I have a note on my phone labeled “for talking,” a collection of all the stuff I would like to hash out with my husband but can’t even remember over the dinner table, where John flings macaroni onto his head and our daughters inquire about plant reproduction and the political history of New England. So this note gets pulled out on date nights, when we are holding cocktails instead of sippy cups. And it has also become a repository for Stuff Maybe I Should Write About, Or Just Tell Somebody About Because It’s Kind of Interesting.
One nice thing about being so flippin’ busy with motherhood? I have precious little time for guilt-trips about writing. I never blog, yet the world spins. My children grow– sometimes like weeds, sometimes like shyly blooming flowers. Friendships sprout in funny, unexpected, gracious ways. The long-haul investments that I’m making slowly accrue. And I realized last year, amid a panic over losing myself because of motherhood, that I’ve too narrowly defined my identity according to certain things I’ve accomplished– long in the past– and then I’ve believed I need to maintain those exact things in order to be THE TRUE AND BEST ME. So I had firmly framed myself as Writer Girl or Book Lady, and then trembled when changing circumstances threatened those traits. But those changed circumstances actually offered me new opportunities! To teach, to create beauty in my garden and house, to pull people together through persistent and honest hospitality. These are all such good things. I was simply afraid to latch onto them and to admit that I’d drifted from my old lynchpins of identity.
(Hello, I am a risk-averse houseplant who loves safety nets and well-worn grooves.)
Sometimes bold faith means leaning stubbornly in towards a talent or interest that you have. And sometimes it means smiling peacefully as that talent appears to collect a bit of dust.
Though I think I’ll blow the dust off now and again.