My 58 year old brain struggles sometimes with trying to remember.
But at my age, I am beginning to worry about the forgetting.
“Did she forget who she had always wanted to be?” ~Jennifer
I’m no domestic goddess. I paid no attention to how my mom did the laundry. I had my head buried in a book while she was cooking. I didn’t want to be stuck behind the stove or in front of the washing machine. I wanted to travel, learn new languages, earn degrees, and write. I never thought about where and when a husband and children would fit into my plans, but I knew I definitely wanted them. As the years went by, I forgot just how much.
I’ve now traveled so much that I no longer have the wanderlust. I’ve satiated whatever strange need I had to possess knowledge. I’ve come to enjoy writing as an expression of my heart rather than proof of my brain. Marriage and motherhood have humbled me and shaped me. They are integral parts of who I am.
I had an awful case of the flu when it was time to take my February photo. I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling, other than extremely nauseous. I attempted to shoot some self-portraits, hoping I wouldn’t look green. By the time I loaded the photos onto my computer and realized they were unusable, there was nothing I could do. My husband gathered us up for Sunday breakfast out, which it turns out was an early birthday surprise for me. My in-laws were there waiting with smiles and presents. The stack of blueberry pancakes I ate was the best ever, especially because it was the first solid food I had eaten in days. The gifts I received were heartfelt and thoughtful. One of them was a bracelet my mother-in-law had had engraved “Strong in the softest of ways,” (which is the title of an essay I had published in Bella Grace magazine this winter). I gasped when I saw the round charm, so overcome with surprise and so honored to receive it.
After returning home, I started to panic. What was I going to do about not having a photo for the She is Three monthly triptych? Then I looked down, where three items illuminated by the sun streaming in caught my eye. My wedding ring, my new charm bracelet, and the Mama bracelet my daughter had strung for me last year were right there, shining back at me. They are what I had forgotten in the midst of my worry.
I’m still not a domestic goddess, but I am a wife, a mother, and a woman who strives to be strong in the softest of ways. Those roles are far harder than any paying job I have ever held. They are also roles that no amount of studying could have prepared me for. And so I wear my wedding ring and my bracelets proudly. They are badges of honor that I have attained through my heart, not my head. They are reminders of who I always wanted to be.
It’s all too easy to forget the essentials, isn’t it? We get swept up in the whirlwind of life. We stumble here and there. We get distracted. We worry. This month, let’s ask ourselves some questions. Let’s remember what we’ve forgotten. Let’s reconnect to our true essence. Let’s be gentle. Let’s witness ourselves and one another.
Join the three of us on Instagram (@sheisthree) throughout February by tagging your self-portraits #sheisthreedotcom #didsheforget. We’ll be looking for you in our community pool. Thank you for showing up. We’ll be here on the Si3 blog sharing our quotes and the stories behind our photos on the 14th, 21st, and 28th. For now, here’s a little sneak peek video…