Note: I use Myers-Briggs lingo in this post. I am an ENFP, known lovingly as a Squirrel. I refer to the “S” (sensors) which runs opposite of “N” (intuitives) I also refer to the “P” (go with the flow figure it out) versus the “J” (very planned out and focused).
May 20, 2020 — You might think this blog post is going to be about finding my birth mother, which really is an amazing and beautiful story, but that’s for another day. This post is absolutely about an amazing and beautiful journey of discovery, but of a different kind.
I have been on a JOURNEY for the past, well, several decades, but it’s morphed in the last 2-3 years. It’s no surprise that this journey started with the onset of the “end” of the hard-core Mom-ing phase of my life, which has been going on over TWENTY YEARS. In truth, I count the years leading up to the actual production of said kiddos, because I have always DREAMED of their existence. I planned for it; I knew from an early age I wanted to be a mother.
When they arrived, one by one, from 11:14am on Jan 12 of 2000, then 8:09am on July 6, 2002, culminating with the arrival of the third boy on Jan 3 of 2005 (at 1:05pm), I fully, joyfully, 1000% dedicated my whole self to them. Everything in my life was about their health and well-being. All my communities were about them. All my activities, for the most part: also them. It was blissful, difficult, and deeply satisfying work. And exhausting of course:)
I left my full-time teaching job without hesitation after 6 years at the completion of the 1999-2000 school year, holding my then 5 month old. My gut told me that we would be much more successful as a family if I stayed out of the workforce and immersed myself as a SAHM. And I was so right! I regret nothing. It was an amazing life of kid fun, neighbors, mom’s groups, playdates, mom-besties, parks, pools, bouncy places, community involvement, school volunteering, keeping everyone fed, clothed, safe, and entertained.
Then came the really busy years. The car years. The chaos of here-there-and-back-again with school, school functions, sports, band, Scouts, and on and on. Always on the go, but still keeping everyone fed, clothed, safe, and educated. Well-rounded?? Ugh.
I stuck a few side-gigs in there for myself. I was a Spanish tutor for 13 years, never lacking for clients, and I loved the 1-on-1 setting and satisfaction of helping those students. It was a business that basically ran itself. Additionally, I was a Pampered Chef consultant…BECAUSE I LOVED THE STUFF, not because I wanted to start a business. That was short-lived.
Both of those were “S” side hustles. I’m a total, full-on “N”. The things I know NOW that I wish I’d know then…(refer to the note at the top if you forgot what those stand for)
The side-gig that felt the most like “home” to me was offering an after-school Spanish class at my kids’ school one day a week! We tried fun foods, played fun games, and learned lots of vocabulary. Back when I was in college training to become a Spanish teacher, I fondly remember doing part of my student teaching in an elementary school, traveling from class to class doing 30-minute classes, and this felt a lot like that. But then it was just too much…the business part sucked…I just wanted to TEACH and be with the kids and offer them the sense that they could (and should) learn a second language…one that they likely heard daily. (I live in Austin, TX)
In addition to the insanity of the driving years, I had the “Neighborhood Association” years…(I’m a theme at least!) Annually, we put on an amazing 4th of July picnic and parade. I was the connector of local businesses to that event. I LOVED it. I knew everyone. Wow, was it WORK, though! And little bit political, ick. I was the President for years, until we moved. Good times.
At last, I circle back to the Journey…wow, you say, that wasn’t it? Yes, but that was the hard-core Mom-ing phase, remember? This Journey was born because even without knowing what it was to be an N, my N tendency would not be kept down inside me. I’m a helper, a connector, a teacher, a lover of community, and apparently can never sit still! My mom says, “You’re always burning the candle at both ends!” (Yes, mothers are always right)
Enter 2016-2017…and I feel a burning desire to help people in their homes to get organized. I know how AMAZING it feels to declutter and clear out a space so it works better, and THEN donate that stuff to someone else who needs it more. I’d found my THING that I love doing so much that I’d do it for free. It’s THAT THING that when I spend hours doing, it feels like minutes. I am THAT PASSIONATE about it because of the joy it brings to one’s life, especially a busy, dedicated mama who is constantly on the go and overwhelmed with keeping everyone alive, fed, safe, and entertained.
Ok, so I’ll start a business! A REAL business…I didn’t view any of those past side-hustles as businesses I now realize as I look back. It was at this moment, when I joined my local chapter of NAPO, was when I think I stopped believing in myself as an intuitive, creative, capable woman who could have the business of her dreams and help boatload of busy, overwhelmed women far and near. The limiting beliefs and the imposter syndrome raised their ugly heads. The Head Trash Monster got a new suit!
You’re going to have to tune in tomorrow because this entry is already way over my usual word count!
PS Thanks for reading! IF you are curious about clear way to understand and employ the beauty of life knowing your Myers-Briggs type, go to Jessica Butt’s website for all the fun