I 'am' a mother. I 'am' a wife. I 'am' a university professor. I am many things it would seem in addition to these three major definitions, in particular if you take into account my interests and passions.
Lucky for me, one of my major passions is my children, so that one meshes well with what I would consider an important defnition of me. But when I look at my other passions (I'll skip those involving identity #2, this is a family-orientated blog after all), I realize that they define me, but they don't identify me. Why is that?
I love to sew. During this holiday break, I have been sewing like a crazy woman. It is like a bulimic fit of sewing. I am finishing a quilt I started for dd#2, and as she watches the progress of her zoo animal quilt, she gurgles and murmers her approval (I have witnesses that also saw her say 'wow' yesterday!). I ruefully realized yesterday that perhaps my zealousness is rooted in the ability to label the quilt '2006', but that isn't it. As Daniel Goleman says about leisure time passions, sewing (for me) allows me to 'go into a flow' and just be. So why can't I just 'be' when I am 'being' the things that define me?
I realize this is normal, and most people need some sort of 'outer' place to go to when they aren't being what they actually are (how is that for an unclear sentence?!). But still, I find it odd that I need to go to this other place, and that the identities that I have (and most people would associate with me) have nothing to do with what I feel is the real me.
Christiane Northrup links the creative need to ovarian function. Well, good! I guess I am contributing to positive ovarian function by picking up needle and thread and clicking away on my knitting needles during vacation.
The only tough part about this wild and crazy fit of creativity is that it creates guilt: on one side, that I am not addressing the huge pile of work, both personal and professional; on the other side that I literally live for this and it will soon be over. Well, perhaps that last bit isn't so much guilt as mourning.
I know, rationally, that responding to my wild creative urges actually feeds me in ways that are too myriad to describe, and paradoxically, allow me to work better when I return to the work at hand, but the guilt often remains. It remains that often I deny this urge and continue to plod on, aimlessly, in my work, fulfilling my identities and ignoring the real me.
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