Sunday, October 12, 2008

Reconnecting

I hate to keep bring Ike up, but he really was the "perfect storm" for our household. For about half of my life now, I've had this annoying, unfulfilled feeling that I couldn't name. It was almost like I was disappointed that things were too easy. Sounds insane even as I sit here and type it. I know most people love a good challenge, but it never seemed to be enough for me. In order to fulfill this need, I would submerge myself in "projects", hard ones and when I came out on the other end, I felt satisfied but it faded so soon. Don't get me wrong, I'm still very proud of the things I've accomplished, but it didn't scratch that itch I had. In fact, it was effecting my life in a very negative way. I would get lost in projects and some of them took years so, my loved ones were cast aside while I was on this endless search for fulfillment. Not good for a young marriage. Not good for friendships.

Fast forward a few years, and I have my two lovely babies. The feeling isn't gone! It resurfaces itself in what the people around me call obsessions. It usually starts as something small, like yucky chemicals in diapers and then blazes into something like cloth diapers. Then it's just a wildfire... eating whole, banning China, knitting, making all of our Christmas gifts..... I know part of this is just being a mother and wanting the best for my kids, but the other half of it is me feeding that beast. (Yeah I know, it started as an itch and now it's a beast. Just go with me here) Some of you my mom are probably reading this and thinking, "she's just an over achiever" and I guess I used to agree with that but only because I was told that my whole life. It's more than that, well, really it can't be that at all because for the most part I think I'm kinda lazy. I still don't have words for what I feel, but a recent example would be that I was excited about Ike. Not about people losing their lives and homes, but overall I was really looking forward to the challenge of surviving. That doesn't fall into the category of over achiever. So when Ike was spinning in the Gulf, I was struggling with my strong desire to make my life harder, but only in short bursts because I'm kinda lazy. I KNOW it didn't make sense to me either.

Once Ike moved on, we were left without electricity for twelve days. It was a little stressful, but overall a welcomed break. I loved the surviving aspect of it. Most of our family had power before we did, but we turned down their invitations to stay with them. Home is comfortable and of course I enjoyed the challenge. We played outside most of the day, hung laundry out to dry, read, walked, colored, and just lived. During all of our free time I picked up, Last Child in the Woods, which was recommended by a friend. I fully intended to read this book to gain some insight on how to be a better parent. I never expected to find a name for what was wrong with me. I'm disconnected or in words of Richard Louv I suffer from"nature deficient disorder".

As a child, I spent tons of time outside and connect to my world, thanks to my hippieish parents. The more time that passed, the further away I was from nature and in an attempt to find that void and fill it, I sunk myself into more activities that pulled me even further away. Sitting out on our blanket, while the kids ran around in the backyard, I found the answer that would scratch my itch and calm my beast: simple. Simple would mesh well with lazy but still be enough of a challenge to fulfill that basic need to survive. "A simple life is not an easy task."

So as I type this, I'm taking baby steps to simplify my life, reconnect myself and my family.

1 comment:

A said...

My husband and I were just talking about living a more simple life. We too have been feeling, I dont even know how to describe what I want to say....but we've been putting a lot of thought into just getting back to the basics, and nature.