Author: Marjorie Sarah

Creating Identity Inspiration Simplicity Spiritual Exploration Yoga/Mindfulness

My Primary Interests

On December 11, 2012, a date that I was feeling a little lost in the Universe, I made a list and named it My Primary Interests. They are in no particular order. At a time when I was feeling pretty detached from these primary interests, mainly because I was in a career that was in no way a good fit for me after leaving my kinda-good-fit-career-that-just-wasn’t-working-at-the-time, it felt good to have them in writing and I’d read them every so often to remind me of the things I like to entertain my brain with.

I’m happy to report that I’ve never felt more at home in my career as a stay and home mom/wife and I’m elated, shocked and surprised at how much I’ve settled into the role in such a short period. It’s kinda amazing to me how unstressful and simple some household activities can be when that is what you are mainly focusing on. I still struggle with a lot of the same issues I’ve always had in the anxiety department, however, my life overall has a much more peaceful, simple tone and it feels really, really nice. I can go out of my way to do extra things for people or be extra attentive to people that I love, when before, I didn’t have it in me at times. It’s also interesting to observe that the same behaviors and anxiety triggers exist when you change some major things in your life (like my career 3 times in less than 1 year). It proves that you need to be settled within to be happy and those external things just contribute. I’m still working on settling within, but the evidence is interesting to see and the changes, step by step, were each in the right direction for me. Thank you, Universe, for nudging me along. Sorry it took me a while to catch on that my own home was where I belong on a daily basis, with my baby boy right by my side. It’s actually all I ever wanted, it just took some time to get there.

Without further ado, here are my primary interests (regarding research, reading, potential employment down the road, discussion etc.; some of these things I have very little knowledge of and want to know more, others, I’m an expert.):

  • attachment theory
  • attachment parenting
  • breastfeeding
  • mindfulness
  • mindfulness based cognitive therapy
  • noetic sciences
  • meditation
  • mind-body connection
  • quantum physics
  • management
  • compassion
  • peace
  • neuroscience
  • love
  • arts & crafts
  • anthropology
  • evolution
  • cultural differences
  • motivation
  • Buddhism
  • organic lifestyle
  • sustainability
  • healthy eating
  • consciousness
  • earth
  • time
  • sociology

Inspiration Motherhood

On the Brink of Another Beginning

When I was in high school and also undergrad, I’d always pictured myself as a grown up, in my mid-twenties perpetually, living in New York City with a tiny apartment and a social crowd of a few close and trustworthy friends and a separate, diverse group of  friendly acquaintances that I’d discover along the way. I’d always be wearing high heels and lipstick, oh and I’d go to the gym everyday. I’d have a cool job, where I was important and made enough money to do what I wanted, to be independent. No true vision of what cool job or enough money actually meant. Being independent would get me there. This was my vision for myself, I guess it was my dream.

With the exception of having a few close friends and a separate, diverse group of friendly acquaintances, my life could not be further from the story above. A few days ago, I turned 30. This isn’t so much about getting old as it is about “independence” and “success” and how I’ve defined those words in the past and how I define them today. I think I was raised to be independent and successful – those goals were instilled in me and repeated often. Ironically, I’m not sure who drove those points home or if I was somehow more susceptible than my female peers to the message delivered by teachers and mentors along the way, but I got the message.

It wasn’t until I became a mother 18 months ago that I actually prefer the beauty that complete dependence and interdependence offers and success as I believed it to be is vastly different than the way I now define that term. When you live 27+ years as I did, seeking to attain independence and success as defined in a paying job, it is utterly confusing to realize your true feelings about things you thought you knew are actually  very different than the way you have been living. It’s almost as if I was brainwashed to think a certain way, and now I’m seeing more clearly. Let me explain.

Why’d I use the word brainwashed? Simple, it’s the only way to describe how I feel. I’d like to clarify that I am not attempting to blame anyone at all for my feeling that way. We are all entitled to our opinions and ideas and ideals.

I feel that my former definitions of independence and success were a sum of my experience growing up in the time period and geographical location I did. Our “do” and “constant” culture that I feel exists in the area that I live in presently doesn’t sit right with me, it makes me nervous and anxious. I know it doesn’t make everyone feel this way. Mainly because I recognize that we are all so different, also because I ask people and they’ve told me so.

Back to independence. I’ve felt the value that is placed on being independent as I grew up. I’ve read the tips and tricks on making our children “independent” so early in life and the idea just didn’t sit right with me. When I was reading parenting books that told me to “leave the baby alone and at 2 weeks they should self-soothe…put the baby to sleep and don’t let them fall asleep in your arms, they need to know how to sleep on their own,” I felt so confused. I did these things, well, not really, but every time I didn’t do them, I thought that I was doing something wrong, but it just didn’t make sense to me! I didn’t want my baby to self-soothe, I was there to do it and how could you expect a 4 day old to self-soothe? Or really, even a 1 year old? They are completely and utterly created dependent creatures for a reason, because you are there to take care of them.

Soon after the confusion of all this, I discovered Attachment Parenting. I really like how this link describes it. It makes sense to me. http://ahimsamama.com/2013/01/my-personal-war-on-attachment-parenting/ Call it what you want, it is a way to raise compassionate, empathetic children and a way to create a more peaceful home and ultimately, a more peaceful world. I think it’s a cool idea.

Soooo…I thought things were going to be one way (cool, successful, independent, city-living, corporate status, wealthy) and I was a bit dizzy when everything panned out just the way the universe wanted it to (attachment parenting, codependent, eco curious, thrifty, departure from the paid workforce, has a house and a yard and a dog). Often I feel confused with the student debt and the no job thing, but I want to be home with my baby when he’s sick and I want to make up the songs and do the artwork, not hear about it and pick up the crafts at the end of the day. Not yet at least.

If my explanation makes no sense, I’m sorry, it’s the best I could do. Sometimes I really just talk and talk and talk and I know exactly what I am talking about but no one else does and it used to be frustrating but I’m learning to realize, it’s ok. I don’t get mad when people don’t get me, or think that I’m doing a bad job articulating, how could anyone know what I’m talking about if their experiences have been so different than mine? I just appreciate the listeners more.

Family Inspiration Motherhood

I’m a mom!

In 11 days I will be returning to work and my maternity leave will be over. So much of my life has been divided into HUGE chunks of time and very distinct categories that lead up to very major transitions. For most of 2011, I was pregnant and learning all of the ins and outs of preparing for a baby and being the best mom I could be. On December 19, 2011, that all ended and I crossed over into motherhood and welcomed the most amazing, cuddly little boy into my life, Brady. The inevitable and much anticipated crossover from pregnancy to motherhood was one that I obviously knew was going to happen, but the emotions surrounding the transition and the feelings that go along with it are not any that one can prepare for.

Life with Brady is so raw, so present and so real. Not to say that everything that came before him was “superficial” but that’s the best comparison I can think of. This life of being a mom and having a little boy and loving him so so so much is so amazingly cool. It’s so different than I’d pictured it – so much better than my already awesome vision.

But now again I sit here on the brink of another crossover – from having every waking second with my little tiny baby boy to returning back to work. Being out of the house for so many consecutive hours wearing shoes and clothes that haven’t fit me comfortably in one whole year is scary to me. How will I know what to do and how to act and how will I get all the things that need to be done accomplished? I’m looking forward to regaining a bit of independence but also terrified of the transition and all that will go along with it.

Adventures & Travel Identity Inspiration

On learning to drive at twenty-eight

Not driving until 28 has really made me who I am today. First of all, I am forever grateful to all the loved ones that have picked me up in the rain, and even in the sunshine, so that I didn’t have to walk. To my mom and sister and husband and friends that have gone out of their way to get me on the way to an adventure or who have come to visit me at my house because I couldn’t get to their house via regional rail. I know it wasn’t always convenient for everyone to go out of their way to get me, but in a way, it made us all spend more time together – which is kinda cool. Sean and I have always gone to the food store together, I got to spend extra time with my mom when I was pregnant because she would drive me to and from the train on her way to and from work, and that semester when my sister and niece met me at the train station after work and drove me to class each Wednesday was so fun because seeing them was always the highlight of my day.

Most people were shocked to learn that I didn’t drive over the years. “How do you do things?” They’d ask. Sometimes I had to be creative (like the giant red shopping cart when we lived in center city, or bags over my shoes, or extra shoes,etc) and other times I was really lucky to have a loved one help me out. I may not have contributed my time as a driver, but I like to think I contribute in other ways like providing entertainment, bringing a treat, buying coffee, or telling funny stories (mainly stories that I acquired while riding public transportation).

Let’s see, there was the creepy guy on my train that used to lean over my shoulder and comment on the articles I read – that was freaky, or the loud mouthed ladies that all sit together and complain about everything all the way to and all the way from work, the freaky fingernail lady that got on at Olney or the elderly cell phone talkers that think the people on the other end can only hear you if you yell into the phone.

Whenever I had to get somewhere, the first thoughts that went through my mind were: does the train/bus go there….is there a sidewalk….how close is the station to where I need to get…will it be safe…what time is the last train in case I stay late…hope I don’t miss the train…hope I get a seat…if I fall asleep, hope I wake up…etc. But those things never really bothered me, they were just a part of my lifestyle. My dad didn’t drive until after he was 50, so we always took the bus places or walked a lot when we were little and it was all very normal to me.

When I became a mom, I knew it was time. Time to put away the fear and learn to do it and that’s when I met Angel, my driving instructor. I can’t really put into words how it felt to learn to drive but the second I passed the test, tears came to my eyes. I felt like a silly kid at the overcrowded DMV in Northeast Philadelphia on February 11, 2012 as the instructor walked me up to the counter. I got to bypass the line and talk to the guy at the counter right away! I stood there all smiles as he inappropriately hit on me, I thought it was hilarious when usually I would get kinda mad at stuff like that. He was pretty old, but I didn’t even care! Then I went to get my picture and asked for a do over because I didn’t look as happy as I felt. The guy behind the camera didn’t care for me too much when I said, “I don’t look happy and I feel REALLY happy, can we take it again?!” I hopped out of there so happily that nothing could have brought me down. I held that little temporary license in my hand the whole ride home and walked through the door to my house holding it so tight. When I saw Sean and held it up and said, “I passed!!!” he smiled so big and I could tell how happy he was. I kissed our little boy, Brady, on the head and told him how I did it for him.

A major hurdle for me has been jumped. I am still in a bit of shock but ultimately, I’m in a state of accomplishment (if there is such a state) and I feel so proud of me. I’m not sure that anyone can/could really relate to my fear of driving. Most people looked so confused when I’d share that fear with them but we all have that one thing that scares you more than anything in the world and you will do anything to avoid facing it – not because you are lazy or stupid or don’t want to but because you are literally so fearful that it is almost crippling. For me, that was driving. I am so grateful that an Angel was sent my way.

Community Inspiration

Trying to win it

I wonder if I will win a car or the lottery first. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I am working on it and trying to do both. I can’t wait!!! Of course, if I win the lottery, I will do the predictable first (pay off mortgage, school debt and give a chunk to those I love). But then…who knows?!

I like to think about a big party, something fun where I can spoil the guests and they would get neat parting gifts that will make them all happy. Or I might just open a little book shop, where I make all the rules and treat the customers like old friends and we all drink lattes and talk about the passage of time and where does it go and if the Phillies won it again and where we were when major life events happened. I am still just dreaming it all up. What fun!