Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Exactly . . . But Not Exactly

I've felt this post lingering just below the surface for months now--since just after Christmas, I would guess.

I don't know where to start or where it will end, but I know I need to write.

Honest--I've always tried to be honest here at the Sanatorium.  I brag about my kiddos.  I try to improve my photography.  I buy stuff at auctions and try to share my successes and failures.

One thing that has been missing for the past few months is . . .  me.

Among the kids and the photos and the auction finds, somewhere I've lost me. My friend Teri mentioned this evasive feeling in her last post.

Somehow, somewhere, I've lost me.  I've lost my profound deep thoughts and my desire to share them.  I've lost my hunger for new experiences and my journey to find them. I feel like I've forgotten how to eat properly, how to organize my time efficiently, how to think deeply, how to be . . . me.

I've never suffered from a lack of confidence or faith in myself, but recently I've been looking inward and hating what I see and disliking what I have led myself to become.

I strongly believe in the dual nature of ourselves--a body and a spirit, inexorably linked together for a lifetime.  A spiritual, eternal being encased in a mortal body having a mortal experience.  Lately I've been feeling like my spirit and body are at odds, my spirit fighting to do what will lead to real joy, while my body leads me down busy, frivolous paths with no long-term reward.

Where has the real me--the strong, spiritual, motivated me--gone?  How did I let this happen?

And most importantly, how can I get her back?

And that's exactly what I've been thinking . . . but not exactly.
Do you understand?  And do you have a solution?

Linking up to Jenny Matlock's X for Alphabe-Thursday.
Jenny Matlock


  1. First off, thanks for stopping by. Second, love the new look of your blog. OK, now the rest of it. I know exactly what you're talking about...well, maybe not exactly, but generally. I've felt the same way a lot this past year. Life is good. Life is even great! But something's still missing and I'm not feeling as energetic, as creative, as spiritual, as healthy as I'd like to. My answer?: starting as soon as I get back from S. America. Eat better. Get out and, walk, hike, whatever...just move! Find/create a project to work on that makes a difference for someone besides me and dig it. Well, that's my plan, anyway. I know it works cuz I've done it before...I just need to DO it! You'll find yourself again..I'm confident you will.

  2. You need to take some time off to be by yourself so you can rediscover yourself. eat and rest better and your energy will come back.

  3. I know precisely how you feel. I get into this rut every now and again. Why I can't say. I don't hobby like I once did and at times I feel my writing is stale. All I know to do is to push back these feelings and keep going forth. In the end, I'll be better for this because if I surrcome to these emotions I'm bound to be buried up in some crazy guilt or depression. What good would that be? Take time...make time for you. Do something every day just for you. When you're happy then you'll be a productive person and you'll look at yourself & the world differently. Good luck!

    The Impostor X

  4. I say EMBRACE the RUT. It's only by comparison that we realize we are in one, and that down time is imperative to our whole creative process. Thanx for sharing♫♪

  5. Every woman who juggles marriage, motherhood, work and self often finds that the little 'self' is always the first one to be dropped in the scheme of everyday life. Hopefully, it will be helpful for you to read here in your comments section that many of us have experienced these same feelings at one time or other. As everyone suggests, you must literally make yourself set aside a bit of time to indulge in YOU. Do something that is totally you oriented. No husband, no kids, no dogs, cats, etc. Just YOU. Make it a habit to do something for youself even if it is just one hour a week, gradually you will find that you are shifting back to your old self, and suddenly, 1 hour will become a bit more often.
    May I just say, I enjoy visiting your blog each week. When I look around the site I find myself smiling BIG. Thanks for that!

  6. Jen, I would agree with anitamombanita. I only feel like myself when I am physically healthy and happy with this mortal body. Seems odd doesn't it? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Feeling strong spiritually and mentally should lead to the feeling of being rooted, but truly I only feel free to truly be my authentic self when I am as close to my physical ideal as I can be. Not in a self absorbed way but in a "I feel free, unencumbered" way. Its probably as simple as the endorphins achieved. And to be really truthful, I am writing these words as much for me as for you.

  7. My Stake Pres. just spoke about this to the RS. The one thing I heard the loudest (for myself) was to stop having negative conversations with yourself. Stop saying, "Why do I do things like that?" because your inward self will always agree with you and come up with even worse points.

    While I also believe that the physical and spiritual are connected, I think we give way too much credit to the physical. We are spirits; we have a body. It's not about WHEN we feel better, THEN we'll find spiritual peace. It's about gratitude in this precise moment of our journey. Who you are right NOW is fantastic. Don't compare it to who you were when you think you were better. Who you are NOW is what is most important. Love it, embrace it, continue to work at improving.

    So says I. ;)

  8. I so understand what you are feeling. I've had those kinds of conversations with myself many times over the years. One thing that has helped me in the past, is to take a notebook to a place of great natural beauty (if you can pull it off for a weekend that's even better) and just sit and write what I'm feeling, what I'm missing in my life and how to get it back...

    If you find your answer, I would love to know how you found it and what it is! Great post...



  9. Thanks for being so honest, it isn't always easy. Where do you begin and where do you end, right? But you know something needs to come out. At least that should make you feel good, that you have discovered that the YOU you've always known seems to have left You for a moment. Your words are so exact in my own thinking lately, at times. But I just know for me, these are the signs that are telling me to stop and take a look at me. Our body, heart and soul will always be there speaking to us, if we just listen. I know YOU have to get lost in all that day to day have a load, but a true and beautiful load, which in the end defines who You really are. Take this moment and stop and think about YOU your likes, desires, needs and there you can refill your YOU and go back to who you really are. I too hate these dreadful times when the me inside makes me stop and think, but gee in the end, it's worth it!

  10. Jen, when a woman in today's world is trying to raise a family the size of yours, it is very easy to ignore your sense of self. There are so many needs of your family to be fulfilled, and so many responsibilities facing you that you sometime put others before yourself. That is just the way "good" mothers are! You have done such an excellent job, Jen. Please do not despare. Your time is coming, and you should try to stay focused on that.

    My own children are all out of the nest, and I can now focus on the things that I have put aside over the years. You will do that as well, because you are a strong woman. Stay strong and wait. Your time will come before you know it.

  11. exactly. I still can't describe it. but the feeling is haunting, overwhelming for me. And thanks for the shout out! I wonder what the answer is.

  12. You need some time to yourself. I know how tough it is with a large phamily. But please take care of you. Otherwise you can't take care of anyone else.
    I like the Nike logo "Just Do It!" Try using that in your daily life and do some things that you like to do!
    Rest, eat and enjoy yourself for a change!
    Blessings to you!

  13. Wish I knew that answer. I go through spurts of motivation and fulfullment...then back to letting life lead me. Where is that balance?

  14. check your thyroid, get a new haircut, move and breathe. please let us know how yer doin'.

  15. I think that we all reach that space at one time or another ... doing so much for everyone and disregarding self ... and I wish I knew the answer ... but sometimes what works for me is journalling, automatic writing, and good tea ... Now, hop off to a tea shop and get a new blend of something exotic, anything with lots of jasmine works for me ... buy yourself a new journal and new pen ... and demand 30 minutes of just me time ... wishing you peace ...

  16. We're all mismashed works of progress. I think all women have these phases in our lives, but we get through it and come out the other side with a new look at things. You'll find yourself again...patience is a virtue:) Keep smiling....

  17. I have nothing profound to add, only that I completely understand you in this post. I'm fairly sure I "lost" myself some time ago and I'm not entirely sure I know how to ever find me again. Hope you are successful in the search. Love you!

  18. I so wish I had a solution for you. I hate when someone is going through a rough time and I can't fix it.
    However, I will say that I think any gal with a large family and so much going on finds herself in the exact same spot you ar ein once in awhile.
    I will say that sometimes just a quiet walk alone in the mornings to collect my thoughts and to enjoy nature usually helps pull me out of the dumps.

  19. When you're a mom, it's so easy to lose yourself! Find something you're passionate about and throw yourself into it!

  20. oh jen, i just love that you shared this ... thank you! i've been away from blogland for a while now - intentionally - for very much the same reason. i also feel lost right now - not really sure who i really am right now or how i ended up on this wayward path. it gives me great comfort to know that an uber-mom like you, someone i really admire, also struggles with the same. i'm working on it ... and cutting down my time in blogland is a part of that - blogland had started to turn into an enabler, helping me to stay "lost" - i needed to let it go a bit in order to focus on myself! so glad i stopped by - inspiring as always, friend :)

  21. Jen, oh sweet girl. We all go through this in our lives...when I feel this ennui about myself I work really hard to shake things something new...turn outwards and be extra kind to myself.

    It is such a part of life...this cycle of connect and disconnect. I wish we could all feel intact at all times, but it never seems to be that way.

    Sometimes I allow myself some total 'poor me' hours...even though I know my life doesn't warrant them. I do it to such an extreme that it makes me laugh finally and then my vision about myself becomes clearer.

    It's hard to know what to do when we grow up, isn't it?

    Didn't it always seem like it would just appear?

    Sending you a hug for your xcellent and touching post.

    If I can help or you want to talk, e-mail me, okay?

    Peace and...