Wednesday, November 7

I like Mondays

Aniak, Alaska
November 2007

One would imagine that in the Alaska Bush, living many adventures to tell your friends every single day should be easy. In reality, when one lives her life mostly dedicated to the care of the home and its inhabitants, be it in Alaska or wherever, most of the adventures end up smelling like dirty diapers and fried onions.

The adaptation process to my new housewife life style is not being easy. Mostly because for over 20 years I have been defining myself as a professional working woman, financially independent and gastronomically unfit. To change this definition for one that implies doing house chores all day long, being financially dependent on my husband, and cooking every day brings along quite a share of internal re-structuring. It becomes an eclectic process that includes getting over old sticky prejudices or developing a previously inexistent creativity in areas that used to be abandoned in my life, say the kitchen. These new learnings add a transcendental and necessary touch to this process, since its most mundane side can be compared to the act of making a bead necklace without having tied a knot at the end of the string. When I believe I am close to the end and I lift up my work to look at it proudly, all the beads roll all over the floor and I must start all over again. And again... and again...

And then there is the mother area, that leaves no choice but to reinvent yourself from the ground. I have never felt so at home and so out of place and incompetent, all at once. It seems so easy to know exactly what you would do before you actually have any kids. And then they show up in your life, with their smiles that melt universes, those tantrums that test the strongest patiences, and those things only they can come up with, which leave you shocked, or laughing uncontrollably, or both at once. And life changes, because even if they say that life doesn't have to change with children, it does. For good, for bad, for everything...

And finally.. Monday arrives! With it's bad reputation, bringing me back to a part of my self. A part I left behind a while back, that feels good, that brings out the best in me, that I was missing, and that I recognize as authentically mine. Thanks to the opportunity of starting to offer yoga classes in town and later attend a women's group that blends craft making with talks and laughter, life in Aniak is taking on a different color.

These recently started activities offer me a lot. Yoga classes give me the chance to have somewhat of a professional life (even though I'm not really a yoga teacher and I don't even charge for the classes), to feel again like I am collaborating to the wellbeing of others, and to finish getting rid of my fear of leading groups. The women's group gives me the chance to get back to working with my hands making crafts, something I have always been passionate about and I had forgotten somewhere along the way. My first craft is turning into a trappers fur hat, made out of fox, to make sure that at least my ideas and ears don't freeze this winter. But the most important thing is that both groups give me the chance to meet some of the people that live here and start having a social life.

On Mondays I get back a part of myself that I need in order to keep on moving forward. It is being the key element in helping me reach that precarious balance between giving to others and giving to myself. Because without this balance it is so easy to lose myself and end up being swallowed by life, instead of living it fully.

I like Mondays.


Lúzbel Guerrero said...

I guess that those ones, who are daring enough to state that children shouldn't change ones life, are not parents; am I right?. Kids at home are a kind of permanent revolution (Trotsky didn't considered this way but...). Another possibility, is that they are extremely cheeky, and drop the offspring at Granny's once and again.
Maybe the singer is right, when he sings: Everyone needs a place to call "home"; but, on the other hand, they ought to keep a place for themselves, we learnt that, didn't we?. Neither a man, nor a woman can flee from the need of a task to be proud of. To be a full time mother, would steal a part of yourself, and you'll probably found someone to blame of that. Charge your batteries laughing or challenging a local craft; then, be the sweet mother or the funnyfairy godmother, it's the only chance we have of a better world. Good night Mirita

Lúzbel Guerrero said...

Sorry, I forgot my:

Irreverens said...

Not easy at all this change of yours from being a "modern" and independent woman to keeping a home in the most traditional way.
But, certainly, I'm sure both things have their pros and cons, haven't they?