Lots of Random Musings...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I feel pensive and introspective this weekend... Not sure where it is stemming from. Maybe in the relatively slower pace of this weekend compared to the last several? No photo shoots until June (LOVE this break! I get to catch up editing all the May sessions I managed to cram into the first two weeks of the month... 13 left!)... Joe at work or sleeping most of the weekend... No big plans to BE anywhere beyond the usual-- playground here and there, church on Sundays...

Just-- feels like the pace has slowed a bit, and my poor brain has time to catch up.

And I find myself thinking about a LOT of things... fleetingly, cursorily, not deep enough to effect GREAT CHANGE... But enough to bring on a sense of sadness/yearning/melancholy/curiosity about the past, the present, the future... Enough to make me WISH I was at a place where I might be ready to effect GREAT CHANGE.

For now, though, I suppose it is good that these thoughts are taking root, even if they haven't the time or the energy to really blossom.

A few of these musings:

* I've outgrown this home... This Mason Attic. It has been a lovely, PERFECT nest for my little family just starting out-- 100-year-old hardwood floors, tall ceilings, big bright windows, a vintage feel to the whole place... Living in a Masonic Lodge like Rapunzel tucked in the top of the tower... A place to figure out who I am as a wife... as a mother... BUT. Life is getting too big for this home now. And my age old yearning for that farmhouse is flooding back in full-force. I need space. I need shade trees and a picnic table where I can use my vintage linens. I need a real kitchen with real counter space where I can make jams and jellies and cookies and fresh salsa and mozzarella caprese... I need an herb garden and a tomato garden and hydrangea bushes. I need a hammock. And a little trickling creek for my baby to throw rocks into... float paper boats down.

And though those acres of rolling hills are still so far away... at least I can hope for a place beyond this attic with a little more room--- where I can have an art nook that isn't right in the middle of the living room... Where I can at least have more counter space....

As it is, we have only one year left here (and that is still one year more than we had planned!)... So SOMETHING'S gotta give by next year.

* I've lost some of the woman I discovered so passionately a decade ago... In a time where I was done with foolish things and ready to learn who I really was, I sought authenticity in everything-- I discovered that I loved vintage, not new... I discovered that I loved deep, rich books... I discovered independent film and folk music and altered art and brightly colored walls and photography and journals. I discovered opera. Italy. San Francisco. Mosaics. Repurposing. Became a foodie. An adventurer. Found true conversion. Deep friendships.

It was an incredible time. Felt like it at the time, of course... But even looking at it through the lens of memory, it really was a Renaissance. and Awakening. For an incredible span of time, I knew exactly who I was and what I was and what I wanted.

And it's not that it is all GONE.... Just.... some of it is not ACTIVE anymore. Dormant. Gone forever? Does this mean I cannot claim for myself these missing facets anymore? Not right now? I have had to forgo adventure in favor of stability for my family. I have had to put away the layered, taped, colorful, deep journals in favor of a more convenient blog... for the sake of time. I have not picked up my banjo to truly LEARN in over three years. I have no more room for thrift store treasures and "someday projects" in this teeny attic space.

So. Where does that leave me? How might I redefine myself today, with so much of what I KNEW to be true about me gone right now? Ten years ago, I had TIME to explore my authenticity. Today? I get it in bits and pieces, in flashes of epiphany that soon fade back into a necessary moment of parenting or working or..... whatever is REQUIRED of me right then.

* Is this what adulthood is destined to be?

Is this why older folks begin to have regrets? Feel they've wasted their lives?

I'm not in that place. YET. But I begin to see how a person might get there. When you are 24 and you see your bad habits and recognize the need for change, you have your whole life to get it figured out. If you haven't perfected it by 24, you still have the confidence that you WILL perfect it. You have time.

And then suddenly your 34. And you STILL haven't perfected it. And life has gotten infinitely more complicated with a husband and children and mortgage and loans and....... And you begin to panic-- will you ever PERFECT these old habits you once thought you had all the time in the world to deal with?

And then you're 44. And time is running out. And you are TIRED. And maybe even a bit jaded (though I swore I'd NEVER get jaded. Never never never.)... And health issues hold you back. Or loss. Or an unstable economy... Or whatever... And now? Those habits are ingrained and it is likely they will never change. Not now. Not with your energy levels ever fading...

And.... this is what my mind has been musing on. Who am I right now? Will I ever conquer my own flaws? Will I even WANT to by the time I have time? And of course.... how can I make things happen NOW, in spite of circumstances that conspire to hold me back? Or else.... how can I find peace with life NOW, without feeling like I am just content for the sake of laziness?

.....Ahh..... This was more than I thought I'd write. Ha! But there you go. Here is what my mind has found time to drift to this weekend. Thoughts of then. Thought of now. Thoughts of someday.

And please don't mistake me. Anyone who truly knows me knows I love my little life, just as it is. I feel joy MUCH more than I feel discontent. For the most part, I know who I am in this moment, and know that most of who I am is GOOD.

But.... as my little one clamors for my attention as I try desperately, quickly, too-hurriedly to finish this silly, rambling post, I know I have taken too much time for my OWN pursuits just now... And it isn't my luxury at this point in my life to be able to delve deeply and richly into my own pursuits, be they artistic, philosophical, cosmopolitan, or other...

My job is to get out of my head, get off the computer, and tend to this little one. To nurture HIS mind and HIS soul so that he can one day have epiphanies of his own.

My job is to try to fit in my own changes and growth in between the mothering and marriage and all the other parts of me right now....


Off I go.

My little man needs some quality, get-on-the-floor-and-wrestle Mama time.

Happy Memorial Day, all... here's to deep thinking being able to reconcile with everyday living.

Blessings to all...


  1. Emily, we are truly living parallel "new mama" lives! I feel and wonder all the same things that you've written here, almost daily. Will I ever get to do all the things I aspire to do? Will I ever "catch up" with myself? Having a child has really inspired me to be the best that I can be, for myself and for my family... but HELLO, that takes free time that I struggle to find in my days with a toddler! It's such a dichotomy, but I think the wondering is our soul's way of quietly reminding us that this ISN'T it, so we continue striving for more. And that's what's important, just hearing that tiny authentic self pleading for what you really need to stay true to yourself and ultimately feel happy. Embrace the questions! Wow, I've just gone on and on... LOL. Loved this post.

  2. I can only read this as a non-mommy-for-the-moment (because we still are up in the air about it), and it gives me a little particular your statement that your life now is about Noah...nurturing him and helping him live his life as you'd want yours to be led at a young age. That past a certain point, your life becomes nearly all about your children, with bits and pieces of Emily-only time poking in here and there. And that's wonderful...and how a mommy's life should be...but also a little scary!

    But it makes me want to grab onto more than I am right now, too, because I have yet to bear these responsibilities, and already I feel old and bogged down most days. If I hadn't quit my 2nd (3rd, I guess, technically) job by now, I probably would have after reading this post.

    And you'll get your farm may be a few years later than you'd hoped, but as I said before, it's happening for you. 'Cause you're a damned good person, emily, and you deserve this.

  3. Emily,

    Thanks for commenting on my I have found yours. You are truly an amazing talent, what you see through your lens. Keep going, you amazing mompreneur. I am in awe of the young mom's I see in our ward who pursue their talents.

    Life goes fast, my little guy leaves for college. It does not seem possible. Dana

  4. Em, While I only have a moment...I must say...*this* is who you are right now. I don't mean discontent or musing - I mean "mama"..."wife" home. You are still those are things, but they DO NOT take the forefront. Sharing YOU, sharing your life, building a life for a little boy is what takes centerstage. The other things, while rich and interesting are just tiny pieces you get to pick up now and again. So, pick up that kazoo and hum away like mad...someday, you'll have time for the banjo (and other things) agian! :)

  5. You asked (in so many words) if losing a bit of yourself is what it means to be an adult... I think, in a way it does, but I think you have to compare what you are giving up to what you are gaining. Someday you may find a way to have it all, and that will be wonderful. But more kids will come. Personal time will decrease. It is possible that a few more facets will lay dormant for a time...BUT that is a part of what sacrifice is. Like you said, it is giving up some of your personal time to help your son grow and learn so that his mind will one day have deep, profound, meaningful musings of his own. The things you sacrifice may be hard to give up (and we all get a little wistful when that happens), but when you look back in years gone by and see what an amazing family you have GAINED, how incredible your kids are, how wonderful your husband and companion has grown to be (not that he wasn't wonderful before, but he's become even more wonderful), and how much more complete you are, despite the dormant facets- I don't think you will have true regrets. Again, I think you may get a little wistful, wondering what might have been had you chosen a different path, but I think you will ultimately feel that no other path would have truly satisfied you and brought you the supreme joy that the path you have chosen and continue to walk has already brought you and will continue to bring you.
    So grow as you can, when you can, knowing, trusting that the path you are on is the best one to bring you to that eternal joy for which we all seek...

    Love you!

  6. Oh Emily, this was perfect, honest, and poetic for me as a mom right now. I get what you're saying and you said it well. Before Dahlia was born I started to find my groove with mom, and dance artist. . .I feel like I'm starting over with finding an entirely new balance and it's a whole new space and time with two children. Maybe part of the beauty of motherhood is the fact that we willingly lose ourselves.

    Life really is beautiful and I was just thinking how beautiful it is to ponder and question as well. You are neat. It's nice to bond with women all over the world through this blogging thingy.

    You are beautiful.

  7. Emily, that was perfectly eloquent. I read this and am so fascinated with the way you think. I love that you've found out who you are, and I think that with all that, your kids are going to be amazing! How blessed they are to learn from you.

    I can't wait for your farmhouse, either. You've had that dream for a long time. :)

  8. I struggle to write this since I have already been interrupted 8 times while sneaking a moment of selfish time to read this. I begged Eirik this morning to work on finding something to do today that he would enjoy doing by himself. He said, "I hate being alone mom!" and that is apparent.
    I eat up your words like they are Haagen Daas Ice cream, creamy rich and delicious. I feel so deeply understood and inspired when I read your eloquent expression. Thank you for your positive way of coming through the truth back to the light of the present. I need this stuff published so I can keep it by my bed. (think about it..)


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