Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Not So Secret Identities


I still marvel at how my life has turned out. I mean, in the sense that I'm really not living the life I imagined I'd be. I'm not sure what I expected, but I don't recall ever desiring certain things to be part of my daily routine, yet here they are. Like chickens....and such busyness...and not wearing makeup...just to name a few. I've always wanted to be a mom and to work from home, but I didn't REALLY know that it would require such energy and be so glamorous! What happened to the perfectly clean and decorated home, the obedient and calming children and the hours in the morning to pamper myself with bubble baths and hair sculpting?? My dream bubble has burst...has bursted...is bursting?...whatever.

I felt a bit like Wonder Woman the other day. It was chicken processing day, if ya know what I mean, so we were up and at em', bright and early with grunts of readiness for the age old task. It was cold, so on with the worn out parka, the winter hat that no one will wear and armed with the dreaded utensils necessary to bring you Cordon Blue and Kiev. You see, for every high fashion, elegant table of gourmet cuisine there is one scary looking chick on the farm, working hard to bring you such pleasure. Those are the moments when I stand in the mirror, thinking philosophically, wondering who switched the train track on me.

The Wonder Woman part comes when we had to abruptly quit our jobs and get ready for the Remembrance Day service scheduled. We had 15 minutes to get 4 rather icky looking and smelling farmers and two little ones dressed respectfully and loaded in the van. Fortunately, I am past the "hand holding" phase of childhood and the kids are pretty good at taking care of themselves, but we are still 6 people with 2 bathrooms. A little perfume, dangly earings, outfit a la Frenchies and those beloved hats...fashionable hats are a Godsend for me...never mind the hair sculpting, pony tail the hair and throw on a pretty hat. Instant dress up.

I went from Home Home on the Range to Mary Tyler Moore in minutes. One person, at the service, commented on my well put together attire and I smiled graciously while thinking, "If you could have seen me just a few minutes ago!!" That good ole' telephone booth thing, where you transform appearance in an instant, happened that day. Unfortunately, I had to go back in the phone booth and emerge as Farmer Fran again for the rest of the afternoon, but at the end of the day, it was bubble bath, candles and soothing music for this mamma...the rest and relaxation between outfits. There is the farmer Holly, the counsellor Holly, the house-cleaner Holly, the hockey mom Holly and the teacher Holly...all with their appropriate outfit.

Even though glam and ease do not characterize my life, nor that of most people, I'm very happy. Circumstance doesn't determine your contentment. Having all of your ducks (or chickens) in a row will not guarantee joy. We think we know what will make us happy. We plan and "make it happen", masters of our destiny, only to find that we aren't as smart as we thought we were. There is only One who knows you better than you. He plans and designs your life according to His best judgement. We fight for control, like a child wanting candy for breakfast, while God holds out pleasures unimaginable, in Him. People always say, "It is our relationships that matter in life, not our stuff, or what we do", and they are right on...except they aren't usually referring to their relationship with God, but people.

It's freeing and funny to stand in the middle of a "life unexpected" and smile, contently, realizing that doing what I want is not necessary anymore. It isn't the answer. Really knowing this allows you to laugh in the face of Life because it has no real hold on you anymore. I really can "do all things through Christ who strengthens me", and being the loving, affectionate Father he is, he always sends moments of pampering my way, when I need it most.

Today, I am hockey Mom...lined jeans, a cold rink and a van full of smelly gear await. A wonderful multifaceted existence :)

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