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What I Want

There’s so much I want to do. Not have to or need to, but want to. I want to write. I want to find a literary agent who will help me pursue publishing. I want to finish grad school with a 4.0 overall average (so far so good!). I want a clean house and to work out for 30 minutes a day. I want to play with my daughters and enjoy quality time with my husband. I want to have time to myself while I’m awake and alert. I want to sleep deeply and wake up when my body feels completely rested. I want to feel like I’ve accomplished what I set out to do at the start of the day.

Do I? It depends on the day. It depends whether I have unexpected surprises, like COVID school closures for Maggie’s ABA, or if Hazel is extra clingy. It depends on the night before. Did I sleep? Did I sleep well? It depends on due dates, both fixed for grad school or self-imposed. It depends on whether I can bring myself back and quiet my mind with deep breaths after a wave of frustration, like folding a basket of laundry and before I could put it away, finding it thrown everywhere, like confetti. It depends on me and my responses.

I could simply do nothing more than tending to my children. Lord knows they keep me plenty busy. Perhaps because it’s not the 1950’s or because up until June of last year, I had my own career, I’m not satisfied with just that. Does it make me a bad mom to want something more, something that I can point to as a product of my own skill and intellect, something that I’ve created from my own hands, heart, and mind, something that is simply mine? I want my daughters to see their mother pursue her dreams so they can believe and put in the work to pursue their own one day. I want to model to my children that they can succeed if they work hard, and they can strengthen their relationships within the family and with future friends.

I find myself contemplating my wants, mentally categorizing them from want to need to momentary whim. I consider the notion of opportunity cost (as in intro to economics). The time spent doing one thing is time you can’t spend doing something else.

My initial conclusion is that there isn’t enough time in 24 hours to get it all done. My follow-up conclusion is that there is, but I need to figure out the how. The how to get what I want is the tricky part. I don’t know the how yet, but I’m trying with one want, one goal at a time.


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