When I was single I was the bomb. No, seriously, ask anybody. I figured out what I was looking for in an ideal partner and decided to mirror that. First of all, I started watching Sports Center. Yes I know, even the music irritates me, but watching 15 minutes of SC a night gave me insight as to what guys would be talking about the next day. I would go on a first date and if the bar had TVs, which they normally did, I could comment on something like “yeah, how about the Giants?! Right?!” I knew just enough to seem like a dream girl to any guy who liked sports.
I traveled a lot for work back then, and I like baseball, so I started trying to see every outdoor ballpark I could when traveling for work. I saw Fenway in Boston, Camden Yards in Baltimore, Safeco Field in Seattle, Nationals Park in DC, Citizens Bank Park in Philly, and Busch Stadium in St. Louis. I watched games at home while I worked so I had a good knowledge of the players and our record.
I even spent part of one summer with a magnet on my car for the local team. Until I went on one date and the guy showed up in an MLB hat, an MLB polo shirt, an MLB watch, and spoke ONLY of baseball, and I decided I might be attracting the wrong kind of guys. Guys take note: unless you are playing major league baseball (and earning millions) you shouldn’t be wearing that much MLB gear. I’m just sayin’.
I learned to golf…okay that’s debatable since I’m not even remotely close to being a viable golfer…but I try. Bought clubs, shoes, cute golf outfits (half the fun of the game if you ask me), and started golfing as much as I could.
And I worked my a-s off. I worked long hours, almost every night and weekend, and I was aggressive and successful in my job.
I was the woman that I believed the men I was attracted to would find attractive. And it worked. I had many guy friends, went on lots of dates, and ended up catching the eye of my husband because he had a soft spot for fabulous shoes (of which I had many). He loved that I golfed, knew and appreciated baseball, worked hard and loved it, and could hold my own across the board. I had a full life of my own.
What happens when you get married, run smack dab into rough times, and barely make it through in one piece? Things that are deemed unimportant disappear and suddenly there is no Sports Center (umm…no crying in my Diet Coke over this one), there is no knowledge of what’s going on with our baseball team, work becomes exactly that, and it sometimes feels like there is no “me” anymore.
Part of it is kids. You have kids and your once free time is now packed to the max with kid-related activity. And it’s fabulous.
But there are days when you wonder what happened to your former self. A couple years ago I was driving the girls to gymnastics. We were in a suburb much further out of the city than I had ever expected to live, blasting “Best of Both Worlds” by Miley Cyrus (or Hannah Montana…I can’t remember), and both the little girls and I were singing at the top of our lungs. I looked around, surrounded by big box stores and corn fields, and thought to myself ‘how the eff did I get here?!’
It took me awhile to reconcile who I was, with who I thought I was supposed to be as an instant Mom, and finally the kind of woman/wife/Mom I actually wanted to be. And to be okay with all of it. Once I let go of what I thought I was supposed to be, or what I thought I should be, things got much easier. Because the truth is that I’m a million women all in one.
No, I did not say I had a million personalities, I haven’t gone down that path of crazy just yet!
But I DO love baseball and would love to visit all of the outdoor parks in my lifetime. I DO love working. I DO love golf. I DO love doing homework with the little girls (although there are days that it feels like pulling teeth from an alligator). I DO love going to the outdoor pool with my husband and the little girls and pretending like it’s our own…even if it means I don a swimsuit in front of a million other women and their families (and I haven’t even had plastic surgery…gasp!). I DO love going out with my girlfriends and having drinks. I DO love to volunteer at the little girls school. And I DO love bumping around town in my truck/station wagon listening to Ice Cube or Frank Sinatra or Stevie Wonder or The Cure or Michael Jackson or (okay fine I’ll say it…OR Demi Lovato or Selena Gomez or Justin Bieber) so loud it surely speeds up my impending loss of hearing.
I think it’s really important to nurture all of the aspects of myself that I actually like. Because if I don’t, I’m actually doing the opposite, and I’m not a fan of the uptight, crabby, and/or crazy version of myself. She is not a fun broad with whom to spend time.
So here’s the thing…
TODAY: What if I make an effort to nurture all of the “me’s” that I (and my husband and my friends) adore? What if I embrace those parts of me that I don’t get to indulge much anymore and really have some fun?
PS – Last summer my husband and I tried to golf every Wednesday. We plan to do so again this summer. If you golf in the Twin Cities this is for you…I may look like I have my sh-t together on the course but when I yell “FORE” you best hit the deck quick! You’ve been warned.