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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

how to be happy # 194

I've been thinking a lot about my grandmother lately. She was a French Catholic wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. If you were to ask her who she was she would have said "I am Paul's wife. I am the girls' mother." I can't imagine she would ever have said "My name is Marie-Reine and I dream of one day going to Paris or petting a koala or playing the piano in front of a crowd." This wasn't who she was. She supported her husband and her family. Whatever she had wanted to achieve in her life came far, far below everything else that was expected of her.  I didn't understand it when I was little but she didn't star in her own life story. Life was about making other people happy.

I think about this now as I run through my day trying to make sure Waverly and L are happy. It's a balancing act to juggle clients, family, friends, maintaining a healthy and happy home and volunteering. At the end of the day as I fall into bed I think of what I accomplished but I never fail to feel regret for what I didn't accomplish that day. It seems that time is so limited and I forget to do things that move my own life story forward. I look at sweet Waverly who will be 20 months old tomorrow and I think "We have read books and colored, counted and moved and stretched and explored and built. She will hopefully retain some of what we did today to help make her a well-rounded happy, smart, compassionate member of society." I fall asleep reading books to learn more about the psychology of toddlers. Since we had Waverly, I can't remember the last time I thought about my own path and what I want my future to look like other than being a wife and mother.

Last week I made the decision to take a weekend away to sort through my path, to figure out how to star in my own story again. I feel like as wives. mothers, partners, fathers, friends, we can get so caught up in other people's lives (and yes, sometimes drama or serious emotional or physical issues) that we forget that we need to put our own oxygen mask on first. So, this weekend I am taking a girls' weekend. I am going to take time to think about my future. I've been thinking about a screenplay that I've wanted to write for a few years. Why haven't I done that? Several years ago, I started working towards a master's degree but stopped because life got too hectic. What does that plan look like, if I went back? So, while L and Waverly spend a Daddy/Daughter weekend together, I'm going to take some breaths, inhale the salty Cape Cod air and plot out the next chapters of this story called life.

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