What Would You Do…

“It’s all downhill from here. I’m working my way right out of this job.” I thought sadly to myself as my preschooler began to chatter about starting kindergarten in the cReboot Your Lifeoming year. I sighed quietly and offered her a weak smile as we scouted for gym shoes with non-scuffing soles.
I loved being a mom. It was all I had wanted to do my entire life. But now that I had my two little ones, I realized that being a full-time mom was only an option for a limited time. Of course, it wasn’t like they would suddenly be packing off to college the second day of school or anything quite so drastic. But I was starting to see how fast children grow up, and that one day their need for me would be reduced to more of an advisory role.
And then my purpose would be fulfilled. That was the end. Until then my job was to sign permission slips and pass out lunches. Was that really all I had to contribute to the world? What would I do with myself when I was no longer useful? Would the next thirteen-plus years of my life revolve around me waiting for school to let out so I would have something to do? Have a cookie, and pass me that field trip form.
These depressing thoughts whirled around in my brain throughout the next several days as I moped about the house doing my chores and chasing the children. Finally, either as an effort to cheer me up or because he was afraid my sullen face might really stay that way, my husband pushed me out the door to meet friends for coffee.
Once there, I listened while we mulled over the same topics as always. We chatted about all the typical young mom things; diapers, tantrums, how to sneak veggies into meatloaf, and mom groups. It was good banter, and I usually enjoyed it. But I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that one day our muses would grow up and we’d be left without anything to say. Then a question entered my mind and escaped my lips that turned the direction of our conversation to new territory.
“If you could do anything, without cost, location, and education being factors, what would you do?”
The table went silent as everyone began to explore a question they had never dared ask themselves before. There was real enjoyment in examining our inner selves without limits; a freedom in not having to subject our dreams to reality. Finally, the answers started pouring out; everything from an accountant who loves working with numbers to a doctor who loves helping people heal. We learned so much about each other that evening. About who we really were and what we were really passionate about. We weren’t being ungrateful or unrealistic about the lives we were living. We were acknowledging something that had been placed deep inside of us, and igniting passions too long suppressed. Some of us even surprised ourselves at what we discovered.
We left that night with a challenge. Somehow, we needed to find a way to feed the passion inside us. Some of the ladies actually did find jobs locally that matched their interests and fit into their lives. Others found ways to volunteer with a similar purpose to their inner passion, leaving them feeling just as fulfilled.
The bottom line is that we became better mothers, wives and friends when we lived with a passion for something that left us feeling content. We were each built with a heart for something unique, and that is not by accident. Our happiness comes from finding that purpose and meeting it in some way.
“What about you? What would you do, if you could do anything?” my husband asked later that night, after I had shared the events of my evening with very animated spirit.
“Write.” I replied, “I want to be a writer.”
Because who can mope with all that excitement? Now, pass me that thesaurus.

Also Featured on Hello Darling Blog ~ http://www.mops.org/blog/what-would-you-do


Pink Toilet Paper

CSS_The_Multitasking_Moms_Survival_GuideMy youngest had just turned five when I took her grocery shopping with me one October day. As we rounded the corner to the paper products aisle, her eyes lit up. Behold, there on display was the most beautiful toilet paper she had ever seen, for it was pink.
During breast cancer awareness month, the toilet paper company had turned their product pink, with a portion of the proceeds of each sale helping to fund research to find a cure. And my daughter simply had to have it. She begged and pleaded with her very sweetest pretty-pleases. Of course I granted her request, explaining that it was pink to raise awareness and that some of the money we were paying was going towards finding a cure. My mother-in-law had fought and won the battle with breast cancer a few years back, as did her mother when she was even younger, so we always took every opportunity to teach our daughters about the disease, and about the legacy of strong women that preceded them.
The lesson was taught, and we continued through the store with my little girl perched in the cart, clinging to her package of pink toilet paper. I guess simply placing it among the common groceries was out of the question for a product of this magnitude. She could not contain her excitement, and rambled on and on through the aisles about how thrilled the rest of the family would be when she shared her treasure with them. On the way out, she recounted to the cashier everything she could remember about the meaning of the colored toilet paper. Her passion spread among the other customers, and several more packages went through the checkouts that morning. Later that day, amidst all the exciting news of our busy outing, the toilet paper would top her list of things to share with her dad and sister when they arrived home.
She carried the tower of toilet paper into the house herself, a great accomplishment considering the package stood as tall as she did, and dragged it upstairs to unpack while I hauled in the rest of the groceries. After I had everything put away, I went up to check on my little girl’s progress with her mission.
I walked into the bathroom to find all the rolls neatly stacked in the cupboard, in the shape of a lovely castle.
“It’s sure fun to have a different colored toilet paper, isn’t it?” I asked, trying to match her enthusiasm.
“It’s not just that, mom…” she began in all seriousness as she ceremoniously replaced a half-used white roll on the holder with a new pink one, “Every time I use it, I will remember to pray for all those people who are fighting this cancer right now.”