Split Personality?

        How can it possibly be that I sometimes feel like I am a million years old and at other times I feel like I will never be a grown up?

     There are days when I feel really old. 

     I spend my days being a wife and mother. I support and care for my husband. And I spend a huge majority of my time keeping small people fed, clean, safe, educated, and within the borders of acceptable behavior. 

     I parent, I wife, I clean, I worry, I parent, I wife, I cook, I worry, I parent, I wife, I pay bills, I worry, I parent, I wife, I sigh, I worry. I worry because I feel like I am carrying the world on my shoulders. And essentially I am. To a certain degree. 

     I carry the world because I am responsible for the welfare of these precious people in my life. This whole little world called our family depends on me to show up everyday and give it my best. This whole little world called our household runs the way it does because I am responsible for running it.

     I wouldn't change my life. Not for anything. I am not complaining because I feel put upon by my life or those in it. And I am definitely not saying that I don't have any help, because I have plenty of care and support given to me. But some days, some times, some ways, the enormous responsibility of it all overwhelms me. 

     So all I want to do is put on pjs, drink hot tea, and read a book. Forget about going out. I am waaaaay too tired and cranky for that business. Call me ma'am but don't ask me to be social or fun. And boy does that make me feel ancient. Am I an old lady?

     Then there are times that I feel as if I am just playing pretend. Like the way I used to dress up in my mother's heels and play house when I was a kid. 

    I forget that the water bill is due and get slapped with a $25 late fee. One of my kids asks me a serious question that I don't know how to answer appropriately. I am in a parenting moment and do not for the life of me know what to do. I am a thoughtless hostess to guests at our home. I loose the library books. I say truly stupid things because I didn't think rationally first. I whine about difficult or unpleasant tasks. Back when I had a child in public school I forgot it was early release day and got a call from the school office to remind me to please pick up my daughter. And a million other embarrassingly juvenile things which are too mortifying to ever be mentioned again.

     It is in instances like these that I think, "A real grown up would totally have this kind of thing under control." So then I feel like a fraud. I feel like I am just pretending to be an adult and doing a poor job of it. I have a checkbook and an SUV but am I just a kid in someone else's shoes still playing house?

     Answer...no. I am an adult (even if I don't always feel like one or want to be one), but I am not over the hill yet.

     It is the nature of life to feel differently from one experience to the next. We are living and learning, making mistakes and trying again. We are old and young and everything in between all at the same time. There are some things that fall under our realm of experience and other things that we have a lot to learn about. Understanding what we still have yet to learn is the beginning of maturity and what being an adult is all about.

     So really, we are never GROWN up. But we are hopefully always GROWING up. Personal growth should be contiual. We always have something yet to learn so we will never feel completely together and perfectly adept at handling our lives. But we can still suit up, show up, do our best, learn from mistakes, and do better next time. That's how to "adult" no matter how split personality-ish we feel.

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