Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Are You In The (Comfort) Zone?






Have you ever had the feeling your life is on autopilot?  You do the same chores, drive the same routes, talk to the same people, eat the same food, have the same arguments--you get the idea.  Parents can often feel this way, as the demands of successfully raising young children require a certain amount of repetitiveness.  Young children thrive on structure.  It helps them understand their world and gives them security in knowing what to expect.  But what can happen is that parents get stuck in the routine of our roles as parents, and forget to leave any room for our personal development.  Sometimes, our roles as parents become our entire joy and identity, and then when our children fly the coop, we are left trying to understand the depression and loneliness that sets in.

I still have two teenagers at home.  And although I will admit to wishing at times that they could disappear for an hour or two (like when my son is sprawled out on the couch, napping right in the middle of our family room).  My own fear about the emptiness of our house when they too have gone has had me thinking lately.  And reflecting on my own personal development.  And the messages I have been sending them about who I am and what I love.  I decided that I have not asserted myself into our family calendar lately, as I am the designated scheduler and not the predominant schedulee.
I decided that I needed to push myself out of my comfort zone, and show my children that I had interests and pursuits away from my beloved home and family.  So in the last week I attended a Blogging Conference (BBSummit12) and took an over night road trip with my 81 year old mom and teenage daughter, to revisit the vacation homes of our past.  We headed to Michigan for a one night stay and explored the rediscovered some areas that had been very special to both my mom and me.

Both of these experiences have left me refreshed and enthused about what is to come.  And have reminded me and my family members that I have a life too, beyond the laundry and meal preparation that they have come to expect of me.  I have always wanted my three daughters and my son to realize that they are strong, capable individuals who can have anything they aspire to; but I need to also show them that I am doing the same.  Hopefully, as I reach out for new experiences, my family will find more to  to ask me than "Hey Mom, What's for dinner?"; and I will have more to answer.