I have to say something slightly controversial. Personally, I don't see WHY it should be controversial as it only effects my little world. The funny thing about statements like this though is that when you say them, the responses you get are a mix of shock and incredulous disagreement like everyone is sure you can't be serious or maybe you need a straight jacket.
Here goes: I know my purpose in life and it's not to be a superwoman but simply to be Hero Support. There. I said it.
It seems like there's this pressure from all directions for everyone to be so goal oriented and successful and that's wonderful to an extent. Let's not forget the whole everything in moderation thing though. You see, the reality, folks... is that we can't ALL be superheroes. The reason for that is that superheroes wouldn't be able to do everything they do without their trusty sidekick. They would be utterly lost! At the risk of sounding conceited, I'm going to admit that I believe I have the tools to be a superhero. I just choose not to employ them full time because I'd rather be happy. Nothing makes me as happy as being the one behind the scenes making sure my heroes have what they need to succeed. I'm not at peace otherwise.
I started thinking about this yesterday afternoon when I was hanging a series of pictures I had taken of various nature scenes in the Pacific Northwest. I was telling my kids how cool it was the way that everything in nature has an order and purpose. I have a photo from Lake Quinault that illustrates how the elk maintain the openness of the rainforest by browsing out brush and saplings, which in turn encourages the growth of herbaceous ground cover such as oxalis and violets (the pretty stuff.) The old dead trees are aging gracefully as new life in the form of saplings and ferns are springing from them. In general, the abundance of dead wood and the complex structure of the forest canopy create an enormous number of ecological niches for animals and birds. I'm in awe of the Sitka spruce. Do you realize that it only grows within 20 miles of the ocean because the fog that rolls in off the Pacific is critical since it can't control the amount of water that it loses to transpiration itself? Sure, you could probably go the rest of your life without knowing any of that and be okay. I think it's amzing though. EVERYTHING has a purpose.
There are lots of things that I'm good at, lots of hats that I could wear in this life. I don't think that any of them have ever felt as RIGHT as when I'm serving in my roles as mom and wife. I'm TIRED of people starting conversations off with "What do you do?" Even when I tell them what I do at my actual "Job" I don't feel like I've told them anything about me. When I try to explain that I feel like I was born to raise kids I typically hear, "But what do you do to feel fulfilled?" "What about you? Don't you take care of yourself?" Of course, I do. It's just that when I go out and try to accompish some big thing that I can point to and say, "I did that!" I don't really feel like I've done anything to be proud of. It's an empty sense of faux-satisfaction.
I honestly believe that no matter what career path I went down or what amount of money or fame I got along the way, nothing could ever make me feel so complete as making my kids their favorite snack while they tell me about their day or rubbing my husbands shoulders when he's exhausted from the weight of the world. I think the reason Heavenly Father put me on this earth isn't to be a superhero but to do all the little day to day tasks so that someone whose life I touch can do what they need to do. Like the decaying tree in the forest, I think I'm aging gracefully and continually contributing so the circle of life can go on and really... that's all I ever need.