After graduating college, I went on a mission for my church. After four years of really just thinking about me and all things me related (my major, my interests, my grades, my scholastic abilities, etc.), I thought it would be really nice and developmentally essential to be focused on others for a set period of time (a year and a half).
That year and a half was hard. It was hard to not have a say over how I spent my time. I worked. Period. End of Story. My companion and I left our apartment by nine and came home by nine with a two hours for lunch and dinner sneaked in. I remember longing to sit still for an hour or two and read a frivolous, non-church related book. How lovely would it be to sleep in, just for one day. And sometimes, I just wanted to be alone. Really alone. Not with my companion in the other room kind of alone.
By the end of the year and a half, I was sort of done. Don't get me wrong, it was one of the best times of my life with an extraordinary amount of personal growth, but it was hard, and I was exhausted by the end of it.
Recently, I have been experiencing a sense of deja vu. I long for stretches of uninterrupted time where I can just go and do my own thing: reading, watching a movie, update this blog, etc. How lovely it would be to sleep in (or to even get uninterrupted sleep at night.) And yes. I even wish to be alone. Really alone. I realized that once again, I am on a mission. A mission where my needs are secondary. However this mission is called motherhood and unfortunately, it is going to last much longer than a year and a half.
Like I found the on my first mission, the daily grind makes it really easy to loose focus on the bigger picture and its importance. However, with a church mission, there were scheduled conferences and meetings intended specifically to boost morale and to remind you about how awesome you were and how you were doing a Great Work. As cheesy as it may sound (my pre-mother self would be mocking me right now), morale boosting meetings sound really nice. (And no, church meetings where I am trying to constrain my son and stop him from eating some petrified raisin that he found on the carpet do not count as morale boosting.) Sometimes I need reminding that raising my son is the most significant thing I could be doing right now.
I guess what I do know is that hard things are worth it. Sacrifice brings for blessings. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And you know, I can totally call payback when I am old and gray. My children are going to take care of me and like it, by jingo.