...because we all have our motley moments!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Liz is a Big Ol' Quitter

For a few weeks I've been mulling over whether or not I should continue to take tae kwon do classes. I've been doing it for 8 1/2 years now and it's become a part of my life and a part of who I am. Rather, it used to be. I'm still a black belt (I always will be) even if I don't take classes because that's more of a mentality than anything else. I still plan to put Ethan back in tkd once his leg is all healed up and Micah will start, too, when he's 3, because I believe martial arts teaches very important life skills that will benefit my children. But it's just not working for me right now. The classes are usually right in the middle of the supper/bath/bed melee at my house, or they start at 7:30, when the kids are finally in bed and the kitchen is clean and I can sit on the couch and watch TV with my husband. That time is hard to give up. Plus, it's $80/month and I've been to class like 3 times in the last 6 months. That's just not fiscally responsible. So, this week I quit. I froze my contract with the school and emailed my instructors. I hate having quit something, especially something that was such an integral part of my life for so long. However, this morning at MOPS our Mentor Mom was talking about the sacrifices we make for our families and I guess this is something that I'm sacrificing. Unlike sleep, (TMI alert) a regular sex life, and the freedom to go somewhere without shlepping 2 kids and all their stuff around, though, is it really a sacrifice if I don't miss it very much? I guess it's more like having a career, a house that is not covered in toys, and meals without crying - I used to really enjoy those things, and it would be cool if I had them again someday, but they're not all that important to me anymore.


Auntie Bee said...

Giving up (or putting on hold) our hobbies and passions seems tough but I always have to remind myself that it's for such a short time that my children will be young. I'm already astounded by how quickly this season of my life is passing. When my eldest (now 6) was a baby, that was something that every single mom said to me. They would look me in the eye and say, "it. goes. so. fast." And I would be all "yeah yeah." but it does. I am glad for your priority shift and hope to remember your example.

Donna said...

This is a tough issue. One one hand, motherhood is a sacrifice that we all took on very intentionally. We knew it wouldn't be all about us anymore. On the other hand, it's important to preserve some semblance of ourselves during these extremely demanding years. If we don't do anything for ourselves, we run the risk of becoming an empty vessel with nothing to pour into our families.

It sounds like TKD really wasn't working for you mostly due to scheduling conflicts. That's a real shame. If we lived somewhere more metropolitan, you would surely have more choices and chances to fit this into your routines.

I really think hobbies, part-time jobs, classes, time out with hubby and friends, and things like MOPS are so good for moms who otherwise spend every waking moment devoted to their families. I hope you find something else that fills you up (besides your husband and kids) that doesn't stress you out and interfere with family time.

Good luck!

Maria said...

It sounds like you have closed one door, but it will give you the chance to open another one better suited to your life right now.

I'm reading a book right now, The Great Eight, by Scott Hamilton. He talks about how change happens to us all the time and the more we embrace it, the better we'll handle life's ups and downs. He says that with every life change, comes a blessing. I wonder what blessing you will find you have in this tough decision?!

Liz said...

I am still (and plan to continue) going to cardio kickboxing and the Y, which fulfill my exercise (and sometimes social) needs. TKD really is just a scheduling problem and honestly, I think I got pretty burnt out on it last winter when I was training for my black belt test. I agree that MOPS and play dates and girls' nights out and date nights with my hubby are helping me make this time of my life work well.

Karly said...

Liz, sometimes it is so good to say no to things and take a break. Especially when it doesn't seem to be working for you at this point in life. For me the hardest thing is saying no, after that I feel so free and relieved and happy. I recently stepped down from the MOPS steering committee. It was really tough to do, but I am so happy that I did it. It really didn't work for my schedule and it was more than I could handle right now.

I wouldn't think of it as quitting, I would think of it as taking a break. And it sounds like you have a lot of other wonderful things in your life to bring you enjoyment. As my mother-in-law always says, "You can have anything you want, you just can't have everything you want."

Bravo on making a tough choice. I don't think you'll regret it. Especially when you are snuggling on the couch with your hubby, enjoying a quiet moment alone. Priceless!

Liz said...

Thanks, Karly. I'm pretty sure your MIL has said that to me more than once. :)

Lindsay said...

Life changes, and we have to learn to be flexiable. And sometimes that means saying goodbye to something we enjoy. That doesn't mean we can't pick it back up again at a later date.

This isn't nearly as "big" of a thing as yours, but I trained for that 5K last summer. I was running 3 times a week, and it was hard to fit into my schedule. Then after the run was over I kept it up for awhile, but then we sold our house, moved, Thanksgiving, Christmas, moving again soon.... Life just got in the way. And although I miss it and do try to get out and start again from time to time. But right now it just doesn't fit.

You can pick it up again someday if you choose to, but right now just relax and enjoy your family. There are always other fun ways to fill the "me" time that we all need.