I have become the type of woman I despise. Oh, Iím not so awful that I will steal your husband. I wonít even steal your place in line at Starbuckís. But I demand to know who stole me while I wasnít looking.
ďWell, what do you like to do?Ē my husband asked.
Over a rare dinner out, my husband and I were discussing a marriage seminar that we had attended. The seminar had encouraged us to find something that we each like to do and find a middle ground of something to do together. His is a no-brainer. It involves the outdoors and hunting. The outdoors I can tolerate; the dead animals, I cannot.
I stared at him blankly, blinking my lack of response. I could no more think of anything that I liked to do than I could have starred in the Broadway musical ďEvitaĒ that was rolling through town.
When did this happen? Didnít I used to be an actual person? I have been known to laugh in disgust at women so lost in their families and outside lives that there was no more of them recognizable. Now, that woman is shaking her head in disgust at me in the mirror.
When my children were babies I fiercely clung to my own hobbies and identity with one hand while diapering and patting and loving with the other. Somewhere along the way I must have let go and latched onto making brownies for the bake sale at school, carpooling to Little League, or helping with Sunday School -- all noble and wonderful things, but not the entirety of who I am.
Losing me was a gradual erosion that I never noticed happening, but I vow to recover and rebuild. Maybe I like to scuba dive with sharks, or parasail, or rock climb. Itís doubtful, but I do think I remember enjoying a good book or serene nature hike back in the day.
Now Iím in the strange predicament of looking to my children for ideas. I wonder if I like to do any of the things they like to do, creating noxious odors in shoes and bathrooms aside. Of course if this means Iím going to spend my days hunched over my cell phone texting, Iíll have to renew my bifocal prescription and increase my anti-inflammatory meds for arthritis.
So the search is on. Perhaps a new me will emerge from underneath the PTA, the carpool, the fundraisers, the chaperoning. I envision her strong and mighty while trendy, breezy, and chic. She is a mom and wife with her own passions and drives. When I find her, maybe she will help me find my keys, too.
Currently a freelance writer, Sarah lives in Abilene, Texas with her husband, Troy, their children, Ashley and Riley, and a menagerie of pets including Stickers the hedgehog and Duchess the lab. Sarah is a certified elementary school teacher. She has taught 2nd grade and special education classes, as well as worked for the non-profit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters. Sarah writes a regular column for Abilene Families Magazine and is a frequent contributor to heartlight.org.