Saturday, September 10, 2011

Circles

These thoughts are deeply personal but they've been on my mind and I feel like I need to get it out on paper to be able to sort through it all. 

Reading through some of my previous posts, I think there are several underlying themes that someone that is good at reading between the lines may have probably been able to pick out by now.  But as for me, it's often hardest to look in the mirror and see what's staring me right in the face.

With the new baby and other life changes,  I realize I need to redefine my sense of identity once again, and try to figure out who I am and what my place in this world is.  I think it's healthy to do this periodically instead of trying to continually live out the life of who and where you were 5 years ago when so many things in life were different.  Change is inevitable and we must adapt and evolve as it comes our way.

There are many things that have made me have to redefine myself.  For one, my body seems to have undergone a change with this last baby.  For the first time I look in the mirror and see a woman approaching middle age with forming wrinkles, the baby weight that refuses to go away, and 4 children in tow.  That last one is perhaps the most surreal of them all.  I'm to the stage in life that I was never able to visualize as a kid.

I find myself wondering if this quiet suburban life is what life really had in store for me all along.  For some reason I always had envisioned a time when life would at which my talents, life experiences, and desires would work together into one big swelling motion that would propel me onto some sort of pedestal of accomplishment.  I had envisioned a continuum of stepping stones leading me to some higher ground, not realizing how many plateaus life is really made of.

Anonimity is one of the hardest things that I think housewives and stay-at-home moms struggle with.  I noticed this phenomenon when I was in New York City a few years ago.  Wandering around alone window shopping one afternoon in one of the largest cities in the United States left me feeling more alone than I could ever remember feeling.  I had never felt so invisible or of lesser consequence. 

I get a similar feeling of anonimity washing over me sometimes when I'm browsing the web or listening to the news as I feel as though the world is passing me by.  I feel the urge to do something, to leave my mark and not be just another face in the crowd.

I recently heard an interesting perspective on the matter that has helped me make sense of it all.  It was said that "in some ways, our lives are circles- circles in which we move and live and act.  Some of us live longer and so we make wider circles than others.  Some people are great noble and famous- George Washington, Columbus, the apostle Paul. Their circles spread wide and touch many people.  But for every one of those big circles, there are a thousand unknown and unamed people who's circles seem very small and insignificant by comparison.  And yet to God they are not insignificant.  To God, it is not how large our circle becomes or how well known we are to the world.  All that matters is how we- you, me, each of us- fill that circle.  Are we like our Savior and Redeemer?  Are we following the example of the Master?  Or do we care only about ourselves?  When we live for and think only of ourselves, our circles disappear and we become nothing." 

Like a bucket of cold water pouring over me, I realize that my circle, though very small, has more in it now than it would in any life plan I could have schemed for myself.  And that is very humbling.

3 comments:

Stephanie said...

Thank you Rita for the words of wisdom. While I see us as two very different people I often feel like I can relate to you on so many levels. It's nice to know that someone I respect very much and look up to can be going through the same struggles that I am. It's also nice that you help me find answer to my struggles. I guess we're not meant to go through life alone. I think that friends are as much a part of the plan as families are.

The "J" Team said...

Beautiful...I love that quote and I love reading your blog. I think most moms have that same feeling and hopefully we all come to that same conclusion.

Cher said...

i like that. our little circles are just as important, actually more, to our loved ones and those we touch than famous people with large circles are.