Paralyzing Choices

Sometimes it’s hard being a woman. (but not in the way Tammy Wynette claimed)

In some ways the world is our oyster, and in others it’s a big, confusing boat full of too many options. Many of us are wives, mothers, working mothers, stay at home moms, home educators, writers, artists, friends, new moms beginning a journey, older moms trying to understand what’s next. I didn’t want to go on and on with a boring list for others to read, but you catch my drift. The choices and opportunities are endless when you start listing them. However, many of us most often feel trapped with only our dreams in our minds and hearts, never to release them. Why is that?

I suppose the simple answer is that life gets in the way. Life gets in the way of living. Ouch – that hurts to say. There is another way to look at it though. Maybe we miss life as we dream it away? I’m a dreamer, so I am in no way insulting dreaming. But where do we draw the line? How do I know when my dreams are taking me away from what really matters, or when they are significant goals that need to be reached?

I may be figuring this out as I write. It’s in the journey. As we begin the journey of reaching a goal or following a dream, hopefully we’ll get to a point when we’ll notice this process is improving my life, or it’s making life more difficult. I am currently going through the process as I make life changes and seek out a career. Every day I wake up and wonder if I’ll miss out on too much if I am no longer home everyday. Then I imagine how I’ll feel if I never give it a try. I’m always torn. Life truly does fly by quickly……my kids will grow and I might miss a moment here and there, but I will also age and will run out of time and opportunities to explore “me.”

The longer I am on this earth, the more I am amazed by strong women. And quite frankly I don’t know many women who are not strong. The woman with a powerful career and no fear to go for everything she wants, the quiet artist making our hearts cry and sing with artwork or her written words, the content mother at home who needs nothing more, and the sad woman who fears everything because of oppression – yet keeps going because she is so very strong.

Women are amazing. My own mother – no books will be written about her, but I know how strong she is. She spent 28 years with an emotionally abusive husband. She stayed until each of her children were grown so we would all be ok financially. She sacrificed 28 years of her life for us. She’s fought cancer, and fights rheumatoid arthritis every day. When she was young, her father told her to just go to work because girls didn’t need college, yet she is one of the most intelligent women I know. You do not want to play Trivial Pursuit or watch Jeopardy with my mother.

If a man is reading this, please do not feel disrespected or unappreciated as a man. I would never bash men….I’m a big fan. I’m a woman, so I understand what women go through, and won’t pretend to understand what goes on in a man’s mind. I guess my point is that as women, and I think especially as mothers, we have so many possibilities due to career choices, motherhood, volunteer work, creative needs, etc.. I don’t know many women who have a simple answer for it. It’s an abundance of choices but yet because of our drive to nurture, we deal with guilt. Our abundance of choices can become paralyzing and instead we feel stuck, with little to no new opportunities. It’s a strange catch 22.

Well, I love being a woman and I don’t see any of this changing. Obviously I have been retrospective lately. Confusion is a permanent state at this stage of life. That’s ok….I’m rolling with it. I’m excited to be exploring new opportunities. And I’m learning to tell guilt to take a hike.