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September 25, 2004 - Saturday, 11:46 a.m.

Life, so they say...


It’s another Saturday morning. It’s about 10 am and everyone in the house is asleep except me. I think I started waking up at about 6 am. It was still dark out, and I struggled with actually getting up. It was still dark and the house silent. I could hear the wind outside, a train going through town and that silly rooster giving the world a wake up call. I’m not sure exactly where that rooster lives, as I am in the middle of town, but I can hear him every morning.

This was an odd feeling week. Not as focused on school as I should be. I’ve read nothing for my Operations class yet. I sit through the lectures, and nothing new is really being presented, though perhaps that’s because I’ve been in manufacturing for seventeen years, four of which I spent in planning, and then the next four years continuing to assist some portion of planning with spreadsheets. Anyway, no new frontiers approached in the class yet, though I do feel that I should be reading or something. The first project wasn’t bad at all; it seemed to pull together almost effortlessly. I’m not sure what grade we got, but am hoping it’s good.

In the management class we talked about Personal Mission Statements. She’d like us to be thinking about that this semester. It’s an interesting idea, hoping there is enough information on how to go about doing that presented in class. I like the idea, as often I feel as though I am wandering aimlessly through life with no mission, passion or direction. Most of the class period was spent split up into our groups. Our first group meeting, the week before, was disjointed and felt rushed. I guess I was hoping for some bonding and getting to know each other, and it ended up feeling like someone was holding a stop watch and we were rushing through the bare essentials of the assignment. I went away feeling that a couple people would pull the leadership roles, two would pull the follower roles and that I would be, again, the perpetual fence sitter… should I lead or should I follow would be the constant question in the forefront of my mind for each meeting. I decided that I needed to speak up more. In the second group meeting, the most vocal and forceful of the ‘leader-like’ people completely clammed up. No opinion on ANYTHING… it was bizarre. It made me feel quite judgmental after the first meeting in retrospect. Perhaps he too reflected on his demeanor in the first meeting and decided to see what would happen if he didn’t say anything. Odd meeting… and it left me feeling out of sorts. His shift in demeanor left the entire group asking him if he was okay, more then once throughout the meeting. His response… “Fine, thanks for asking!” Too strange. Our assignment… a ten minute presentation of the Goal-Path Theory for presenting next class period. Gah!! I have one small area to present, but also volunteered to pull together the PowerPoint presentation from all submitted to me. I should see them tomorrow.

As for the Mission Statement, my friend in the class, CB sent me hers. She’s taken a course by Stephen Covey, and has one completed. Hers centers mostly on being a good Christian, a good wife and mother, and a good and caring person. Very personal, and like her, very sweet. This will be a task for me to truly reflect what is at the root of me. The instructor pointed out that she identified the important roles she plays in life. That I can do… Mother, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Colleague, Student, Independent Being… not sure what that all means or how it would fit into a mission statement. But definitely it is an exercise that I’d like and plan to do.

The other piece that has defined my week has been this whole thought of being single, wanting to be married, NOT wanting to look for a mate, old relationships, and current friendships and where the HELL am I going with all this. Basically I have touted for the past fourteen years that I DON’T want to be single and that I wish I could find a good relationship. The reality of it is that I’ve been very leery of looking for a relationship. I’ve not been that good at it, to tell you the truth. There is a huge part of me that likes having control of my life. I decide how and when I’ll spend the money that I earn. I decide where I’ll go on vacation. Whether or not I go to a movie or sit on my bed and read. No one is demanding an agenda of me. Really the only demands being placed on me (externally) are my kids, my family, school and my job. These demands would be there whether or not I was married. I like that the time outside of these four areas belong solely to ME. Having been a single Mom, most of my adult life, I am very greedy of my alone time… the few moments in my life that I seem to have control. I have spent thousands of nights staying up late, into the wee hours of the morning, as in those few hours every day I am the master of my universe.

Perhaps I just can’t see how it would work. I want a partner. Not someone to take care of me or fix me and my life. I don’t want someone that can lift the burden from my shoulders. Damn it. I just want a partner, someone to live life WITH me, someone to share the burdens with, and someone that is there when I wake up and there when I crawl into bed at night. Someone to laugh with, cry with, weather the storms that life throws our way, someone to talk to, that’s what I want. It seems like an almost impossible desire.

I don’t even see marriage as an answer to any problem. I truly know that it would be an added complication to my life. But it’s one I want. When I look back over my life I remember a kid with only one dream, to be a wife and mother. I wasn’t a kid with dreams of being a ballerina or doctor. I didn’t have any grand career agenda. I wanted a life like my mothers. One in which she seemed fulfilled. A wonderful wife and mother, who dedicated much of her time beyond her family to a Faith that she whole heartedly believes in… that’s what I dreamed of.

I, however, ended up in a world where one parent working just couldn’t make it happen. I don’t fault Gary. He worked pretty hard, but he’d picked a career that didn’t lend itself well to stability. I craved stability beyond belief, I still do. I couldn’t live a life where my kids didn’t have medical insurance, where the paycheck weren’t consistent. It pulled at me. The stability that I craved wasn’t coming from my marriage partner, so I stepped up and created it for myself. I went to work. Insurance and a constant paycheck I could rely on, but at what cost? ::sighs:: My boys wanted nothing more then a Mom that was at home when they arrived home from school, one that saw them off to school in the morning. All that went through my mind was… My mother had created this haven that was home. The house was clean; dinner was on the table every night by 6 pm. My mother lived on a schedule, up in the morning at the same time. My father got up each morning at the same time, went to work and provided for use. We didn’t worry about how or why things happened. We just knew that they would… there was a rhythm to our life. That was how life was SUPPOSE to be. It was my experience, my desire and my goal. By the time I was 30 years old, I was a single Mom with three little boys. The roadmap was clear. This PICTURE was what family life was supposed to be… a haven, no worries, security and of course, a mom and a dad... GAH!! I was driven to create this reality as best I could – without the ‘dad’ on site. I still struggle with it to this day. I have to strive to be everything that my mother was (and is)… I need to be firm in my beliefs, my home needs to be a haven, calm, serene, stable, and orderly… however to complete the picture… I have to be everything that my father was (and is) as well. I have to be a good and dedicated employee, competent with my finances, a confident provider, able to fix anything and again firm in my beliefs… it’s taxing… and my life is permeated with ‘Jack of all trade, master of none’. I am competent at most any undertaking I attempt. But I shine and glow in none of them. I’ve sliced up my life into so many pieces that I am beginning to lose cohesiveness.

I’m working on a frickin’ MBA. Do I have a desire to rule the world? Do I want to start my own company, or shine in a senior position anywhere? A resounding… NO. What do I want? I want to be able to provide. I want to be able to do that piece that my Dad so flawlessly provided for us and himself. He created a path that he and my mother can walk down into the twilight of their years without requiring anything of us. I just want to be able to pay my bills, have a little money and time to travel and spend with my loved ones. I want a job where I am DOING something, creating or providing something and somehow helped make someone else’s job a little easier that day. Something I can be proud of and at the same time enjoy. The end result being that I have enough at the end of the day to pay everything that needs to be paid with some to save for old age.

The process of trying to create this reality has left some voids in my life, obviously. I spend so much time working on all this that I often have set aside the ‘firm in my beliefs’ part. Truly I am firm in what I believe, but it has little outward appearance. I don’t do the things that I know I should do. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps I blame time. Where is the time? When would I have time to do all these things? I simply don’t make time or make it a priority that I should. Somehow paying the bills and ‘creating this reality’ is the first priority, and there is rarely time for a second priority.

So ultimately, it feels like failure. Even if I get the whole providing thing under control, and manage to create my home as a haven, am a good mother, sister, friend, etc… the most important piece has been left lying on the floor to be trampled. Where is my soul? Will I have starved it in the process?

It’s been two hours since I started writing… I’m exhausted.

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