What we’re cut out for

The husband: Ok, this one will work. <swings racquet back and forth in aisle>
Me: Do you need to take any balls with you?
The husband: Hmmm. I might. I don’t know if this guy will have some.
Me: Heehee.
The husband: Heehee. <grabs can of racquetball balls>
Me: Anything else?
The husband: It’s really a good idea for me to have goggles. What do you think of these?
Me: Sexy.
The husband: These will work. Ok, I’m ready.

On Sunday the husband discovered that some of our new church friends play racquetball and soon he had Thursday evening plans with one of them. Picking up his new equipment, our conversation turned to rugby, one of the husband’s old pastimes.

In the course of one lap around the sporting goods store, smelling all the athletic gear goodness, we had a brief and valuable conversation about things we have been interested in that maybe just aren’t for us. The husband is thinking that his rugby days may be over–he doesn’t want the risk with a surgically enhanced knee and now a baby on the way. Besides that, it’s a really intense sport to play and keep in shape for. So racquetball and golf it is, with tennis and only the occasional rugby alumni game.

I realized this week that I don’t have the personality to be a full-time freelancer. I loved doing my book reviews in the old days, but that was a side job. I am not cut out to make a career of it, and dragging my feet on responding to freelance opportunities and then my joy at being at my new old job confirm this. I like the idea of freelancing, like I like the idea of being a runner, but it’s just not for me beyond an odd book review or a jog around the block.

In first grade I was selected to represent my class on the student council. Caught by surprise and pretty shy in those days, I took my lunch down to the school library for the first meeting, unsure of what I was doing but sure I didn’t want to do it. I sat alone, set my Little Mermaid lunchbox on the table in front of me, folded my arms over it, put my face on my arms, and bawled.

We simply aren’t made for some things. We aren’t cut out for them. We don’t like or want certain roles for a reason. Then again, what’s uncomfortable at one point might be a great fit later. We change.

Back to first grade me, crying my eyes out at a student council meeting.

By the time I was nearing dehydration, a librarian suggested I join my friends in the cafeteria and consider student council another year. I never considered student council again until high school, when I was elected to the student senate. Then I was NHS president. In college I was dorm president.

Since my inglorious non-start with leadership roles in first grade, I eventually got the hang of what it means to lead. I wasn’t cut out for it in first grade, as Ariel can attest. But eventually I got it and pretty soon I loved it. Now I’m on the social committee at church and this year’s progressive dinner is entirely in my hands, which are not folded over a lunchbox, catching drips.

There is no election to become a parent. Sometimes we think we aren’t cut out for it (not the husband–he’s pumped and can’t believe we have to wait six more months) but then we get used to the idea.

So what if I bawled my eyes out when I first found out I won this particular election? With the husband so excited and family so thrilled for us, I think I have finally got the hang of it. It being the idea of being a mom. Getting a hang of parenting is a whole new blog. Plus, the Little Mermaid lunchbox found a new home before we moved so I had to get it together pretty quick this time.

Now THAT is a happy customer.



10 thoughts on “What we’re cut out for

  1. “We simply aren’t made for some things. We aren’t cut out for them. We don’t like or want certain roles for a reason. Then again, what’s uncomfortable at one point might be a great fit later. We change.”

    I have been thinking about this recently and it is good to know I am not the only one.

  2. I cried with you…
    At least no one flipped the latch on Ariel and dumped your lunch on the sidewalk as the bus arrived.

Shout at me.

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