When we got married, my father-in-law put this in a card: Don't work on your marriage. Work on yourselves. Good people make good spouses.
I loved it when I read it, and have since tried to take it to heart even outside our marriage. (As in, good people make good friends, mothers, partners, co-writers, etc.) So it was disconcerting when I spent some time with my sister-in-law and my nephew last week. As we watched our little dudes rolling around, drooling, and munching on empty wipe packages, we stumbled upon this hypothetical question: If we were to interview for jobs right now, what could we tell a potential employer about ourselves without mentioning motherhood?
And that got me thinking, what could I tell anyone about myself recently? Before I gave up television a couple of weeks ago, I was concerned that outside of keeping Phoenix alive and knowing the fine plot points of a dozen TV shows, there wasn't much to me anymore. Have I become consumed with being a mother, and forgotten my mantra? That being a good person comes first?
So a few days ago, I had some errands to run. Preoccupied with this question, I basically just observed myself. I took myself on a date, checking me out beyond the kid on my hip. Here's what I noticed:
First, I went to the chiropractor. There, I noticed I really dig holistic medicine. I love receiving healthcare from a provider that shares my belief that the body is its own healer, capable of incredible response to pain, imbalance, and toxins.
Then I went to the passport office. I struck up a conversation with a stranger about enjoying unique names. I also realized I've updated my passport twice in 4 years as my name has changed. I've had to because I've gone places! I'm a traveler. We're going to New England in September to explore and relax, because we love the part of our history and culture that originated there.
The last stop was AVEDA. I drank tea and bought shampoo and conditioner for myself and Mitch, chatting to the service gal about how my husband's hair is longer than mine. I was reminded I love organic beauty products, tea, and my dude's long-hair. Hubba hubba.
I didn't have anything to tell my sister-in-law when she asked originally, and that was concerning. I'm relieved to find out I'd have plenty to tell her today.
Even though Phoenix is basically a fixture on my person at this point, I'm more than his seat, and it's important that we both know it. Since he is along for the ride, I'm that much more committed to being worth watching. It's crazy to see how content he is just observing me doing my thing already.
I guess it's worth it to take myself on a date now and then; to both challenge and remind myself to focus on being a great and whole person first, so I can better show up for the people I love.