Finding Freedom in the Doing

We all have cycles in life where things are suckier than we would like them to be.  During these times it is easy to wax poetic about all the things we would do if only our lives weren’t so sucky right now; if we had time, the money, a better job, if we lost 20 pounds…insert your favorite go to crutch here.  The challenge though, when we actually get that time, money, job, etc is whether or not we will actually do those things we professed to want to do.  Were circumstances truly preventing us from the opportunity or were we just full of shit in terms of what we really want and how we want to present ourselves to the world?  Follow me here…it’s much easier and more socially acceptable to say, “Of course I would exercise and eat right if I didn’t have this job right now, who wouldn’t”, than to say, “I would really love to spend days reading on my couch and I have an insatiable affinity for carne asada burritos!”

A few of the things I wished for over the last year, if I only had the chance…

  • Sleep a full 8 hours during normal night time hours
  • Make delicious and healthy food for my family
  • Find fun for me exercise
  • Be social again.  Connect with new friends, reconnect with old

So, how have I done now that I have the chance?   Sleep…nailed it!  Love it…so happy to wake up these days.

Delicious and healthy food…well yes…but this goal collides with my other farming/gardening goals.  Turns out eight squash plants are too much for a family of seven to eat everyday, or should I say, too much for some of them to want to eat everyday!  We have had it roasted, sauteed, baked in bread, spiraled into noodles.  Squash level is a little intense around here right now.  Yep…this is today’s haul and the season isn’t even on yet.

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Fun for me exercise..well I have ideas about what this could be.  I have always wanted to, or at least said I wanted to, learn to golf.  Bob loves it, it is something we can do together.  I have crushed his dreams of me ever being his dawn patrolling surf buddy, but this is something that could still happen.  Keep in mind though, this is the man that taught me to snow ski, skiing backwards the whole time down blue runs, over jumps on one of the most extreme mountains in Colorado.  Let’s just say, he will not be teaching me to golf, lessons will be required.

Being social again, it’s a work in progress but going well, at the right speed for me.

This week brought two of my want to do things together in one; fun exercise and socializing.  I was invited to take golf lessons with some ladies from my neighborhood.  Sounds awesome, right?  If you have not had the opportunity to do something for a very long time, it can be intimidating to do it again, even if it is really what you want to do.  My socializing muscles are clearly as weak as some of my physical muscles, at least in my mind.  On the outside I am charming as hell, its the angst inside that can rule my world if I allow it.  Anxiety level grew as the date got closer…didn’t even look up directions for where I was going until the morning of, in the event I blew it off and it wouldn’t matter anyway.  I don’t really know these women, just met one of them one time, they certainly wouldn’t miss me.  But I didn’t blow it off…I got myself into the car and down the road.  In spite of spilling coffee down the front of my shirt as I was getting out of the car and spending what felt like an entire hour getting my left arm up and over my boobs, I had a great time and learned a few new skills. So very glad I went and looking forward to next week.

Couple of things I realized this week:

  • My want to do list is an evolving work in progress
  • I have to do my best keep it clear of things I think the world expects of me while at the same time full of things I would truly like to do.
  • I need to get over the fear or get it off my list.  I can’t let fear allow me to feel like a failure of my own damn list, that is ridiculous.
  • Overcoming the fear will give me the confidence to add new things more easily to the list.

I am definitely finding freedom in the doing.  How is your list looking?

My husband

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Back in 2006 we made a decision for my husband to stay home with the kids.  It just made good sense after he had suffered an injury on the job.  It gave him the opportunity to recover and make up for some lost time with the kids.  As I worked more hours and took on more responsibility in my jobs, he also took on more at home.  I think this past year just about put him over the edge.  My working 16 hour days, six days a week resulted in many firsts for him – shopping for and preparing Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner for our family and friends, shopping and wrapping all Christmas and birthday gifts.  We are inundated with December and January birthdays at our house, so no small feat on his part getting this all done on his own.  But he did every bit of it without complaining.

His thought was, if I was working that many hours, he was going to work that many hours at home.  The sheer amount of work he has done around our house; building, fixing, maintaining things is unbelievable.  Where we live lots of people have someone to do those things for them…I have him…he’s my guy, whether it be gardening, dry wall, house painting, car maintenance, cooking, cleaning.  He would spend all this time making my house an awesome place for me to be, when I was awake and not working, all the while creating a nightmare job for him that he couldn’t clock out of and leave at the end of the day.  The more he made it right for me, the more of a prison for him it became.

So…if I am taking this year off to sort things out, he is taking this year off as well.  The conversations we have had with me trying to convince him to take a break, go ride his bike, or go surf have been infuriating…work and obligation is so ingrained in him!  We are going to have to take baby steps to help us through our transition.  Big step yesterday though.  He packed up our small four wheel drive truck to go to Mammoth, camping and fly fishing his way across the valley on his own-no agenda, no one to have to set camp up for except for himself, no tour guide duties.  Just a man happy to get a chance to finally use all those flies he has been tying and hoarding.

If I hadn’t taken this time, he never would have either.  The two of us would have continued on, miserable in what we believed to be our obligations.  Our last kid leaves the house in three years…if we continued down this path, what frame of mind would we be in by then?  We would have checked all the boxes but would have drained ourselves of everything that makes life real.

Leaving his responsibility behind and following his heart, even just for a week, is an important step for him.  Fortunately/Unfortunately our family motto has always been “Get Shit Done”, GSD for short.  It’s what we do as a family.  But now it’s time to get the right shit done…(even though GTRSD isn’t near as catchy). Whether he gets it yet or not, that is precisely what he is doing this week.  Can’t wait to hear about his week!