>Once you’ve let your groove go for, say, several years, it just isn’t that easy to get back, I’m afraid. Maybe if we women realized how hard it is to reclaim our groove once lost then we wouldn’t be so quick to let it go. But I know, in the consuming season of vigilant motherhood, the flurry of necessary domesticity and the subsequent exhaustion, that I’m not the first woman to lose her groove along the way. And while getting your groove back isn’t that easy neither is writing about it, apparently. It has taken me so long to get back here because I’ve struggled and struggled between wanting to write something inspirational and telling the truth. I keep thinking that it should be easy to pound out some pithy, precious modern-day parable that would make me look great and leave readers with a little feel-good glow, but it hasn’t been. Not at all. I don’t have any easy, inspirational answers.
Last I left you, I was headed back up the mountain with a bag full of new, but still modest, deaconly wife underwear and a head full of painful mulling. Things were not just so simple as buying a red bustier and letting the good times roll.
I still had two teenagers at home. One was on the brink of womanhood and needed sane guidance and one was beginning to give us fits by not listening to any guidance, sane or otherwise. The answer clearly wasn’t to let the horse have its head just now, but to pull in the reins even harder. That I’d let it inadvertently slip out to the befuddled saleslady that I was a pompous, self-righteous ass was regrettable and even alarming, but the fact was I felt that everything I was doing I was doing for all the right reasons. The godly, right reasons. And I’m not now saying I wasn’t either. I felt I was.
See, it just isn’t so easy. I was doing many of the right things for the right reasons, and I was doing some wrong things for the right reasons, but I also was doing some right things for the wrong reasons, and I was doing some unnecessary things for God knows why? And I was too confused to figure it out during one measly car drive home after a long day of shopping. Mainly I was too scared of what was happening with my son, and I was too busy trying to be a righteous role-model for my daughter to take the time to really sit down and wonder about where I was going in my life. I truly felt like it was all up to me to turn this out well and I didn’t want to screw it up. I was very scared.
So on my drive home from underwear shopping, I assessed my life and where it could possibly be going. Would I ever wear red underwear again? Was it over for me? I was 42, out of shape, with a closet full of over-sized frumpy clothes. I had a husband who adored me, but I often was unavailable to him as I was so caught up in my own head games and my overwhelming fears regarding mothering and just life in general. Where once I’d been a vital woman with a vibrant sexuality now I was just going through the motions much of the time in ugly, self-righteous underwear.
Also, my mind had become captivated by mediocrity. Day after day, my mind predictably ran down familiar paths that had become ruts. Deep comfortable ruts that didn’t include romance or romantic thoughts or even really deep thoughts on any topic most of the time. And frankly, I liked it that way. I liked my ruts and had no real desire to be free of them. Well, not exactly. Obviously something was wrong. The shrill and defensive feelings elicited in the dressing room had momentarily jarred me awake–I wasn’t quite what I was pretending to be and I knew it. But then, like now, I didn’t know what I knew. I only knew that I knew it.
Unfortunately, things weren’t going as well as they promised in the seminars. Not only were my children sprouting these minds of their own, BUT they were going to grow up and use those minds to go off and live their own lives. My job of mom was going to end and then what? What was I going to do then? More children, either biological or adoptive, was out of the question. There was no putting it off; there was no evading it. Motherhood, as an all-consuming endeavor, was going to end, and possibly badly (at this point, it was all just fear and speculation, but I definitely saw the dark and foreboding clouds looming large on the horizon with our son). I’d poured all of my life into my mothering leaving nothing left for me. If my children didn’t fulfill my dreams, what then? My children were my dreams. I felt like there was no me left. Where was I?