There are more days than not when I wake up feeling as though there is something more I am supposed to doing. It is a rumbling inside of me that I can’t fully describe. It is a feeling of subtle restlessness. It has been there ever since my kids started elementary school.
I have a great husband, great kids, a nice home and lots of friends and family. I am not looking to escape (except for a rare girl’s weekend) my life. I just know that time goes by quickly and I am often afraid that I am missing an opportunity to do something more.
I have tried to subdue the rumblings by focusing on all the traditional duties of a housewife, wife and mother, but the rumblings seem to get louder. I have asked my Mom, who has always been a role model as a perfect homemaker, wife and mother, if she ever felt the rumbling, but she had no idea what I was talking about. She just said,
“Honey, you have a really good life. Your family comes first and besides, look around, your friends seem pretty content in domestic life. This is what people do.”
The guilt kicks in when I look around knowing I have no shortage of domestic projects I should be tackling. Our garage needs to be cleaned out so bad we can barely pull our cars in. I have clothes in my closet that I haven’t worn for ten years that need to be packed up and donated. I have more junk draws than I do organized ones, and I have never put my wedding album or a single baby book together. I could easily fill my days with housework, but I don’t.
I have attempted to stop the rumbling by starting projects outside my home. I have had a few false starts, as I like to call them. I get really focused on projects or small businesses ideas. I will research, develop and throw myself completely into the project and the rumbling stops. I start to feel energized and confident that I have found something I can be good at outside the home and then it happens. The voice of doubt starts questioning me.
It starts as a quiet voice then gets louder as I dedicate more time to a project. It starts asking me who I think I am trying to launch a business. It tells me that my job is to take care of my family and the house. It tells me that I am fortunate I am able to stay home and not have to work. It reminds me of my friends who are working moms who would like to be able to stay home and not have to juggle home and work. It constantly reminds me how long I have been out of the “real” workforce and that I am now only qualified to pack lunches and do laundry. It ultimately tells me that I am just a bored housewife who should stop being so selfish and focus on my family. Eventually I give in to the power of the voice and pack up another project in a box in and put it my overcrowded garage.
Now surrendering to the voice has not only has chipped away at my ego, but it has hurt my credibility with my friends and family. These are the people who have heard me say over and over again, that now that the kids are in school all day, I want to go back to work or school. They are the ones who have listened to the concepts of my new projects, helped me clean out the storage closet in my house so I could have an office, and got excited for me.
Yet, here I am, feeling more committed than ever to do something I love. I know it would be easier to not try a new project eliminating the risk of disappointing myself and my supporters if I fail once again. But I am inspired when I read about Oprah Winfrey, a media mogul, who was once fired from her job as a reporter, told she was “unfit for television.” I am encouraged by J.K. Rowling, who submitted Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to twelve publishers who turned her down before signing with a small publishing house. I am amazed by Thomas Edison whose teacher told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.” Edison would later make 1,000 failed attempts at inventing the light bulb before he finally succeeded and changed the world forever.
Shouldn’t I live by the quote I tell to my children every time they don’t succeed? The quote by Robert Schuller says,
“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure. It just means you haven’t succeeded yet.”
I have always believed those word apply for my children. I owe it to them to practice what I preach and I owe it to myself to try again.
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