(image courtesy of stock.xchng)
For the longest time I have been kind of hibernating. As everyone knows, my mother passed away and I had major jaw surgery for sleep apnea in 2009. It took months to recuperate physically and emotionally, well we all know that pain never really goes away. It gets better and softens around the edges a bit, but never goes away.
At the beginning of 2010 I celebrated my 40th birthday. Two weeks later, I found out I was pregnant with my third (and last) child. I was just getting things under control when this beautiful surprise set me into kind of a tail spin. Of course, he is my blessing. I was just completely surprised and caught off guard.
At that time, because my youngest was in kindergarten, I was volunteering at the girls' school. I made a few mom friends there and I did my best to keep up with the "You are a stay at home mom. You have time. You should volunteer for everything!" mentality. When what my heart was saying was "you should create, create, create!"
I ruffled a few feathers when I decided to resign sharing home room coordinator responsibilities for my daughter's kinder class. It was middle of the year and my sweet friend that I was assisting was a very capable seasoned HRC. I resigned via email, politely stating my reasons. In hindsight, I wish I would have had a conversation with my friend before resigning. I missed the fact that she was extremely busy with other volunteer positions and it was her busiest time. The email was sent to 4 people. Only one responded. She responded sweetly, telling me she understood completely and wished me luck in my creative endeavors. But the damage was done. I blackballed myself so to speak and this was confirmed the following fall by a friend of mine at the time. She told me I was right, when I had assumed this out loud to her. Of course I was 8 months pregnant at the time, so I didn't really care. I had no energy for volunteering or creating!
When I was pregnant with Kyle. I started whittling down the volunteering even more. I am one of those moms that is kind of a homebody with my babies. I don't like to run here and there, dragging my infant carrier with me. Now I know if you have older children, some running around just cannot be avoided, but my daughters were old enough to understand that some of their activities were going on hold for a few months.
Enter the beginning of my hibernation. It started when I had had enough of trying to explain myself and resign from a volunteer position from a group my daughters were in. Knowing that I was not going to want to take Kyle with me everywhere, I started trying to resign when I knew I was pregnant. It wasn't until he was 5 months old I finally got my point across. I admit that I might not have gone about it entirely the right way, but I had been trying to kindly quit for quite a while. Long story short as a result of issues with the group, I had to quit abruptly to be heard. It was ugly. I lost what I thought at the time was a friendship, when really it should have been an acquaintance relationship. The emails and voice messages that flew my direction where the nothing short of nasty. I shared a lot of personal stuff with someone because I thought she was a friend. This stuff was thrown in my face in the worst way. My character was attacked, my marriage even became fair game. I was even threatened to watch out in public if I ran into this person. The hibernation began as a result of this. What was said to others about me? How could I go to my children's activities? I guess this is what the goal was. For me to feel small and scared and to question myself. I shut down. My closest friends knew this, but I didn't really until recently.
I learned so many, many things from this incident and now after 2 years, I am finally feeling back to myself (maybe even better!). I learned that not all acquaintances are true friends. I learned what a real and true friend is. I learned to use better discretion when it comes to what I share with others. I learned that my husband is my greatest supporter. Over and over he told me that the people who really, really know me, know my character and what kind of a person I am, wouldn't believe anything less than good about me. I learned that it doesn't really matter what other people think about the dynamic of my family and household, it only matters that it works for us. I learned my children don't need to have more than one extra curricular activity to fit in and be happy. I learned I don't have to be everyone's all, I only have to be all I can for my family. And they are so much happier for it. Life has it's ups and downs and this was a down I needed to go through to learn all of those things.
So, now the so called hibernation is coming to an end. I have felt in the past couple of months the burden I was putting myself under lift. I am reconnecting with my "real" friends. I am stronger both physically and mentally. Best of all, my creativity is beginning to soar. I am really excited that I am no longer fearing creating art. I don't and won't hold myself back from sharing the talents I have been blessed with.
I have been blessed with many tools to help me on my creative path. I have my own crafting/art space, a great camera, computer, printer and support from my family and friends. I'm looking forward to sharing my creative endeavors with you. I can't wait to experiment and try new things. I can't wait to meet more creative people. I am wide awake, stretching and ready to go. No more hibernating for me!