Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Enough?

A few days ago, this thought barged into my head: Is this enough? What if I never write a book? What if I never figure out what I want to do? What if this is the last house I live in? What if I never do fill the flowerbed in the backyard with top soil and plant five hundred daffodils? Is this enough?

Early in my marriage and in the midst of our infertile days, I thought, well, fine! I'll just go to school (more) and become a nurse. And even though I didn't have children then, I had a full-time job and my husband was starting a church. I was the song-leader, the pianist, the youth pastor and the children's church leader. I enrolled in a biology course at the local community college, the first step to nursing school. My life was full to the brim and I was exhausted and miserable.

Then one day, in class, I doodled a list of my goals. My first goal was to be a mother. Nothing else mattered to me. I finished the class and put aside the goal of becoming a nurse. Now I wonder if that was the right decision. The clock is tick-tocking and although I know I could dust off that old dream, that doesn't change the fact that if I went to school when my daughter does in three years, I would be be 45 when I finished. Too old? No, you'll all say. That's not too old! My dad at 47-years old had just enrolled in the University of Washington. He would have started in September 1989, but he died instead. He didn't think it was too old.

I can't think of anything else I really want to do. I am an efficient and organized office-worker, but, alas, a clock-watcher. I can't stand the feeling of being chained to a desk in a cubicle somewhere. I loved working retail--I worked in an office supply store one holiday season--but the pay is dismal and the hours unreliable.

And I don't want to work just to earn a paycheck. If I have to devote my time to a job, I want it to be a job that matters. Which, of course, takes me back to nursing.

But in the meantime, is this is enough? What if nothing ever changes?

And I realized, this is enough. Today I count my blessings instead of the number of milk encusted glasses in the sink. I kick shoes out of my path and scoop poop from the litterbox and carry baskets of clothes upstairs and think this is enough. If my picture appeared on the obituary page, I'd be okay. Well, I'd be dead, but I'd be satisfied with my life.

Tomorrow will come and the tomorrow after that, and then the seasons will change and before I know it, the path will split into two and I'll have decisions to make. But for now, this is enough.

(Although, maybe this is just a way to excuse my lack of career ambition.)

8 Comments:

Blogger weorwe said...

I've asked that question quite often myself. In my case it seems to be a sign of the empty cistern problem... no matter what job or ministry or whatever I might get involved in, I think that emptiness and meaninglessness would still haunt me.

6:17 AM  
Blogger methatiam said...

You?re raising four children, running a daycare from your house, fielding the ?pastor?s wife? duties and keeping the house/laundry/dishes/et al ?.

Explain to me where I can find a ?lack of career ambition? in there ?

Oh, by the way ? will you still be 45 if you don?t go to school?

6:54 AM  
Blogger Kendra said...

While in labor with my son, a student nurse stayed with me almost the entire 18 hours. We talked a lot and I found out that she was 46 years old. She was dusting off her old dream and reaching for her goal. And I think she is probably now an excellent nurse. Sometimes the best workers and best learners are those who have LIVED and are now focused on their studies. Don't discount your desires just because of your age. But also don't regret your decision to focus on your children while they are young.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Shelly said...

I'm with you Mel. This from a former corporate ladder climber.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

Yes, if you're a mom, it's enough.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I'm always in search of improvement.

I'm living the life I always wanted, in most regards anyway, yet still a major portion of my thoughts are how to make it better.

Although, no one who knows me would notice this, as it's so far off from what other people seem to want.

So, I'm just going to happily become a career grandma. Those in my imaginary audience are horrified, but I just don't care. A grandma I will be!

(this topic makes me cry - i'm not sure why)

1:51 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I'm always in search of improvement.

I'm living the life I always wanted, in most regards anyway, yet still a major portion of my thoughts are how to make it better.

Although, no one who knows me would notice this, as it's so far off from what other people seem to want.

So, I'm just going to happily become a career grandma. Those in my imaginary audience are horrified, but I just don't care. A grandma I will be!

(this topic makes me cry - i'm not sure why)

1:52 PM  
Blogger Cris said...

Mel, do what fills your heart. If you want to go back to school and fulfill the dream of becoming a nurse, and you can do it...then do it!!

too often we let the worlds perceptions keep us from doing what we want to.

I would love to take a page out of Judy's book and become a career grandma, but finances dictate that I be employed somewhere.

I would love to continue to do what I have been during this hiatus from employment, volunteering, going where they need my skills, but that does not pay the bills, so....

Do what feels right inside!!

8:58 AM  

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