.
I also never finished my degree or sought out the career of teaching that I always imagined I would undertake. And I honestly also have zero desire to go back to school. My thoughts and feelings on school in general, and college/university in particular, is a post for another time perhaps. Suffice it to say, I just don't fit the mould. And jumping through the bureaucratic hoops just for the sake of a piece of paper and often misplaced pretense of prestige is just not on my agenda at this point.
But writing? I like writing. All kinds of writing. I could write every day. (That's a modified childhood quote of The Barbarian's, by the way. The original concerned fish, if you're curious.) And not only do I want to blog as a way to fulfill that activity and outlet of choice, I'm stoked to start working on my other writing projects again as well. I have always been a writer of stories, most unfinished in notebooks that have been, sadly, lost over the years (I'm bad at keeping stuff--I take purging to the extreme). And apparently I was a wildly entertaining teller of bizarre stories as a child as well, at least according to my cousins. Many have lamented over the fact none of those were ever written down. I'm not sure where my thoughts on the matter stand, however, remembering the overall theme. I was a weird kid. But I currently have two ideas/projects I'm working on here and there. I have grand plans, of course, but we shall see. The idea is the easy part, after all.
So. The Barbarian is insisting that I plan to take a couple hours to myself a few times a week going forward to get out of the house and do whatever it is I would like to do. He's pretty damn awesome that way. And I think what I'd like to do is write. I'm liking these Sunday morning me sessions, and the prospect of adding even more every week is downright exciting.
So there you have it. Things are changing for us in lots of ways right now (more on that soon), and we're embarking on what feels like the next stage of our life as a family. It'll look a lot different than it has since the wee folk arrived, but I think the changes will benefit us all in the end and bring about new growth and further connection and ultimately, hopefully, lots of happiness.
Because seriously--how are you gonna go wrong with happiness?