Thursday, January 31, 2013

ants in my pants

So, I have a chronic condition.

About once a year I get the this ants-in-my-pants need for change, for something more or different.

It happened pre-marriage and it continues to happen now that I'm married.

A few examples:

In the middle of my second year at BYU-Idaho, the cold cold cold days finally froze one too many of my bones and my last unfrozen nerve decided I needed a change. I took all the steps to apply to  Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Soon, I found out I was admitted, my thoughts quickly turned to this new experience I was facing - my itch was scratched, at least for a little while.
While pursuing a political science degree I had a mid-college-life crisis. I sat down with my friend Betty and while eating New York style pizza decided I was going to change my major. I took all the steps necessary and applied to the Communications: Print Journalism program and was accepted.
I was three years into my time at BYU, in the middle of my second to last semester before I was supposed to graduate. But I felt that all too common feeling. I was itchy, I was antsy and I needed a change. While trying to figure out what that change was going to be I was in a car wreck that totaled my car. I took it as a sign to go home to Oregon, finish a my degree online and start on the next life experience (why I took a car wreck as a sign to go home, I'm not sure - I think ultimately that's just what I wanted to do). So, I took the necessary steps - got a job at a newspaper as a circulation manager and moved back to Oregon.
I'm pretty sure this itch happened again four months into our marriage. I decided that I needed to get pregnant - and we did!
And now the itch has returned. This antsy feeling is so annoying! Maybe this time it's a need to feel validated - not that my husband doesn't make efforts to validate my roles, but a different kind of validation or contentment. Maybe all stay at home moms feel this feeling, but they just handle it better. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I told you that in the last week I've looked up jobs in the magazine industry, looked into becoming a blog contributor, looked into health coaching, and looked at jobs and internships in the political realm. Eric is always a good sport and way better at expressing support than I am. He's always confident in me, which is something I am not!

I want to feel content in what I'm doing here at home! I want this to be enough! It should be enough, it's what I thought I've always wanted. But, what if it's not, then what?

I was reading the account in the Old Testament of Naaman. He was a great Syrian leader who was struck with leprosy. Eventually he was directed to Elisha the prophet. Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman directing him to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times and then he would be cleansed of his leprosy.

 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

The servants question to Naaman really struck me. The Lord hasn't asked me to be some great politician, or magazine editor, or whatever. He's asked me to raise a daughter in his ways, and to love my husband and be his help-meet.

Naaman then humbled himself, entered the Jordan River and was cleansed. What does this mean for me? I'm not sure quite yet, but it means something.

Sorry if this was just a jambalaya of words, but I needed to get it out there.

Any response, insight, calming words, advice will be appreciated.


HollBurd said...

Start a business... Oh wait! You already did that! Hmmm... Come visit us in Hermiston? Go back to school? Take up a new hobby? Travel to Europe? Try out for the local theatre's next act?

PBJK Ussery said...


I would like to believe that what you're going through is completely "normal". Here's my perspective on your situation--based solely on my experiences and current understanding. First, we have been created with the desire to create and to constantly improve ourselves. I say stick with what you know. It doesn't make your situation easier and doesn't make some of these feelings go away completely, but in keeping an eternal perspective, it's a lot easier to endure and stick with it! What I mean is this. Make a list of things you KNOW. Absolute truth. You are a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves you. So is your daughter. As you have written before, you have been called to be her mother and raise her and teach her and lead her. Heavenly Father is pleased with yours and Eric's decision to be married in His way--now you are working to strengthen your Eternal Family. You are doing exactly what you were sent here to do. In the meantime, your babe is young. Sure, she has needs, but you are still left with lots of time during the day and may not have much to SHOW for even the busiest of days, like you may if you worked a job that earned you a paycheck. I remember when Jackson was born, I just wanted to be home with him all the time. But 7 days after he was born, I was back in school 40 hours a week (in the middle of the Education Program). 19 months later, Kate was born and I still felt like I always had way more to accomplish than I ever had time for. 18 months later, Lucy was born... and on our lives continued. Busy. I think back, though, to that first summer when Jackson was 6-9 months old. I took a break from school that summer and Parker was working full time. Those were some very long days. I remember running out of ideas of things to do with my baby. I loved him and loved being with him, but there were days, I counted down the hours until Parker would come home from work. I feel like I'm rambling. I guess my point is, the adversary is going to work hard on you... especially because you are doing such a good job doing your job! He's going to discourage you in every way he knows how. Fight it. Because as cliche as it may be in our culture, you DO have the most important job in the world. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise! Give yourself a break and give yourself some time. Your babe will grow and you will welcome more sweet little ones to your family in time. In a few years, you will be where I am now... which is... wondering what on earth happens to the precious hours in my days! With 3 little ones to care for and play with and love (and another one on the way), my days are FULL, in all the best ways. I look back on that first summer alone with Jackson and my foremost feelings are of mommy guilt for ever wishing for the days to pass more quickly. I have never really admitted this openly before. But I also look back and smile. Everything has its own season. I can't interpret your emotions or impressions, but at times these kinds of feelings were Heavenly Father's way of prompting me that it was time to bring another little one into our family. I don't know what it means for you. Just try to keep doing things you enjoy with your little one. Set goals and "bloom where you are planted" - enjoy where you are right now. And never forget the source of discouragement and frustration. Push it off and don't let it get you down. You are AMAZING!! Keep up the good work. It is an INCREDIBLE work!! I love you, friend!

Alexa Lougee said...

Thanks for reading and encouraging gals, I really do appreciate it!