Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Future Self Portrait

I have an image in my mind of a woman.

When she moves to a state and lives with her in-laws for two months, this woman blooms where she is planted. She knits a baby afghan, or at least does some other self improving project instead of leaving her knitting needles untouched since England, because it's "too hot to touch yarn." She always puts away her clothes after washing them, instead of letting them sit in the hamper clean, pulled out day-by-day as they are worn again. She lives for the present, and doesn't spend her days dreaming of moving into a townhome in Columbus, with amenities like Washer and Dryer connections and a back porch (yes, I aim high). She blows bubbles with her daughter, and doesn't complain, even if it's the third time that day, and it's hot and in the sun and there are ticks out there, because she knows that children grow up fast, and only tomorrow Lydia will be twenty and not two, and she'll wonder where the years have gone, and how good it was that she blew three metric tons of bubbles when Lydia still wanted to spend time with her, instead of hoping the bubble mixture runs out soon.

I'm very intimate with this woman.

She also spent her priceless experience living abroad in England seeing all of the local sights, like the running horse of Uffington (only nine miles away), or Stonehenge, or even the English countryside, instead of staying inside every day because it was cold and she was pregnant, and it was easier to just stay in the apartment, instead of lugging Lydia all over.

She wakes up early, to not waste the day. She writes thank you cards, and birthday cards, and when she's feeling really ambitious, Anniversary and thanksgiving cards. When people around her go through tragedies/hard times, she helps them without them asking, knowing that if she just feels sympathy inside, and waits for them to come to her and ask for help, that she'll be waiting for forever.

She only talks well of others, and isn't personally acquainted with the word "catty." She moves out of her shell and invites people over to dinner and games, instead of staying at home and looking at things on the Internet by herself (and sometimes with her husband).

She actually takes her knowledge of nutrition, and uses it to put vegetables in her toddler's lunches, instead of filling her up with snack puddings and zebra cakes to keep her quiet.

She reads good, uplifting books, and doesn't think that books need to be read in one sitting, but can space her reading out through the day(s).

She's organized. Not just in her head, but in life as well. Everything has a place, and it goes there regularly. Dishes are done after each meal, instead of when the plates run out. The bathroom is cleaned on a regular basis, instead of when her husband volunteers to clean the poor toilet already, because she never avoids toilets because they are inherently yucky.

She doesn't let potential awkwardness stop her from sharing the gospel, and never just says, "my church" because when she says, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" it sounds too long, and people give her blank stares. She's never accidentally said in a talk on Sunday that she hates missionary work, when all she meant was that it scares her.

She has tact. Loads of it.

She's one of those people that you tell everything to, because she's so empathic. Empathic is basically her middle name. And she can keep secrets.

She doesn't resent her daughters' needs ever, but loves them and their messes and complaints and refusals to sleep, and insistence on crying when left to sleep although her parents have done this for months, and think the crying-it-out people are delusional when they say that this is effective, and the child stops crying eventually, because this child doesn't and she's very old and aware, and that's probably it....

She never gets carried away in writing, and can use grammar, and doesn't have run-on sentences.

She always gets dressed when she wakes up, before her family, mind you, and never just lounges around in her pajamas until all hours of the day, when she realizes she should get dressed before her husband comes home from work and sees her, and then she realizes that she's the stereotypical reason personified why young women fear being stay-at-home moms, because then they'll become frumpy and wear sweats (or pajama pants), and their hair will be lanky, and they'll have whiny kids hanging on them in dirty white onesies.

No, this woman is an inspiration everywhere, of a wife, a mother, a friend, a Latter-day Saint.

She's an inspiration to me, at least. Because I am her. At least, I'm trying to be.


  1. I laughed. Remember your dream house when I said that when I was a youth I dreamed of living in a too small house on the west side of Salt Lake crammed with too many kids and not enough money and you scolded me, "Mom! At least we can dream." and so we do but, as you know there is frequently a significant lag between want-to-be and are.

  2. heehee

    Well, I always do the dishes after every meal, and wipe the counters and sweep the floor.
    I do every single bit of my homework BEFORE I wander around online or read my current book.
    And I have an extremely minimal, functional, yet stylish wardrobe.
    And I eat leftovers before they go bad, instead of making new food and letting the leftovers waste and then sit in the back of the fridge forever because I'm afraid to open them.

    unrelated, there is a movie of Brideshead Revisited coming out soon, which I know you've read cause it's on your list. Do you think I should read the book if I want to see it? Or should I just see it? What do you think of the preview? I have been studying Modernism/that time period and am interested in the movie, having seen the preview.

  3. Um, I saw the trailer; it looked accurate to the spirit of the book, although the 15 year plot was squished into what looked like a short time (although that's usual in movies made from books, because of course the actors can't as easily change age as characters can). I would recommend reading the book first, mainly because it's a well written book, and then when you watch the condensed movie, you'll know what's really going on. Although, this isn't exactly a happy book. Waugh described it as a panagyric over an empty coffin, written during World War Two about the twenties and its largess, but in fond remembrance of them, and the rich upper-class culture in England of that time. But then he says (this was all in the forward I read by him) that England actually preserved its old houses really well, and its heritage wasn't lost forever, hence the empty coffin.
    Although I think it's only half about the ending of an era and Brideshead (the super large house, no, mansion) and half about weird religious beliefs.

  4. i had to laugh at the last part where you say you wear pajamas all day and lydia is hanging on you in a onsie.... because that is my life! there are days that cory comes home and i am not only in my pajamas but so is porter and theo is running around in just his diaper because i had to change it at some point so at least the pajamas came off. so thats a lovely picture... a 9 month pregnant woman with greesy hair, no make up, a shirt that barely covers my huge belly, with two dirty kids half dressed hanging on her. dont forget the maccaroni and cheese all over the floor.

    You know it gets worse every year.. its really sad. When i was first married the house was always clean and dinner cooked and laundry done. when porter was a baby it was pretty much the same except i would lag on the laundry. when theo was a baby i started to get dressed less and less and the laundry was always behind and in the basket clean for days until it was all dirty again actually. with this pregnancy my house is a disaster.. seriously its just awful. I am a little worried about the state of things if i have 6 or 7 kids!! i guess i need to try harder. something that is really hard to do in my current state. maybe if i ever go a whole year without being pregnant my house will be clean and organized again!

  5. Thora,

    I love how "Washer and Dryer" are always capitalized in your blog, as if they were some sort of proper noun that you visit when you have traveled long distances.