Stories and thoughts about family and life

Playing House

on July 9, 2012

Remember playing during recess, especially during those early Elementary years, where we would gather up and someone would play the “daddy”, “mommy”, “baby” and various other support roles?  It was always highly coveted to be the mommy or the daddy–you got to act out your dream life and experience how you would do things from what job the “daddy” might have (the “mommy” usually stayed at home, or at least in my younger years as we were all emulating what our own mothers were doing at the time.  The daddy would usually “work” and then come home and have a wonderful dinner prepared by the mommy, who obviously knew how to do everything.  

I credit my parents and my farm life for the work ethic I have today.  I don’t know how to do very much just half-way and I’m what you would term as a “workaholic.”  I like to work.  I enjoy having something to do that makes me feel valuable and uses my skills.  I like to be the expert, and I strive for perfection.  I have a bit of a guilt complex and I totally stress myself out when I feel like I haven’t done everything I could.  I replay every conversation in my head, rework every problem that wasn’t perfectly solved (and even some that were), constantly re-evaluate the future, and worry that I’m not doing everything I can.  Why?  I have no idea.  It’s not like I’ve experienced trauma from some poor decision in my past–no one has been killed or even hurt by a decision.  I guess it’s just part of my psyche.

Anyway, I have considered of late that the stakes are much higher for me in my “new” life.  I don’t have a boss to whom I report, and hope that I’m doing a good job.  I AM the boss.  I am the reason people do or don’t earn a paycheck.  I have to ensure the bills are paid, procedures implemented, and work is done.  And still, sometimes this seems a little too easy.  Even with all my insecurities and worries, my research and mulling over possibilities.  Sometimes I can’t believe I’ve landed in my own business, and that we’re actually making a little money and getting the bills paid.  I get to be with my kids, and take a long lunch or leave early when I want.  It’s a bit like playing house.  Only I don’t know how to do everything, like the “mommy” out there on the playground.  My kids aren’t perfectly cared for, happy and content 100% of the time, but they’re certainly seeming happier than they were.  I know I am.  I sleep better, and I take my weekends off again, and I rest and I see movies, and I live my life.  

I have goals, still, which aren’t quite achieved (and new ones coming up almost constantly).  I have things I would love to try and do or see, but I think those are all mostly byproducts of feeling like I am finally in control.  It’s my “house” and like life imitating art, I can “play” here all the time.  I’d love to rid myself of the guilt and the worry, but I think that’s partly the price I have to pay for the happiness I have.  

I spent some time this past week concerned that I’m not where I ultimately want to end up.  Maybe I want to use this as a spring board to move onto something better.  If I could ultimately do whatever I wanted, I would write and travel (and doing the two together would be the ultimate!).  I worried that with the looming healthcare crisis, and decisions made recently and an upcoming election that still has everything pretty much uncertain, I might need to have Plan B ready to go a little sooner than expected.  I think I allowed my focus to move slightly off the ball with that thinking, and had moved toward more of a “job” thought process than realizing I’m living a dream few people will realize.  I have to say that, while I may move toward realizing some of my other dreams, I will not let this one merely be the one that started it all.  I want it to be a child, nurtured to grow into something amazing–the product of my “playing house.”

I haven’t gotten to journal or blog much lately, and I’ve missed it.  I have thoughts that occur to me, and I think that I’ll write about them, but I get busy and move on and the next thing I know it’s two weeks later.  I’m amazed at how much faster and faster those days and weeks come as I am now in my 40s.  I’m also more aware to slow down and breathe, and take it all in.  My life is a lot more perfect than I give it credit, most days.    Maybe not playground perfect, but we’re headed in a good direction, and I’m blessed to have all that I do.


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