Many days, I feel a bit like a living oxymoron. I am a “Social-Homebody,” an “Introverted-Extrovert.” I love sharing time with people, but I also love being home. I love being with my family, but sometimes I wish they’d all go out and leave me home alone. I am a walking contradiction. I think most women feel that way at times, like we are living a dual-life. If I was in a James Bond movie, I might be the “double agent.” Life in the Colorado suburbs isn’t that glamorous. Besides, I don’t think any of the “Bond Women” were in their late-40’s. And, truthfully, I’m not accustomed to defending myself against anything other than the occasional teen “snipe.”
Yesterday, we had snow. Not tons. Not enough to cancel events or create “closures.” But last night was one of those nights I could have easily curled up in front of the fire, bowl of chili and a blanket on my lap and mindless programming on the TV. It would have been an easy night to stay home–again. But, I had signed up for a program at our library “to help me grow.” There was a local author coming to speak on finding purpose in the throes of motherhood. I didn’t sign up with a friend, just me. There was no one else I was accountable to. I watched the snow fall on and off all day. I vacillated on going. It was cold and it was only going to get colder after sunset. The roads would be icy–perhaps treacherous. (I live a whole 5 minutes from our library.) Maybe she wasn’t really addressing moms like me; “transitioning moms,” moms that are past the elementary years and looking at the “empty nest” years. I checked her website. No exclusions listed; she didn’t discriminate. I checked the library website. Maybe the author had cancelled. The phone rang. The caller I.D. showed the library’s familiar number. “Whew!” I thought, “They are calling to cancel. I didn’t back out–they did!” But, they didn’t. The gal at the other end was calling to let me know the program was still on and to confirm my attendance. It was decision time. Perhaps I was still whirling from a Halloween sugar high, but I am certain the proverbial Devil and Angel appeared on my shoulders screaming, “Stay home!” and “Go!” into my ears. The consequences of a dual life.
Well, as the story goes, good triumphed over evil. I left the chili on the stove, the blanket on the couch and my family in front of the TV. And, I was really, really glad I had! (Getting over that threshold always seems the hardest part for me, but I am usually really glad when I get to ____________.) The group was small, only 6 women plus the author. The author’s two children are close in age to mine (a year apart on each.) There was another mom, the Director of the Children’s Library, who has children older than ours. The other 4 women were all in the “little years.” It was a good group; diverse, but bonded by motherhood. It gave me a new appreciation for how fast the years have passed.
Some hours last days and others last minutes. This was one of those fast hours. The author, Cindy Skerjanec, is a dynamic speaker. She is charismatic and her passion and light fill a room. She began by sharing her story, her journey to finding her purpose that lead her to pen her first book, Finding Purpose at the Speed of Motherhood. She passed out a worksheet to help us follow along. I nodded so often I fear I looked like a bobble-head sitting in the front of the room. (Another oxymoron: Restrained-Cheerleader.) Had I heard some of what she had said before? Yes. But, somehow it felt new, fresh. I believe that we often hear the same message over and over so that when we are ready, we can internalize it and make it our own. There were things I heard last night that I knew I was ready to make my own. It was worth the cold drive. I had been stirred. I ruminated on her message as I made my way home.
On the drive home from the library, I pass a pond. Last night, a layer a fog had crept from the water’s surface and settled across the road. I could see it from the distance as I approached. I watched as the tail lights in front of me disappeared in the murky layer of mist. I felt my hands tighten around the wheel. I would rather drive on ice than through fog. I have always disliked the feeling of not being able to clearly see what is in front of me. Yes, I know, it’s tied to that “control thing” I have. I focused on the road in front of me and the messages of the evening’s talk.
As I entered into the fog, I felt a strange sense of calm blanket me. Coming from the Bay Area, I have driven in fog many a time, but never have I felt such a calm. I saw clearly; the fog was the perfect metaphor for the evening. As I inched my way through the mist, using my skills and a large heaping of trust, I found my way to the other side, where the cloud lifted and clarity awaited me. It was an Oprah “Aha!” moment. Driving through the fog mirrors self-discovery and “purpose excavation.” Sometimes, you can’t see very far in front of you, but if you just keep inching along, and trust, that clarity will come.
Sometime back, I wrote A mother’s pearls . I wrote about “pearls of wisdom” my mother had shared with me. I hadn’t planned on buying Cindy’s book last night. I have a stack of books I have yet to read. It’s not in the budget. I have already started the journey to discover my purpose. The list of excuses “not to” had begun before I stepped foot in the library. Then, I spent an hour with Cindy. She had pearls to offer last night. She has pearls to offer in her book. I heard the little voice within say, “Invest in yourself–even if it sits for 6 months.” (Which it won’t. Started it at 5 this morning.)
I’m at a really great point in my mothering journey. It’s an exciting time. The possibilities are limited only by my imagination. My “baby birds” are still in the nest, preparing to take flight. And, this mama is getting ready to take flight, too.
What might you do to start finding your purpose, today?
To learn more about Finding Purpose at the Speed of Motherhood, visit the website at:
Or, visit Cindy’s blog at: