I just read an interview of Amy Finley by Jennifer Merritt on iVillage. Amy Finley was the winner of "The Next Food Network Star" in 2007 on the Food Network, and was set up for her own show. Citing a "family crisis" she left her show. In summary, the interview focuses on her reasons for leaving this life changing opportunity, and what she is doing now.
The one statement that grabbed my attention was her reason for auditioning for the competition at the beginning. She states, "I was feeling lost in the period of stay-at-home parenthood, when you’re in a panic about who you are." The whole interview is interesting and I admire her for her values and priorities, but really identify with that lost and panicky feeling she had.
The lost panicky feeling has cropped up for me, not due to being a stay-at-home mom, but in the responsibilities of helping an aging parent and a handicapped son. I've sort of buried myself in my computer and housework since I retired about 6 years ago, partly because my self-image was so glued to my occupation. I was just beginning to come out of this land of "who am I really?", when Mom started having more needs for help. Like Amy Finley, my family is more important to me than anything, but I am finding it necessary to find and keep my own identity alive apart from being a caretaker. It's a process, and I am determined to consciously make time to do "my own thing" each day rather than let the hours get swallowed up in caretaking, housework or mindless computer time. I sure don't have a handle on that ideal yet, but I really want to get some creative projects back into my life. I have taken up crocheting again and I want to resume painting and writing - just for me. It's just another one of those things that we have to figure out as we go, but not get sidetracked by the "shoulds". You know - the "I should be doing this (or that)" thing. Then there are the "have to" things, but that's another level to deal with.
Well, that's enough for today's introspection. I should be vacumning the floors, doing laundry and have to meet with the auctioneer this afternoon about Mom's estate auction.