It is 3:00 in the morning and I'm unable to sleep. Rather than toss and turn I got up, took some Airborne in the hopes of warding off what ails me and sat down at the computer. On an impulse, I created this blog. I like to read other people's blogs but I was never sure that I had enough to say to merit a blog of my own. We'll see how this goes.
So I've spent a lot of time thinking about my life and the stage I am in right now. I'm a few days away from my 49th birthday, my baby starts college in the morning, and my role as Mom has changed drastically. Two of our three children live 4 1/2 hours south of us and one lives at home as of 1 1/2 weeks ago, going to the local University. I've been a stay at home mom, spent time volunteering at the various schools and for the Education Foundation. I work in church in whatever capacity I'm asked to do, currently as the compassionate service coordinator. My married life has been spent in coordinating our home, getting kids where they need to be, cleaning up messes, washing endless piles of clothing and preparing countless dinners. But now that my baby has left the nest, what do I do next?
I've been thinking about this for several years really. I knew the day was fast approaching when my role, as I knew it, as mom would drastically change. I didn't really want to find a job. We don't really need additional income as we get along fine on my husband's salary. I anticipate being a grandma someday and want to have the freedom to play grandma whenever possible. So if I'm not going to get a job, what do I do now? Eat bon bons and watch soap operas? I think not. We've had a couple of shocking deaths in our neighborhood. Vibrant people whose lives were cut short most unexpectedly. Sitting through the funerals was thought provoking for me. If I died today, what would people say about me? What would I WANT them to say about me? I can't answer the first question but the second one is easier. I want them to say that I served people. So I have spent months thinking and trying to learn more about service. God decided to help me out by giving me the compassionate service assignment at church. I have been trying to turn my thoughts to other people instead of getting wrapped up in my own little world. Some days I'm more successful than others.
My days of volunteering in the classroom are done, as a parent volunteer anyway. I am still on the education foundation board as my three years aren't up until next year and I'll probably stay on then anyway. But now I have to fill my days with finding service to do. It's easy to serve family. The needs are more obvious to me but what about my neighbors? I have to be more aware and try harder to find ways to be of service to them. That is easier when I keep service as my focus but as soon as I get caught up in a project in our house or whatever, I tend to lose that focus. But I can't give up. I just have to start again, regain my focus and look around me. Everybody needs something, even if it is just a smile and a wave.