When do you decide to change?

Like the question about the gift yesterday, this one has been on my mind lately.  When do you decide that who you have been all along is no longer who you are?  When do you decide to take up a new habit or change a pattern?  Is it different when it is something that you consider to be part of your very essence?

I’ve been thinking about this, probably obviously, because I am about to become a mom.  I’ve never been a mother before and I don’t know what kind of mother I am going to be.  I hope a good one.  I’ve been surprised by the things that people have said to me, the things that they’ve expected from me.  People are surprised when I say that I will return to work.  They are amazed that I am taking only two months when there are three months available to me, even though all of that time is unpaid.  They are shocked when they hear that I am considering not breast feeding or doing so for a very short period of time.  They think I need to buy a new car.  They tell me how tired and busy I am going to be while I am on leave.  They tell me I won’t have time to play a board game with Hubby and that I may as well get rid of all of my books.

But to me it is important that my son sees his mother living her own life.  For many years now, it has been important to me that I can support myself.  I have built a career and I don’t want to see it crumble because I have a child, the same way that I don’t want my child to suffer because I have a career.  (I am so lucky to have a wonderful mother-in-law who has volunteered to take care of the baby while I work.)  I am worried about being bored when I am off for two months because I have not been off for more than two weeks since I started working half a lifetime ago, and a lot of the time I was taking classes and working two to three jobs.  Board games and books are our hobbies, more so than television, and both of my careers depend on my reading.  Not only that, I cannot imagine who I would be without books.

Then there is the car.

This has been the point of hottest contention these last months.  Everyone has an opinion.  I need a four door.  I need a minivan.  I need something that is good in the snow.  The amount of opinions is one of the things that is holding me back from making a change.  I have always driven sport cars.  Firebird, Stealth, and two Mustangs.  I come from a car family.  (My father, when he died, had FOUR Mustangs:  three 1967’s and a 2012.)  Cars matter to me and they are something that I tie to my father.  I miss him, but I will always remember his grin when he saw a car that he liked and I will always remember his car buying advice.

“Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about driving that car.  If you smile when you drive it, you’ve done good.”

And that is the answer.  That’s it right there.  A whole post about how torn I’m feeling about cars and the answer is right in front of me, ever present in my memory.  Drive the car you want and don’t feel bad about it.

So, maybe Ian will know that girls can drive bad ass cars too.


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