When I was younger, I spent a lot of time trying to be a certain kind of person or do a certain thing. My self concept was quite tied up in all those doings and strivings (I traveled and hiked and spent long nights writing in coffee shops, got all A’s no matter what) even my clothes (went through a horrendous period around 20 when I’d wear nothing but long skirts with long johns underneath and mens’ tweed jackets. Even in the summer-- yikes!) I thought three steps ahead, laser-focused on what I might be doing in the future. And I was not entirely happy, either. Often, I didn’t meet my own crazy expectations; often, I wished I was somewhere doing something different.
But somewhere along the way I just sort of mellowed out. Now, I am where I am —trying not to think too far ahead, to get too grouchy about the inevitable kid’s messes and squabbles, to be a good mother, wife, shepherd, writer, teacher, to take it as it comes. Lately, I am right there—picking maggots out of a wounded chicken, reading the third bedtime story, wrestling a recalcitrant ram down to a new pasture, even commuting through 1 ½ rounds of NPR—there I am, right there, and I don’t have the time or desire to think about who I really am, what I really want or value, what else I might be doing. I just… do. Maybe there’ll be time enough for all that other stuff later?