I am terrible at sitting still. I literally cannot watch TV without something busying my hands, be it a bullet journal or a grocery list or some short-lived attempt at crocheting.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve had the urge to go go go; to move up, to get involved, to improve. In career life, that’s meant always looking for the next promotion, the next move, the bigger job.
In family life, it can mean over-packing our weekends, or constantly looking for the next enrichment opportunity that the kids must have.
I have a great job today – it keeps me local, and challenges my intellect. Still, my mind wanders; to the capital building in Denver, the legislature in DC, any number of multi-national organizations. Their allure is strong, glamorous.
Then there’s a holiday where I get to pick my kids up directly after school (no daycare), and we stop for ice cream and get home while there’s still daylight for the kids to frolic outside while I start dinner. And its allure is strong, comfortable, peaceful.
What do I do with these warring emotions?
I’m in a season of my life where my family and my career are peaking. My kids are eight and picking up steam on activities, passions, personality.
I’m 44 years old and the head of my own department. My 22 years in the same field are being well put to use.
My career-life balance is incredible. It seems darn near ideal. So why does my foot keep itching for the gas pedal?
Super Moms Don’t Sit Still
Perhaps we are products of the 1980s super moms, who invented the “she who can do it all” philosophy and in turn wore her work clothes with tennis shoes (ugh). Perhaps GenX is overly competitive by nature to the point of addictive. Maybe it’s anxiety rooted deep inside that is relieved only by constant motion.
It’s not the time to move. I want to stay here and flourish. No, I don’t need a bigger job that takes me from children and husband. I don’t want any more volunteer activities to war with those that already compete with my time. I want to nourish and nurture these fleeting years of my children’s childhood.
Why do I feel like I need permission to do that? Who can even give me that permission?
I guess only I can. And let me give it to you, as well. It’s okay to stay still, mama. It is okay to stay still.
It’s not only okay, but admirable to stick firm in one spot if it’s meeting your family’s needs and making you happy. It’s enough. A lot can be lost in the chaos of constant motion. Growth will happen in time.
I promise to keep telling you this, if you’ll keep telling me.