Today I was asked to make a list of at least one hundred words that describe who I am. My first thought was, “Okay.” My second thought, several minutes later was, “Who am I?” Because after listing mom, writer, music lover and a couple of other very basic things…I was at a complete loss. And I still had ninety-five words left to find.
A third thought quickly followed. “I must be the most boring person on the planet.” Five words on my list? Five?!
The instructor for the workshop who issued this ‘homework assignment’ gave examples of things that were on her list…which only served to prove my point. I am boring. She even wrote down a few popular video games to help describe her, something I could have put down…if we were composing a list of lies. My hand/eye coordination, as far as those games go, has always sucked. Besides, I think this is an exercise to build the participants up, not tear them down, and I am so not good at video games. Consequently I’d never be able to write or talk about them with any degree of knowledge.
I suppose I could have written ‘sewing’ down. I’m actually a fairly good seamstress. But I find sewing to be one of the most boring hobbies on the planet. Second only to crocheting, which I can do well enough to make a basic afghan. Some people find working with yarn to be rewarding and relaxing. I look upon it more as a punishment I have to endure. Which is why I stopped making baby blankets for shower gifts.
So…who am I?
I don’t enjoy video games or most crafting projects. Unlike the majority of other women I know, I barely tolerate shopping, my goal being to leave in the fewest minutes possible after walking in the door. Truth be told, I usually spend more time waiting in a check-out line than I spent strolling the aisles.
Another author taking the same workshop told me I wasn’t boring, I’d just thought about myself as a writer for so many years that’s all I think of myself as now. She was right, to a point, except being a mom has hit the top of that list since my first child was born. So maybe I’ve thought of myself as nothing but a mother and a writer for so long I don’t know what else I am.
It reminds me of another question I was asked not too long ago. What do I like to do for fun?
That question was almost as difficult to answer as this one.
I wonder if it’s moments like these that are the catalyst behind the whole mid-life crisis thing. Do people suddenly wake up one day and realize that they don’t know who they are, or what they do for fun and decide to do something about it? Because let me tell you…it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I’m finding this rather disconcerting.
Of course now that the list is complete, it’s going to be business as usual tomorrow. And the next day, and the next, and the one after that… Because it really doesn’t matter whether finding words that describe me comes easily or not. Who cares whether I can verbalize what I think is fun?
I am who I am. Mostly a mom and a writer. I’m happy with many areas of my life, but unhappy with others. I don’t need a list of words to tell me what I already know, deep down inside.
And maybe I don’t know the meaning of fun anymore, at least not as I defined it as a teen, or when I was in my twenties. Now I think I just prefer to enjoy life. To smile at something as simple as watching a couple of goats playing in the field down the road, unexpected and thoroughly entertaining. Or maybe relaxing while sitting around a bonfire, chatting and laughing with friends and family, watching all the kids roast marshmallows until they look like charcoal melting off the sticks.
I don’t need the excitement of parties or… Hmm. I can’t really remember what I thought was fun when I was a kid. Funny how life skews our memories, isn’t it? We miss the good old days, wish we could turn back time and do it all over again…but why? What specific reasons do we have for wanting to relive the ‘best days of our lives?’
If I could manage to go back in time, it wouldn’t be to repeat all the fun things I did. It would be to spend more time with people I love, especially those who are gone now. It would be worth going through everything that it took to get me the place I am today.
Where might that be? That elusive place called content. Yes, I believe I’m finally content with my lot in life. Most of the time anyway. And that’s okay. Really, what else can you ask for in life?