Something that I believe in very strongly is living life to its fullest. To be fully alive, fully present in every moment. To try everything once. To fully embrace each experience, relationship, emotion, whatever, and then to hold it, learn from it, and release it, ever-ready to experience the coming of God to us each moment, in every invisible unsuspecting way. This "carpe-diem" mantra has been a running slogan in my life for a long time. I suppose ever since God set me free to embrace life, but that is another subject. . . .
A Thoreau quote that I see everyday on my refigerator states: Live in each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.
Living fully has taken on different forms in different seasons. In college, it meant embracing solitude when I wanted company, embracing singleness when I wanted to be married, and putting all of my energy into making art.
Out of college and at peace with my singleness suddenly brought a new urgency to get the absolute most out of my single life! I took roadtrips, we planned parties, I moved to Haiti, I saved all my money and traveled . . . and when my single days came to an end at 26, it was hard to say good-bye to the freedom and simplicity of being single. But I knew that I had lived that season to its fullest!
Then comes marriage . . . my husband has a drive to learn and to experience like no one I have ever met. In our "for richer" (a.k.a. before children) days, living fully included mission trips, a much-savoured roadtrip eating our way (hey, I was 8 months pregnant!) along the east coast, good coffee, good friends, art museums, adventurous restaurants, and ten-hour days buried in piles of books at Borders. We also did our best to give all of ourselves to the ministry at the church where Jim was a pastor.
And here we are pushing a baby carriage . . . two, in fact. And to be honest, I have had a difficult time articulating what "living life to its fullest" means as a mom. Perhaps this has something to do with my pregnancies being so difficult, and one child that never learned to sleep until she was two and a half. Perhaps it is related to that inner anxiety that wonders who I am now, and still has a bit of an attitude toward the title of "homemaker." (What was that Helen Keller quote, the one about life being either a daring adventure or . . . nothing? Most days laundry and dishes don't feel much like an adventure).
But lately . . . perhaps it has to do with the new home, our new and calmer life, the abundant sunshine, the sleep we are finally enjoying . . . I finally feel like I am settled into this mom role and- dare I say- discovering the adventure in it.
I came across this "Why I Love Homemaking" piece yesterday, and though I think she is a bit over the top, and it is probably one of those things that I would have broken out in a rash just by reading it a few years ago . . . I can read it now and relate to the joy she has found in homemaking, and be inspired by the passion that she puts into her home. Whereas I may have felt in the past as though the adventure were over, I feel re-inspired to live life to its fullest as a wife and mom, and confidant that being a homemaker requires as much wisdom and understanding, talent and creativity, discipline and hard work, as any high-paying career or adventurous life . . . that the adventure is just beginning.