Monday, September 09, 2013

My Father's Daughter

I may have googled `midlife crisis' to figure out if that is what is going on.  I think I may be having one earlier than most people?!  I've made it through the `survive that first year and hopefully you'll get some sleep' stage and now have to think about what I want my life to look like.   I've been feeling off for the last month or so and even asked myself and Gary on multiple occasions if I was depressed.  But I'm not because I'm not sad or apathetic.  Something is just not right.

I have done some reflecting over the last month and realize I am my father's daughter.  I crave adventure.  And yet, I am my mother's daughter.  I love to just be home with the kids.  I need to have these two things in my life.
{I now have a scrabble partner!  So great for Kai as he loves words and math!}

Unlike some people, I like to be with my kids almost all the time.  I don't like leaving them and if we ever have a babysitter, you can bet I'm trying to get home as quickly as possible.  It helps when they are older.  I am okay leaving Kai and Koen overnight (for a couple of nights even although I've only done this twice?) and don't worry about them when they are at school/preschool.  Nya is still little though and I've never been away for her for more than 8 hours.  I want to be with her.  I want to be there for her.  I like being home and  having very few things on the calendar that involve a lot of visiting.  In small doses, great.  The four bbq's we had this weekend?  Totally nuts and I'm exhausted.  Seeing one to two good friends every week is so important to me.
I wondered if I needed to work outside the home.  Photography does allow that but in really small doses and usually on evenings and weekends.  So, I subbed.  It was good and I will continue to do it but it doesn't do anything for me in regards to making life feel more exciting or fulfilling:)  I think it will just be a way to connect with staff/friends, keep up my skills (it was like I never left) and make some money, of course!  Talking about subbing, I subbed for Gary.  He left good sub notes, in case you were wondering :)  I now know that I would never teach full time and fortunately we can afford for me to just work part time with photography and subbing.  I won't sub for more than one day per week though because it's not worth it to me to be away from my kids more than that if I don't need to financially.
I have always been quite adventurous and since having kids, things have changed.  For example, in my 20's I was adventure racing, kayak racing, snowshoe racing, quarterbacking a woman's football team, ran three half marathons, climbed Mt. Baker and Mt. Kilimanjaro, went scuba diving, left my job and went to teach in Kenya, hiked the West Coast Trail twice, the Cape Scott Trail and the Stein Valley, did a sprint triathlon, took a train across Canada (all the way!) etc.
 One of the things that Gary and I loved was always being outdoors and exploring.  This was one of the main things that attracted me to him.  The problem is, the last time we did an overnight hiking trip was BEFORE kids.  Eight years ago!!!!!   We always have to take the kids with us which makes it a different kind of adventure.  SE Asia was great but so exhausting.  Usually adventure invigorates me, with the kids it is fun but exhausting.

 In 4 years or so, we'll be able to do more overnight hikes with them where it won't be so much work, but in the meantime, I'm not getting a big enough dose of adventure in my life.  I want to hike and travel and compete and explore.  I often get jealous of people who have moms that are free and willing and want to be able to help out in any way. (Just want to note that I am thankful that my inlaws babysit when we have weddings to photograph!).
{Nya is teething and that molar on the bottom makes her have her tongue out all the time.  I love being home with Koen and Nya.  My buddies.}

So, what is preventing me from having adventure in my life?  

1.  I work every Saturday.  Next year, this is changing.  I will only work 1-2 Saturdays a month and just do several sessions on those days.

2.  Child care.  We don't have someone who can just watch our kids at anytime and I don't feel like paying $100 to go hiking for the day with Gary.  So.....I'm hoping to swap with a sister or two once/month or maybe asking Gary's parents as long as I ask for it enough in advance and drive out to Abbotsford to drop off and pick up.  Another option is to adventure with someone other than Gary :)  He can watch the kids and I can go on a bike trip with friends.  Or kayaking.  Or hiking.  

3.  24 Hours.  I need to find short adventures because I don't like being away from Nya for too long...she's still little in my eyes!

{Nya with grandpa above and Opi below}

And, we also need to think of good adventures with our kids.  Often, the progression of events goes like this:
1.  I would like to hike Black Tusk with Gary.
2.  We don't have anyone to watch the kids and they couldn't do that one.
3.  Let's do Lower Falls as a family instead.
4.  Nya needs to nap, let's just walk to Extra Foods.

{This is my breakfast every day.  Totally helped me lose some weight and keep it off.  Koen and Nya LOVE the spinach smoothie too.}

So, I think I've figured out why I am feeling the way I am and somehow I have to incorporate a bit more adventure into my life.  I don't even want to publish this because it seems like in some way I'm ungrateful for all I have.  I'm not.  I am so thankful, I just know a piece, an important piece to me, is missing.  Now that I know what it is, we can work on it :)

 I hope you are having a great week!  The sun is out, we are all healthy, life is good.

Love, Louise


  1. I will do some adventuring with you :). Actually, I have been thinking a lot about our short kayaking trip...and ways to prioritize stuff like that more.

  2. Wishing you some fun adventures this fall!

  3. Anonymous7:17 AM

    Hi Louise, I like that you have written it down. It helps to have others near who can keep you accountable as you commit to this goal. I am amazed at all you did in your 20's and am confident that you will find that balance again! Praying you will find that adventues (skydiving?). Tia

  4. Tia, I did almost all of that with your cousin too :) And also, I'm totally afraid of heights! Louise

  5. Lou, just catching up after a while offline. Good post. I feel your ants, and relate in the push-pull (want to enjoy time wi family, need to ensure "me" is not lost). I am struggling with the same stuff myself right now. Chat more when we see in person.