Eleven in 2011

I've had my own mini-mid-life-crisis recently. Well, call it what you want. But I've questioned a lot of things. Some of them being -- "who am i really?" "what do I like to do?" "what invigorates me?" and "what makes life full of meaning for me?" 

Basically, what am I passionate about?

And am I allowed to be anything other than MOM?

You might call my learning curve fairly steep -- married with two kids four years after my college graduation. If you minus the time spent pregnant completely brain-dead and nursing in the middle of the night sub-human, I haven't had a lot of time to figure myself out.

Until recently.

Success Your Way defines passion as being "that ONE thing that excites you so much you jump out of bed each morning excited and enthused to do it."

Ya. *sarcasm warning* I'm just thrilled to wake to cries, wet soggy diapers and scratching baby nails.

I love my kids. I love being a mom.

But I believe everyone deserves to have personal interests. A mother shouldn't give up her entire life story to raise the kids. It's just not fair. To her or them.

When I was young, I wished that my mom had more personal passions, more to bring her joy. I felt guilty that she didn't have much fun. Like I had taken something from her.

I think I did. Whether it was her self-sacrificing choice...or just what happened over time.

So -- of course, my instincts are to be that amazing mom that puts her children first. All the time. Way above her own needs. And the guilt. Oh, the guilt.

And then, after a few weeks of martyrdom and self-sacrifice, I CRACK. And it's not pretty. And with each new crack, I feel my entire being crumbling apart.

So enter interventions. There are many. Mostly it's just a brain shift. And it's helping. 

And I'm answering questions about ME:

1. What are your interests?
Writing, photography, seeing art in life, music, outdoor adventures, ice skating, exercise.

2. What makes you happy?
Travel, beauty, adventure, laughter.

3. How do you want to feel?
I want to feel like what I do contributes. What I do is meaningful. Who I am is special. 
4. What upsets you?
Disharmony. Chaos. When people are sad or disconnected.
5. What makes you angry?
Injustice. When life isn't fair. When I don't understand.

6. What makes you sad?
Seeing others hurting. Watching children cry.

7. Why do you do what you do everyday?
Because I love my family. Because I want them to feel cared for.
8. If you let yourself dream what would you like to try?
Travel blogging. Photography and sensory writing, from locations all around the world.

9. What would you try if you knew no one was watching?
I might try graphic design. Or pretend I write for a magazine. 

I am mommy. 100%. And in every other minute I will be thinking about who else I am. Defining myself to live inside my strengths. To be the best me I can be.

Just don't ever leave mom out of the picture. Keep her right there. She's a person too. That's how we want her.

And with that {very long} introduction, here's the reason for this post:

11 Fun and Wild and Awesome Things for Mom to Do in 2011.
In no particular order.

1. Visit a new-to-me national park

2. Go zip-lining

3.Volunteer at an elementary school

4. Go night skiing

5. Publish some of my writing

6. Begin teaching [Peter] piano lessons

7. Do a photo-shoot for someone

8. Participate in a public musical performance 

9. Decorate our walls with framed original photographs

10. Join a women's soccer team

11. Go tubing down a river