But more frequently I feel pretty darn unimpressive as I loose my cool with the kids - or find that I didn't really get to much on my “to do” list for the day - or totally forget something that I needed to make happen because of everything else that just kept happening - or see that something I've been working really hard on is just not seeming to make a difference at all. And most of the things I do that feel somewhat impressive to me generally go mostly unnoticed. Jared is always complimentary and appreciative, but he's not around to see most of what I do – so I have to give myself most of the pats on the back that I'm going to get. I'm sure I'm getting my reward in Heaven and all that – but sometimes it's nice to feel appreciated in the here and now!
I've so loved working on this Power of Moms website (which is up but which will be re-launched with a whole new look and all this exciting new stuff when we can actually get it done...) with my friend April. April and I talk each Thursday about our progress with all the tasks that need to happen to get things ready to launch – and we invariably get into great conversations about other exciting ideas we'll chip away at when our families don't desperately need us. As I talk with April and our ideas build on each other, I feel impressed with April and impressed with myself and I re-capture some of my “personhood” that sometimes seems to get sucked away by motherhood. I'm so grateful for these snippets of time when I feel I'm lifting out of the gravity of everyday life as a mom to use what I know and what I can do to create something exciting in synergy with someone else. I'm so grateful for April.
And today it was nice to feel a little bit impressive in front of some other adults. I was invited to be part of this education “think-tank” sort of group for Washington County. They're trying to figure out how to improve education with dwindling budgets and came up with the idea of focusing on getting more volunteers into the schools. Somehow they heard about me and some of my background with volunteer programs and training and consulting for schools and asked me to be part of the group. I went to a meeting with the group today and it really seems like an interesting group that can do some great things. They've got a state senator, a school board member, a principal and several other people involved and some great ideas on the table that line up very well with my own ideas about what's needed in education. As they asked me questions about my areas of experience and knowledge, it felt really nice to be with people who seemed to understand and appreciate all that schooling and all the different experiences I've had – and it was nice to be with people who actually seemed hungry for some of the stuff I have to give that hasn't been utilized for a while.
Making a difference right here in my own home is what matters most during this season of my life – this precious season when my kids are young and by far my most important job is helping to raise five wonderful people who will go forth one day and make their own difference in the world fueled by many of the things they learn from me. But every once in a while, it's nice to reach out and feel like I can make a little difference in the world beyond. Sure it's complicated – juggling babysitting to go to that meeting today while Jared's out of town wasn't easy. And trying to work on Power of Moms in every snippet of time that the kids don't actively need me can be taxing. But I'm a better mom when I feel better about myself and part of feeling good about myself is feeling that I'm reaching out and using whatever skills and ideas and “impressiveness” I might possess to make an impact on a few select things beyond the walls of my own home.