A funny thing happened down the rabbit hole of motherhood: I began to hoard my time. Like a Momenezer Scrooge I began to resent every inconvenient invitation, request to volunteer at school or church, overtime request, and any and every real or perceived obligation of my time and energy.
I lived this way for years; secretly resenting every singular request. I was a mother now. A tired mother. A mother with a demanding job and a house that she couldn’t seem to keep clean. I felt like by the time I took care of the things I had to do, there was no time left for the things I wanted to do. Besides, maybe what I wanted was not to be so…wanted.
“I wish everyone would just leave me alone!” I shouted more times than I care to admit. “Pretty soon they will, Lori. Mark my words,” my husband warned.
He was right. People started leaving me alone and I thought I liked it, or at least I told myself I did. Finally, I was free from the obligations that plagued me beyond the modest walls of my house. No plans on the weekends. Few plans on the holidays. Free.
Maybe now I could be happy.
Soon enough, even I couldn’t convince myself that an open calendar and a silent phone brought joy. I was lonely and bored. But hey, I wanted this. I asked- no, begged for this.
No amount of love for my immediate family could fill this obvious social void. I needed more. I desperately needed to talk to people with whom I didn’t eat, sleep, and wash their undies. I needed to hear new life stories. I needed to meet new people. I needed to fill in the gaping holes I selfishly created even in my most precious friendships.
I made friends with the school crossing guard. I’m not even kidding. She was nice and someone to talk to. I made friends with the moms at school. I started calling my friends again, and like, organizing inconvenient dinner dates. I drove in rush hour traffic at night to unfamiliar places just to catch up with warm souls that I missed. And I liked it.
Apparently I’m people who need people; good people with forgiving hearts.
So yeah, I’m getting out more and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been from smiling until my cheeks hurt, laughing until my belly aches, and talking until I run out of words.