I’ve been considering why, of late, I don’t write nearly so much about the things I feel passionate about. Attachment relationships, babies, breastfeeding, closeness. Family life. Perhaps it’s because I’m now in a different stage of life. But I don’t think so.
Every phase of life has its challenges, and the one I’m in has simply been the delight of discovering the person that I am beyond babies. The discovery itself is a wonderful thing, but shifting sands for sure. I don’t really know what the next ten or twenty years hold for me.
I realized suddenly that the main reason I don’t write about my “mammal-ness” or share strong opinions is that I have adult daughters of my own. Married, with children. I have been concerned about sharing my opinions openly – concerned that they may “read into” that opinion that I’m trying to tell them something. I soft-pedal my thoughts. Or perhaps that, as we are naturally inclined to seek our parent’s approval, that I may be undermining them as adults if I share my opinions, thoughts, concerns about the state of the world here, on this blog.
But I think I am just waking up to a notion that it isn’t necessary to soft-pedal. They are strong women. They don’t need a) my approval and b) my soft-pedalling. They know what they are about, and they know what I’m about. Every set of parents knows their own family best. I can’t and won’t presume upon what’s best for my grandchildren. But I can still trust that my opinions, thoughts, and experience matter. Even if only to me :).
For years, when my oldest children were in their teens, I prayed to be a good mother to my adult children. Not interfering, offering unsolicited advice or making judgements. As my various children reach adulthood, I’m grateful for those early prayers. I want them to live their own lives, work through their own opinions and develop their sense of selves. It may mean they do things differently than I, and that’s alright. But in a sense, I’m soft-pedalling their adult separate identity if I don’t continue to be true to who I am in the world.
I’m not someone who lives in a very black and white world. My world has a lot of grey. A lot of things I don’t know, haven’t formed opinions about. A lot of considering whether my ideas are the right ones, or is there a better idea out there. What matters most to me is that they are pleasing to God, and right for our family. I operate largely on a “gut instinct” level…feeling my way through decisions and actions. Not flying by the seat of my pants, I give a lot of thought to my life and relationships, but I’m just fairly comfortable in the gray. Not knowing.
There’s a temptation, at this phase of life, to look back at all my mistakes. And there have been many. But I can’t live my future if I’m stuck in the mud of the past. Overall, I think I’ve had a very good life, with a few very bad things. Bad choices sometimes, and bad events. But I just see no value in wallowing about how things might have been, if I had been dealt different cards, or took other paths.
And so, me is still me. Me still has things to say and ponder. Me needs to not be concerned with what I share and why I share it.
When it comes right down to it, we’re all just speculating.