I added an Instant Pot to my cart and sat back in my chair, sipping coffee and feeling satisfied with all the adulting I had done before 11am.
There. Another person checked off my list.
Yes, I am on my own list of who to purchase Christmas presents for and it's how I stay married. He buys for himself and I buy for myself - Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries. After a few years of expecting my husband to know what I like and surprise me accordingly, I decided I was only setting myself up for disappointment and the blame for those unreal expectations sat squarely on my shoulders.
That is not to say that my husband hasn't ever surprised me with some awesome presents, but giving gifts is not his strong suit (it's not mine either), so this arrangement works well for us.
Back to my online shopping cart (the only kind of cart I can handle at this time of year), my altruistic gift choice still sat staring me in the face. I texted my sister-in-law, "You know you're a wife and mother when you think an Instant Pot is an exciting Christmas present." Because, really what other kind of human would be thrilled with a contraption that makes doing chores a little easier or even better - faster? Who would squeal with delight over a gift that allows them to serve others better?
My ultimate motherhood goal for years has been "selflessness". Somewhere along the line, I decided that my personal loves and wants were dispensable and appropriately overshadowed by everything else. So, I stuffed them in a box called "Selfish", aka dangerous, and taped it shut. And that makes me a little sad because I don't even really know what my personal loves and wants are anymore. I REALLY DO WANT A DANG INSTANT POT, though, people! I really do want to serve my family better and faster. I WANT to be more like Jesus, but I'm afraid my human version of "selfless" has chipped away at my self. One day, my children will leave my nest, and I don't want to be a hollow husk in their rear view mirrors. A pair of worn and weathered hands, adept at serving, with no idea how to love and care for myself.
So, I'm still getting the Instant Pot because serving my family is a noble and worthy goal, but I'm also on a mission to preserve myself, because it has been and will be my only constant companion. My true self will stand before Jesus one day, naked and alone, called to account for the time it was given. And I want to be known for serving and loving selflessly, but I would like to do so with my soul in one, healthy piece - to the best of my abilities.
So, I'm going to continue searching for what makes me tick. It's probably different than what made me tick before I became a wife and mother, but I'm going to find it. I may find that I really love to cook and that the Instant Pot really, deeply thrills my soul - I'm open to that.
And I'm starting now, because one thing I know is that writing thrills my soul. Whether ten thousand people read this or ten, I'll write until my soul or Jesus say that's enough.
So, you're stuck with me in the meantime.
Happy Holidays, lovers. I hope you know that your soul is precious and worthy of time and attention.