I’m a woman of a certain age and I am due my mid-life crisis.
For a dozen years, my life has been the tough slog of motherhood. Making the babies, birthing the babies, caring for and raising the babies. I’m done with babies! Now, I’m surrounded by preschool to pre-pubescent boys and I’m really feeling the heat!
It was time for a mental shift. Many of my peers are deep into their careers, having never left the work force to follow the the level of domesticity that I chose as a full-time parent. Many women, I was feeling, had a lot more to crow about than I did.
So, I made my New Year’s resolution to write more. I have always been a writer. A poet. An essayist. An academic. A blogger. None of this professional, mind you. Or my full focus. But I was keeping my irons in the fire.
Now it’s time to get serious, I committed, and rediscover my individual purpose in life! No time like 2020! Time to find out who I am beyond a “mother” and a “home-maker”. I’m going to write, write, write! Publish some essays! Unlock my poetic heart!
Then, about 8 weeks and as many blog posts later, well, covid-19.
I’m not sure. Is that a verb yet?
“We all got covid-19’d”?
It should be.
Because we did, didn’t we?
You know that old chestnut where woman makes plans and the Universe laughs?
It turns out, I am very tuned into the Universe because the timing, it’s impeccable! I have a crisis of identity. BOOM. Try on these roles!
I’m now a homeschooling mom to 3, a navigator of scarcity, DIY mask maker, an alphabet of therapy specialists (OT, APE, SLP) to my autistic love bugs, and a fairly decent home barber, thank you very much!
Have I figured out the subject, an outline, or characters for my long awaited novel? Nope. But I have many tabs open in my Google docs with terrible first attempts.
I’m not ruling it out that something creative will come from this experience. I’m certainly doing a lot of navel gazing. Self-reflection is being forced upon each of us. Some days it sparks and others, I curl up and stress eat goldfish crackers. OK, most days.
Yesterday was a nerve-wracking shit show. Today, I’m hoping to keep it together until at least lunch. No promises! But, I did write this while the kids were quietly doing learning apps. So, you know, points.
Note: I would like to smack the people, (“People” being famous, accomplished writers/performers/celebrities, isolated in their mansions) who suggest that NOW is the time to ACHIEVE and CREATE! Well, yes, good point. I will try. But on the daily my current life goals are:
Tolerating the constant presence of offspring and spouse
Showering? Eh, dry shampooing
Losing myself in a novel/binge-watching TV
Teaching math to resistant children. Failing and teaching math by playing Go Fish
Reorganizing my tchotchkes, because I miss shopping at HomeGoods so. damn. much!
It’s not going to be the sweeping transformative year I imagined. Instead, I’m focusing on baby steps. A global pandemic will teach a woman that little movements forward have value.