The Almost Empty Nester: Be Lara

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Be Lara

I recently read a fantastic book called Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. It's about identifying your personality in terms of how you're wired so you can change habits in a way that is successful for you. I loved it. And one thing she talks about throughout the book is "Be Gretchen." I love that. I adopted it for myself.

Be Lara 

Be yourself. That's easy enough, right? Hmmm, not so much. In the month or so since finishing the book, I've seen how in certain areas of my life I am fully confident being me. In others, no so much. I'm learning not just to be me, but how to be me. Because of how I'm wired, I'm an Obliger, (if you read the book you'll understand) which means I am swayed easily by others. Not in terms of peer pressure, but rather I will step up and stick to things if someone else is involved. Accountability is huge to me. But I'm also noticing that I tend to look at what others are doing and wonder if I need to do the same. It makes me question how I do things. Sometimes I think, yes, I like how they do something. I'll try that. Other times I see that how I function is fine and change nothing. It's not a bad thing, per say, but I have to be careful.

I have felt old lately. It's not something I'm particularly happy about either. I'm only 43. I'm healthy and strong. I have a lot of energy. Mentally I feel about 23. So why feel old? Well, because I've been looking around lately at what others are doing and questioning who I am based on that. (Not a good idea.) Some people like to get dressed up and go out dancing. I love to dance but in yoga pants while blaring Madonna in my living room. Does this make me old? I like to read books and do crosswords. Does this make me dull? I enjoy listening to music and working on a puzzle. Again, am I the least exciting person on the planet?

I start to doubt who I am and think I need to do what others are doing to be fun and interesting. But the truth is, that doesn't make me me. It makes me a version of me just trying to live up to some perception I think people have of me.

Be Lara 

Yesterday, I went and worked out, ran to the grocery store, then came home and cooked all afternoon. You must understand something, I don't cook. I don't normally like it. It's not my thing. But it was rainy outside, I had the afternoon, I went for it. I listened to music, read through some work stuff while things were in the oven, and cared for Thing 1 who was home sick. It was pleasant. Domestic. The house was filled with the smell of apples and cinnamon, the fireplace was going. I loved it. It was me.

I'm not a homemaker in the old fashioned sense. As I said, I don't cook. I bake okay. I stink at house cleaning and laundry is a necessary evil. But I do like being home. I write. I read. I keep the house running smooth. I do my mom thing. It's me.

Be Lara

How does this fit in with being an almost empty nester? Well, I like my kids. A lot. And I realized yesterday that I don't want to spend my time trying to check boxes or go do things because I want "the world" to see me as fun. I want to hang out in my home with my husband, my kids, and my dog. I want to watch movies and do puzzles. I want to play music and talk and play Scrabble. When I think of those things, I'm so happy and my heart is so full. I have so little time left with them living under my roof. Why would I want to do anything else or be anyone else? I just want to Be Lara.

No comments:

Post a Comment