Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oh, This Restless Heart of Mine

Can I be honest with you? Of course, I am going to do it even if you say, "No, Reba, I prefer you to not be" because I will have already written this. Sometimes I just have to share the nitty gritty of life. And I apologize if this ruins any ideals you may have of me (which I could have assured you a long time ago were erroneous :).

Let me preface all of this by saying I do love my family. I truly do. And I am so very blessed to be the wife of Mark and the mother to our four. I am grateful for what God has placed in my life. I really am. And I love my role as teacher. I truly look forward to each day (once I get past that moment of the alarm going off before I am ready for it to). I have learned over and over (especially in the last year) how life can change in the blink of an eye; all that I treasure can be lost in a moment. Please know that I am not making light of this at all.

I have to confess though. Sometimes, I get a little restless. Well, right now I am a LOT restless. And I am not sure how to fix it.

If you had asked me five years ago to describe myself, I am pretty sure that the word "homebody" would have come up at some point. And in some ways, I still am. I do enjoy evenings at home, especially laid back evenings that don't require delivering children anywhere or rushing here and there. I am still highly protective of our family meals (though they are fine with me when we are eating out too :). And I tend to stay within about a five mile radius of my house if at all possible, with the exception of Target which is a little further away. So in some ways, homebody is an accurate description.

However, even as much as I like being at home, I have a little spirit of adventure. Little being the keyword. You will not find me hang gliding or parachuting any time soon. And forget camping for me. There is nothing that appeals to me about community showers or sleeping in a cold tent. But I do enjoy the adventure of travel. I love to visit new places (though I like to find out what I can before I go so I know what I am doing :) and try new things...within reason.

Lately, I feel trapped. I have a restless heart. I want to go. I want to do. I just don't know how to fix it. I find myself saying, "Honey, do you ever think of just leaving it all behind and starting over somewhere else?" Today I was walking through the grocery store, cart full of groceries, and I actually felt a heavy weight on my chest...I just felt the need to run away as far as I can. I asked Mark when I came home whether it ever occurred to him that I might NOT come home. It hadn't. I am too predictable. Maybe too reliable...

I have several theories for why I am feeling this way. One is that life is busy right now. We are so careful about not over involving our kids. We have always said "one thing at a time". And we have stuck with it with the exception of Child 2 and gymnastics/basketball, mainly because gymnastics doesn't have an "end" and it is very different than basketball. It is a fine line, that line between wanting your kids to try new things and not overloading the family. That is where I am VERY thankful for Mark. We divide and conquer a lot (like this morning when one had swim team and another had a basketball game).

Another theory is the weather. It has been a long winter. I realize this winter is the same length as all of our other winters. However, we have had a LOT more snow than usual. I don't recall ever having this many snow days. I also don't recall this many days of indoor recess. That means (especially as cold natured as I am) that I am stuck inside too. And as much as I love our house, the walls are closing in on!

There is also just the responsibilities of life. Being at home so much reminds me of how much this house needs to be cleaned out and organized. The dishwasher is always either full of dirty dishes or clean dishes. There is no in between. We have baskets of laundry waiting to be done. (An unfortunate consequence of parent/teacher conference week is that I get further behind on housekeeping than usual.) Meals need to be made. And children need to be tended to whether it is supervising homework or reading "Thomas the Tank Engine" yet again. Right now, one child is being a bit extra ornery which means a lot of extra energy on my part to handle the behavior. And another child is extremely clingy. When we went to my mom's house yesterday, I was going to leave for a short bit with my sister. I was walking toward the door with a child wrapped around my leg. Oh, to be can be a bit suffocating at times!

As you know, I am struggling through Biggest Loser right now. I lose a little, I gain a little. Thus far, I think I am only one pound less than I was when I started. I am not starving myself by any means, but what I eat is always in front of me, in every thought. I eat light chips, light sour cream, light/2 % cheese, baked cheetos, etc. If I am going to have a bigger meal for dinner, I eat a lighter lunch. I am trying to stick with one soft drink a day (and even more, trying to stick to an 8 ounce rather than a 12 ounce). I have been exercising quite a bit. In fact, I have "worked out" more in the past six weeks than all of last year put together. I have recently been cutting back due to my knee pain but I am still trying to work out. All that to say, I still feel a little deprived. I find myself recently looking at "bad foods" with longing eyes and a drooling mouth. In some ways, I wonder if my need for "adventure" is a need to fill the hole that depriving myself of what I truly want to eat leaves in my gut. Oh, I know I shouldn't deprive myself but should show moderation. I am afraid though if I just let myself eat what I wanted, there would be NO moderation. :)

Finally, and let me say I feel like a lawyer here building a case, I don't have as much travel to look forward to. Last year we went to DC for spring break, Florida for a week in the summer, and then of course we ended the year with Disney World. Okay, we overdid it a bit with travel last year. That is why our budget is a bit bare right now. But it sure was fun. :) We are planning on the beach again this summer (scraping and saving), but that is about it. I have mentioned (to hubby) possibly a long weekend a few hours away for some family hiking over spring break, but that was met with a "hohum" response. So right now, the beach is it. It just seems SO far away. And Mark and I have really not had more than a night away in a really long time. We don't really have people lined up to keep our four kiddos. :) Hiking last fall helped meet some of the "adventurous spirit" but right now, it is too cold and too wet.

The signs of a restless heart are obvious. Signs like hanging out on the internet but without much purpose...just kind of escaping. (The i-Touch also does that, provides a bit of escape, especially when I start playing Scramble 2) Signs like raising my voice in frustration when I find out that once again, a little person purposely did not wash their hands or is trying to aggravate a sibling. Signs like tossing a child's book (not at a child, just to the side) when it is waved repeatedly in front of my face while I try to finish up a chore. Signs like longingly looking at travel ads that come across the computer screen.

So I have the signs. I have the symptoms. I just don't have the cure. I just know that at least today...I have a very restless heart!

PS Just for the record, I don't truly plan on running away any time soon. I really know I would miss everyone if I some point. :) But it doesn't mean I don't think about it on occasion. :)

PSS I don't know that I really need to escape FROM the family. I just really need to get away. Family is welcome to come too. Hopefully spring will be here soon and we can do a little hiking.


  1. I have been having the exact same feelings!!!

    I find myself longing for a snowy slope to ski, a mountain to hike, a beach to walk on, a roller coaster to ride or even just a trip to the mall (by myself).

    I think the weather is definitely playing a part. We haven't had nice weather since before the Christmas blizzard! I long for a few days of sun!!

    Don't feel alone! Maybe you should come to Tulsa for a day!!

  2. I know the feeling all to well. I too believe the weather is the biggest part of it. However, you can come to NJ anytime, or we could met in Guatemala (warm, sun, lovable children for a long weekend).

  3. Just hopped off the elliptical, where I spent 30 minutes trying to shake a similar mood, while Rainy Days and Mondays played on my ipod.

    You're not alone, I feel this way sporadically, and crawl, climb or claw my way out of these moods ... and if you think about it ... we are actually very fortunate ... nothing is really wrong, just feeling settled in our comfortable lives. I'm trying to use this phase for planning the next chapter. Set some new personal goals, and get focused and busy (and not just on kids, house, office and dogs - but on my own development)

    Or ... you can join Car and me on our cruise :-)

    Sending warm wishes for you to shake off the funks!

  4. How many more days of winter? When we drive near the airport, Emilio will say let's get on the airplane and run away. To where I'll ask? He has no place in mind just somewhere I guess. He likes going on adventures and planes are apparently a reminder of good times. I picked up a Caribbean music CD at the library Saturday to remind me of nice warm beaches. It helped.


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