Well hello again. Allow me to reintroduce myself….(I stuck that in for you Jay-Z fans out there…that would be you, Babe). I’m that lady whose husband set up a blog for her as a birthday present and then she ignored it for two years but is now actually doing it. Kind of.
When I first started writing this blog, I thought I would write every Friday. It is my day off, my kids are in school, and despite my hesitancy about a blog in the first place, the blog reminded me that I actually enjoy writing. Well, I enjoy being done writing. I like having written. That counts, right?
And then Fridays came. And went. It is almost as if Fridays just disappeared. Truly FREAKY. I would think of things to write about–all the time–but sitting and actually writing didn’t happen. Here’s why:
I don’t know what I want.
That sentence doesn’t make sense to me because I actually want a lot of things and I know what those things are. So, maybe the better way to say it is, I don’t know what I want most.
The more that I talk with people, the more I realize I am not alone in this. And unfortunately, the people who seem to have the most trouble with it are like me: women, caretakers (of either children or some other demographic that needs care-taking), and from what I’ve seen, if that person is a Christian, the question of “want” is even more paralyzing and anxiety-inducing.
When Fridays roll around, the “wants” start to swarm. I have 6 kid-free, work-free hours to do whatever I want. I want a clean house. I want a meaningful connection with my husband (also his day off). I want a meaningful connection with a friend. I want my children to have clean clothes. I want us to have food in our refrigerator. I want to do some good in the world. I want our total disaster of a dog to just be a disaster–not a total one–so I want him to have a good, long walk. I want to read. I want to dream. I want to rest. I want to be ordained, so I want to fill out all of my paperwork for the PCUSA. I want to be healthy so I want to work out. I want to do my job at church well and I want more time to do that. And somewhere in that grossly non-comprehensive list, I want to write a blog post. On Fridays.
The feminist activist/writer/icon Gloria Steinem has been famously misquoted and criticized for saying, “women can have it all.” She did say that, but that is not all she said. She has spent decades offering the much-needed addendum to that quote saying that yes, women can absolutely have it all….just.. “not at the same time.” Thus begins the deep and discerning work of asking, what do I want right now? What is this season about for me? What am I saying “yes” to? One of my problems with Fridays with these “wants,” is that in my life, I follow the improv rule of YES. I want to say an emphatic yes to life! Yes to even, maybe even especially, those hard things that come. Those difficult “yesses” are what make up a real life–they are the necessary phonetic utterances to not living a life of complete denial. For a “yes” person, though, it is important to know when to say “yes…but not right now.” Or, even harder, “yes” I affirm this, I love this, but I am not the person for this.
I might be a slow learner, but I do know this: If you say yes to some things that you “want” but they aren’t the things that you want MOST, you will know. You will feel it in your body–in headaches and tightness of muscles, and a subtle, yet persistent ache in your heart. Those things that you want most won’t go away. You’ll notice that while your house may be clean, and your fridge might be stocked, you won’t be fully “you” and that won’t help the micro-level of your spouse and kids, or the macro-level of this big broken world, one. little. bit.
So, happy Friday to you, friends. And a truly happy Friday to me.