Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Darn "Lean In"--You're Depressing Me!

Been feeling a little down, and I'm not sure why.

At first I thought it was the contentious debate with my husband over which college we can afford for Luke. I say a school like Duke University is worth the money; husband says it's the same education wherever Luke goes.

Then I blamed my sadness on the switch from super-high cardio workouts to Pilates. Thankfully the fabulous owner of S2S Functional Performance convinced me otherwise with her research and expertise. Yes, this body and mind needs significant endorphins to function--but the physical benefits and core strength I'm developing will reap lifelong rewards. And this morning, sure enough, my Pilates class kicked my butt!

My third hypothesis is the frustration and disappointment from not being able to find a room for someone I'm trying to help. I have called charities, churches, colleagues, religious leaders for 2 weeks now--even drove around downtown Fort Worth last Thursday night, praying God would lead me to an available apartment or rental sign. I did stumble upon a women's shelter and actually talked to a live person. No rooms available.  (If you live near Sundance Square and could use some extra income, I know a 54-year-old, single female who needs a place to live!)

Then I figured I just missed my family, who is on spring break while I'm at work.

So to help me get to the crux of my issue, I went home last night and journaled. On actual paper. The first time in months I've spent quality time to reflect on how I'm truly feeling.

And you know what? I'm not sure I'm all that happy about what is troubling me.

Each of the fore-mentioned factors deserve a little bit of blame for my melancholy. Journaling also unveiled some of the key questions I find myself asking these days, such as: What am I going to do with the rest of my life? Where do I want to go with my career? And how do I ensure my needs for love, adventure, and intellectual stimulation are met, now that all three of my children will be in college come August?

These questions are truly plaguing me, inflamed a bit by the national discussion about work/life balance following the release of Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg's book, "Lean In."  I am reminding my ambitious self that once I became a mother--at age 22, I might add, way, way younger than I had ever imaged--my priorities did change. And I LOVED it. I remained seriously ambitious throughout their childhood; but I (so gratefully) was able to craft my career around my desires to be an involved, loving, and nurturing mom. To be there and snuggle and push and love and laugh and support my children while gaining great satisfaction and stimulation at work.

It's just that now--at age 44--I do wonder if maybe I "Leaned Back" on the working front a little too much?

I suppose therein lays the great equalizer of all of us women: perhaps we all regret or feel guilty about some of our choices. Perhaps there is really no way around it.

I suppose we must all do the best we can and cast our cares on God--trusting it will all be alright, believing He is the only One who can turn this little bit of sadness into joy again.

I just pray He will help me soon.

And while You're at it, Lord, would you please lead me to a long-term rental for this woman? 

Amen.


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