It was mid-Christmas day, my husband and I were sitting together on the love seat in the tree room while he was setting up my new MacBook and he whispered to me, “Do something great.” Simultaneously, our youngest skipped into the room unknowingly interrupting and started telling us how she was going to program her new robot to dance. We both joined her conversation, watched the robot dance, and nothing was ever again mentioned about me doing something great with my new laptop.
Yet, I’ve been thinking about it ever since. He met me when I was doing my part to make the world better place by teaching in schools for children who had severe behavior challenges and taking classes towards my master’s degree. The year we met I was awarded Teacher of the Year at our school and a couple of years later completed my master’s degree. Several years after that, early in our marriage, I became a special education coordinator and helped to open a new school in the county. During that season in my life I felt that I was doing great things.
Currently, as a stay at home-homeschooling mom my efforts are focused on our daughters’ academics and activities, preparing healthy meals, doing laundry, and then keeping a neat house. They were listed in order of importance (to me). I’m often driving my girls to activities so you can imagine everything doesn’t get done. And, I admit I tend to dwindle the little time I do have for myself on social media. I’m doing things, but not sure how great they are. The girls are doing and learning great things.
My husband is fully supportive of homeschooling. In fact, it was his idea. I know he is pleased with what the children are learning. I know he recognizes the importance of their activities outside of the home. I think he also recognizes that I have more to share as an individual. His whisper was motivation to discover and develop my personal strengths again. While he knows that my time and energy are poured into our girls (not so much the house, but he is usually patient about that); I think he sees that I have put my own learning, activities and striving for personal success on the back burner.
I’m not sharing this to make a declaration of a new me, but to encourage myself and some of you who may be in a similar position of focusing so much on our children that we are losing ourselves. Who will join me? We can still prioritize efforts on our children and their education, but let’s be sure to make time for our own interests and learning. What better time than the ending of one year and entering a new one to do some personal goal setting? Isn’t a new year a great time to take some steps to learn something new or return to a previous passion? Wouldn’t it set a wonderful example of lifelong learning for our children? I have no idea yet what it will be, but I’m going to carve out some time, weekly or daily, for myself this year and do something great.