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What a Girl Wants

Posted by Patriciaaobrien on Dec 22, 2010 in Musings of a Green-Eyed Girl, Parenthood

My husband asked me a simple question that many people hear this time of year.  “So, what do you want for Christmas?”  But it set my mind whirling into a spiral of existential pondering.   I drew a blank.  “I’ll have to think about it.”  Think about it?  Since when do I have to think about what I want?  Don’t most people have a list of some sort floating around in their brains, ready for just such a time as this?   What do I want?  Not just for Christmas, but boil it down to the simplest desires of my heart?  What kind of life do I want?  What do I want to spend my time doing?   What do I want my existence to be defined by?  Where do I want to go on vacation?  How do I want to spend my free time?

Maybe it’s because no one ever asks me this question anymore, I stopped even asking myself.  I”m always trying to make someone else’s wishes come true, from the mundane to the magical.  What do you want for lunch, which shirt do you want to wear today, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday, what do you want to be when you grow up?  I am the fairy godmother, not the princess.  Caring for young kids, running a household, sustaining a relationship with a busy husband.  It’s not so much that I don’t have a running wish list ready to produce on demand that bothers me.  It’s that not knowing what I want in life has left me disconnected from the real essence of me.  It’s not just about surviving another day and accomplishing all the tasks I need to do for others.  Who am I?  Where am I going?  What kind of legacy do I want to leave?  What do I want?

As a parent, it’s easy to lose touch with yourself.  We fall into the familiar routine of caring for others and we forget to care for ourselves.  Or maybe we know it’s important, but it’s easier to let it slip because all our energy and time is expended in taking care of everyone else.   Arranging and paying for childcare, scheduling appointments or just time off, even keeping track of our needs are all an addition to our to-do list that sometimes we just would rather skip and save ourselves the trouble even though we know the benefits can be huge.

So what do I want?  Not because I should do it or it would be worthwhile or it would make someone else happy or I know it’s good for me.  What do I simply desire to do or have or be just for me?  So my first new year’s resolution is to spend some time thinking about it and start figuring out what it is I want.

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