I always get introspective before writing a blog post for Peaks and Harbours, it’s not all that easy to come up with something clever and succinct. Anyways, this nagging question about self-identity kept arising in my mind, and I thought hey, maybe I should write about this. But… thinking about it made me feel overwhelmed, and I actually put off writing this post a few days longer than I’d planned.
So, what is my self-identity? Is it even important? I don’t think I define myself by my activities, but I also get caught up in the endless routine of work, home, dinner, and put the kids to bed. Oh, and laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. In fact, I think Sisyphus was a mom doing laundry. I feel like a creaky pier with the waves of life crashing over me, trying to hold steady in the midst of a storm. There isn’t a lot of room for me to just do my thing, whatever that is.
So how do I maintain a sense of self in the face of a busy (some would say chaotic) life? How can you possibly even remember who you are when you are buried under piles of laundry, and your only free time on your own is a short lunch break at work? I’ve heard about “working” on yourself, and apparently that helps. But here’s the thing, I already have a lot of work. Maybe what I need is not time to work on myself, but time to do nothing, time to get bored.
I was a pretty nerdy and introspective teen, and spent a lot of time walking around and drawing things that I saw and staring at the clouds in the sky. While it’s good I’m NOT a teen anymore (I was super angsty, and also it would be weird if I was still a teen twenty years later), I miss that boredom. I’ve read a lot about how kids need to be bored in order to get creative. I think the same goes for me (and maybe you?). I always get the best ideas when I’m just sitting there being quiet. Of course, sitting quietly and doing nothing is pretty much the antithesis of being a parent with small kids.
I’ve always been pretty good at maintaining my hobbies even with my kids. I think it’s a combination of bare determination and a super supportive spouse. At least, I maintain a semblance of my hobbies, which gives me some quiet space in my mind without distractions. But it doesn’t give me that quiet space that follows introspection, which usually follows boredom. And I think I need some time to just stare at the clouds. Unscheduled time where I can let my mind skip around aimlessly, and maybe come up with something brilliant. Or not, maybe I’ll just feel a little refreshed. So I’m starting a weekly date with myself, with just a sketch pad and pen, or maybe just my walking shoes. I hope you’ll join me in spirit, but not in person because I don’t actually want company.