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Once in awhile I get an urge to either radically change my journal layout, shake up my flist/blogroll, purge things like crazy, even going so far as to entertain the idea of shelving the whole damn thing.

Wipe it out.

Start over, maybe.

Most of the time that urge results in nothing so drastic. A new banner, instead. A perusal of my friends list and feeds which leads to 1 or 2 deletions and several almost-deletions before I pull back from the brink.

I get the same urge in real life, as well. But because I am bound by family, husband, house, job, there is much less I am willing to do to shake things up on a personal level. And inside where it really matters, I don't WANT to shake things up TOO much. I think mostly I just want something new to do, something exciting to look forward to; in other words, a change.

Does everyone experience this dichotomy of feeling when it comes to comfort and change? At the same time when my brain is agitating like an unbalanced load, I KNOW how lucky I am. I know how good my life is, and honestly, why in the world would I want to have anything happen to it? Why would I want it to change it when it is, in fact, changing ALL THE TIME? I'm not exempt from the laws of gravity or aging. My children change on a daily basis. I both celebrate and lament that fact on a daily basis, as well. My marriage and my life undergo sea changes in cyclical patterns, great waves smoothing the sand back and carrying flotsam hither and yon.

I think of the flotsam and jetsam of my life: things I have lost interest in, hobbies I have dropped, habits I've abandoned, behaviors I've jettisoned. I no longer do many of the things I used to think defined the person I am or was. Lack of time or inclination has changed me, and changed my life. I can't say whether that's for better or worse from inside this bobbing vessel. Since I've taken aboard other interests and hobbies and habits and patterns, it's difficult to say whether I've lost or gained by it.

It's ridiculous to think that there is nothing to look forward to because I have received a good education, traveled extensively, made amazing friends, met the person I want to spend my life with, married him, moved overseas where I longed to return, given birth to 2 wonderful children, found a fulfilling and challenging job, and helped build a house that I love. It's not just housekeeping and ever-increasing numbers of candles on every birthday cake in my future, I'm sure.

So, why this feeling of restlessness that stealthbombs me from behind my own eyes? Why this urge to scrub the slate clean when I've gone to such effort to build up a life full of things I love? What IS it exactly that I think I need to quell this inner uprising?

It's not new music to listen to. It's not new books by favorite authors to read or even new blogs. It's not activities and events to fill my time with. It's not, at least I don't think it is, things to write about. These are things I have in spades. It's not a new wardrobe, a career change, or a secret lover. It's not even the desire for new furniture and home improvements as those are coming soon to the Ek Family Homestead.

Though I often think about moving I am not convinced that it is actually what is causing this itch. The urge to uproot and move is a familiar one for a child raised in a military family and one learns later that it's not actually necessary to physically transplant in order to reinvent yourself. It's just a faster passage, that's all.

Some people seem to be born knowing what they want to do with their lives, what they want to be when they grow up. They focus on that goal and move toward it, climbing over any obstacles in their paths with a singlemindedness that I find both amazing and alarming in equal measure. I have NEVER known what I wanted to do with my life other than live it in the best way I know how. There is no goal that I am aiming for, loosed toward like an arrow from the bow of birth. Though I have never had a particular career or path in mind as I've moved through my life, I seem to have ended up doing something I love and living a life that suits me immeasurably.

Maybe the only thing to do with this urge when it crawls up my back and wraps its arms around my neck is to sit on it and squash it until it quietly slides back to a distance that allows the itching feeling to recede to a comfortable level...either that, or find a closet to clean.

Totally Cool: Juggling in a cone

*Marcus Aurelius
mood: contemplative
music: Tasmin Archer—Sleeping Satellite

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

I think the biggest reason for the busyness is that I hate being bored, with a passion.

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

No, not exactly. I can sit still, but I like to be doing something, if that makes sense. Reading, for example. Or soaking up sunshine on the deck. But just sitting? Nope. Not made for that :)

As I was reading along a part of me was thinking, 'That woman needs to unleash this energy on cleaning a closet.' And there you had it at the end.
But that's not all there is in your musings. I sense your internal desire to try everything (well not everything ) to do everything. Behind the desire to wipe the slate, is there lurking, the desire to experience so much?.... It hit me hard (and still does) that in this life I will not get to experience everything I have dreamed of, do dream of.
And on the other hand, I have to remember that this is my one life now, and I'd darn well better get on with enjoying what I do have , what I have done , and doing what I can do .
Good luck to you, woman of depth and sensitivity. Good luck, friend.

Thank YOU, friend. I needed that :)

Yes, I feel that struggle all the time. ALL the time.

I should have known I wasn't unique in this feeling!

You know what's scary?

That I was actually thinking the same thing this morning...

What, cleaning a closet? :P

Good to know I'm not alone!


I understand the spring cleaning urge!

I've just discovered your blog and I look forward to exploring more. :)

- Molly

Welcome! :)

I sit and squash a lot. A lot. But I think it's better than sitting in squash so it's not all bad.

hahahaha!! Ellen, you crack me up!

I popped over here to wish you Happy Mother's Day...and found you'd been posting! ACK! My Bloglines wasn't picking up your feeds for some reason. Needless to say, I relate to a lot of what you wrote here...except for the part about having created a succesful and beautiful life (thus far)...(MY take on your life). ;) I think I've grown to equate 'comfort' with 'ease'...because I haven't known much ease in my life. But even as much as I crave comfort/ease, I also create change...but in smaller doses...or maybe in new ways. Maybe a new project...rather than randomly uprooting myself (yet again). (Hmmmm...I wonder if that's a sign of maturity.) Reading your post makes me wonder if it's a matter of feeling content...because the older I get the more I realize that--for ME--happiness and contentedness don't necessarily go hand in hand. I think I've come to equate happiness with MOMENTS and contentedness as a STATE. And maybe I'm just not wired to ever feel content for long periods of time.

Oops! SUCCESSFUL. (Sorry, I'm just not CONTENT with spelling typos.) ;)

What an interesting thought: that perhaps happiness and contentedness don't necessarily go or necessarily HAVE TO go hand-in-hand. Most of the time I AM happy and I AM content. These feelings only come once inawhile...they're like the tide, sort of. Which suddenly makes me wonder if they tied to my cycle.

Ah well...that's always a possibility, for ME. But while it's happening, the feelings are SO real--and my head is so good at convincing me that drastic action is required NOW--that I'm usually the last to see that hormones gave birth to the feelings.

great great post

really-- great post. I think you capture something here that is essentially mercurial and yet we all know the feeling-- or perhaps, some of us more than others--- either way, I wouldn't simply shrug it off-- I think some of it is Spring/seasonal shift, some might be that (dare I say) midlife major upsurge-- although we KNOW you are too too young for that (but you are precocious and ever the advanced student . .) mostly, I just feel very keenly what you described. I like to think it is an energy that does propel us into new things without dispruption--oh and HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!


Re: great great post

midlife upsurge! I sure like that better than "crisis" ...haha! And thank you very much! I'm enjoying my day so far (except for the part where the car wouldn't start in the grocery store parking lot for 30 minutes)

Happy Mother's Day!

I can really relate to your post. I think part of what makes you such a great mom is that you are very dynamic and yet very stable and dependable. When you become a mom, I think you lose (albeit perhaps temporarily until the kids get older) some of your spontaneity and freedom.

I know when I am having a bad day I momentarily consider hopping in my car and driving off and spending some time by myself. But I never do it ;)

We'll be moving by mid-summer (our 2nd move in less than 3 years) and I am looking forward to it. It is very much like shedding my outer skin and trying new things, meeting new people and finding a store that sells the cookies I like- or finding new cookies I like better. I'm almost 40 and I know I am in a better place personally to handle these changes than I was a 30.

Happy Mother's Day to you, too :) You are right about losing some of your spontaneity and freedom for awhile...I'm glad that it does come back! And believe me, I've had those moments where I'm driving along on the highway somewhere and I see the sign for Copenhagen, and think, why don't I just keep going, across the water to the continent and AWAY?! I never do it, though. :)

Happy Mother's Day. I can relate to what you wrote too. I can't ever just feel settled and say "this is it". I want to continue exploring and searching and trying out new things. And yet I am in this place where the options feel more limited - married, kids, setting in and trying to building our life together, filling our days. I am happy for the most part and just try to enjoy each moment and each day, but there is a part of me that will always wonder what is next and what it would be like on other patches of grass. What sign are you by the way?

Yep, me too...even though it's not necessarily a "grass is always greener" thing.

My sun sign is Leo, but my moon and ascendent and half my planets (at least) are in Virgo.

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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