Friday, January 7, 2011

Martha Jillian Deen doesn't live here

The other day I was driving a kid to one of their umpteen classes/activities/playdates and I heard something interesting on the radio. The host was relaying a conversation she'd had with a friend about goals. Her friend had recently turned 30 and thought about some of the things she needed to learn. Like how to fold a fitted sheet and how to cook better meals. She wanted to get an exercise routine started and get healthier. Role models, experts in their fields, came to mind, but she decided that she didn't have to be just like them.

It got me thinking.

- I'd love to be as creative as Martha Stewart, to have a beautiful house and host amazing get-togethers with every detail carefully planned and executed.

- I'd love to love to exercise like Jillian Michaels, to have the energy and enthusiasm she does for making my body strong and healthy.

- I'd love to cook fabulous meals like Paula Deen, with southern comfort food and lots of butter. I'd also love to have her beautiful silver hair.

Then there are the slightly less famous people I'd like to emulate.

- The Pioneer Woman and her fabulous blog, writing style, and new career writing books.

- The Nester with her beautifully decorated home.

- Heather, from Oh My Stinkin' Heck, who has such an awesome homeschool that blends work and fun.

But you know what? I can't be all of them. Not a single person on that list is all of them. Martha doesn't have rock hard abs and Jillian wouldn't be caught dead using whole sticks of real butter. The Nester doesn't have a schoolroom in her house and Heather doesn't go on book tours. They each chose an area to focus their time and energies. None of them are perfect at everything and we're doing ourselves a disservice to think that we have to be.

Today my oldest daughter asked if I ever wanted to write a book. Well, yes. I've considered it, seriously at times, but I'm not ready to devote my life to it. Not right now. I love reading good books and I have very definite criteria as to what constitutes a good book, but I don't have the passion and drive to write at this time in my life. I dabble in many things - cooking, blogging, photography, homeschooling, music, crafting. I spend a lot of time driving my kids around to different activities. I play on my computer and get involved in church activities.

My ultimate goal is to become more intentional about how I spend my time, but we've got to finish out some commitments we've made that have proven to be big time-suckers. Yesterday I snapped and complained about something, prompting Mr. at Home to ask if I was happy. And I *am*. I just get tired of the never-ending treadmill of the daily routine. I want to find something I'm passionate about and have the time to pursue it. I want to be able to say "yes" to some big dream even when it means saying "no" to other things that I dearly enjoy.

I can't be Martha Jillian Deen who constantly redecorates her home and negotiates movie rights to her latest book while her children play educational games. But I CAN be Valerie who lives her life with passion and purpose.

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