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Some Serious Girl Talk

1.29.2007

I had lunch with two friends from my old neighborhood on Saturday. It was Jana's birthday, and Shauna and I thought it would be fun to take her out. She is such a fun lady. Her kids are grown- her youngest comes home from his mission this summer. I made a comment to her about how her life must be so much fun- the freedom to go and do whatever you want, whenever you want. To just be able to hang out with your husband, go on trips, dates. She looked at me and said, "YOUR life is fun." She continued to tell me about how being an "empty nester" is lonely a lot of the time, and especially quiet. Really? Quiet? I can't imagine not enjoying that. She also told me to enjoy the diapers, the craziness, the busy days of taking one kid to volleyball, the other to soccer... the piano lessons, swim lessons, school activities, dances. All of the things that take up so much time, because once I am not doing those things, I will be wishing I were. I love this woman for her experience, and her willingness to be so honest with me. She is one of my most favorite people in the world.

I know what you are thinking mom... "I've told her this a million times!" I guess I needed to hear a second opinion.

More serious talk? My friend, Shauna, works in the Young Womens' program in her ward. She was talking about how most of the girls in her class don't have any ambition or goals beyond graduating, getting married, and being a mom. I became really emotional about this. I didn't cry or anything, but just really wanted to help her figure out what she could do to help these girls realize there is more to life than getting married and being a mom. NOT that these things are bad at all, and not that they shouldn't want to have these goals. They should, and I am glad they do. But as I think of what I would like for Maddy to experience in her life, it goes beyond marriage and motherhood. College? A tradeschool- art school, design school, hair school? Travel? A mission? A career? Interests? Hobbies? Talents being continually developed and shared? Politics? Community? Service? All things that will help her to be a great wife, and a great mom. But what if she doesn't get married right away? What if she marries at 25 like we hope?

And then I realized that in high school, I felt much the same way as these girls do. I went to college thinking that was how I would meet my husband. Anyway, this could be an entry all in itself, but my point is that I was there, and felt that. And I really want for Maddy to WANT to experience a few things before she settles down. I was 26 when Aaron and I married- and I am soooooooooo glad I was at least that old. You know that song "some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered parayers"? It applies to many of my prayers in my early 20's.

One other experience this conversation reminded me about is a lesson that I had in church one Sunday- for the women in our ward. To discover our personal mission in life. President Elsworth talked about how as women, we have an important responsibility to recognize what our personal "mission" is in this life. What are our talents, our strengths, our interests? This struck me as I have always struggled with what my "talent" or passion is.

So back to this conversation with my girlfriends. It caused me to realize that I still need to search deep down inside to find what it is that I am passionate about. What my talents are. What things are really interesting to me. The best way to teach is by example, so I guess it's time that I figure it out!

Life is still crazy busy. Things are getting wrapped up with our house. Counter tops, plumbing, and light fixtures all go in this week. The sad thing is, it has been such a nightmare that it's hard to feel excited about it. I couldn't sleep last night- I just kept thinking about all of the things that still need to be done and wondering how it's all going to come together.

And a final note. Grey's Anatomy- now there's an interest easily identified : ) Seriously, what is George doing? What is he doing? Callie is growing on me, but for real? Your dad just died, George- don't be making any rash, life changing decisions like that! And Burke- you can't marry Cristina. As a couple, you wouldn't be interesting anymore. And Meredith and McDreamy might as well be married as boring as they have been the last few episodes. I loved that Alex kissed Addison and then told her he's not interested in her. And will someone please do something with Meredith's hair?!!

6 comments:

Aimee said...

Oh Mandee....I could go on for days on this subject. All I wanted in life was to get married and have babies. When I was maybe 16 we had a youth activity and we had to dress up like who we wanted to be in 5 years. My friend and I went as pregnant house wives...so much for ambition. I was just talking to a friend about this. I would give anything to have had some great experiences before marriage. School...Career...Travel. I love my husband and my girls, but some days I just wish I had done something for me..before I was a we. And because of this thought I finally found my passion in life and I know what I want to be when i grow up. So keep on looking, it is out there.

Aimee said...

One more thing. I am reading a book called Beyond Belief that is fascinating. It goes into how have control over our cells, how we are able to control and shape our lives..it is not all up to genetics. If we are unhappy..it is because that is who we believe we are supposed to be, but we don't have to be that person. We have so much power, it is amazing.

Aimee said...

Sorry, me again...It is the Biology of Belief, Bruce Lipton.

Mandee said...

I'll have to check that book out- sounds interesting!

Tiffany said...

Oh my Mandee, I am passionate about this. I am in the YW Pres in our ward and I feel like many of the girls are so apathetic and don't even have a strong desire to do ANYTHING!

I hate laziness with a passion. I hate apathy. Our time is so short in this life and there is just too much to learn and too many things to be done. I hate to see someone just waste their life away.

What I think is even more sad is youth that have these fantastic ambitions but don't do a darn thing to get themselves anywhere. My husband is a teacher in pretty much the most ghetto area around here. Last year he taught in inner city Philadelphia. So many of his students said "I want to be a lawyer, I want to be a docter, I want to be a NBA star" but wouldn't do CRAP for him in the classroom. DONT THEY REALIZE THAT WHAT THEY DO NOW MATTERS?

Can you tell I am passionate about this? When I taught I had a huge bulletin board that I had all my students write their goals on and underneath each one their fellow classmates would write down things they could do now to get to where they want to go later. It was great.

I better run, Max just woke up.

I could talk (write) for hours ont his topic.

Tiffany said...

That opening line sounds funny it should have read:

Oh my, Mandee,

instead of Oh my Mandee,

ha ha