I realized shortly after "publishing" my last post that the idea behind "Hi, My Name Is..." was to introduce myself and it turns out, instead, that I rambled on and on about my boys - which is never a bad thing (to me!). What I think that really means is that I am defined by those that I love the most...my boys.
With that said, however, I realize that I am a person outside of them, as well. And that person is who I shall try to talk briefly about in this post.
Who is Shana? That's a good question, really. One that I've been trying to figure out for 32 years. (And one that could get entirely too complicated if I allowed it to, so I'll (try to) keep it simple.)
Obviously first and foremost I am a MOTHER. Above and beyond all the other roles I "play" in life and the titles I have been given, "Mother/Momma/Mommy/Mom" is my favorite. It is also, by far, the most difficult role I have to fill.
Being a Mom is my number one passion. I have dreamt about being a mother my whole life, hoped and longed for it, and take massive pride in the blessings I've been given and the "job" that's been entrusted to me. Being a Mom is definitely a roller coaster ride. With high, steep inclines, unexpected sharp drops and a loop-t-loop thrown in from time to time to keep things interesting. However, being a Mom has proven to be an internal energy source for me. Just when I don't think I can go on, one of my children smiles at me or asks, "Where'd the monster go?", and a second wind comes puffing by. For someone who has struggled with self esteem and inadequacy issues for as long as I can remember, there is a lot of pride and self-worth that comes with raising well behaved, polite, empathic children. (That's my goal, anyway - it's a little early to make the call on most of those!) Being a Mom is also the biggest challenge I've ever been charged with. To be honest, I'm not always sure I'm any good at it - who is sure of that, really? But I'm doing the best I can with the skills the good Lord gave me and for those other areas where I'm lacking, I hope against hope that it either doesn't matter in the bigger picture, or at the very least that my shortcomings don't hurt my boys too much in the long run.
Outside of my role as a Mom of two, I am a SISTER and a DAUGHTER. I have an amazing family with two loving parents who are as much a testament to true love, dedication, compromise, and commitment as any two people can be. I have a "little" big brother (he's bigger than me, but just "little" compared to most guys) and a "big" little sister (she's taller than me but younger) who are two of my best friends. When it comes to them, I waffle between laughing, scheming, venting, and thoroughly enjoying the friendship and history we share....and wanting to strangle them or smack them for being frustrating, or dense, or just plain aggravating. I wouldn't trade them for the world though. We've been partners in crime, best friends, and worst enemies (sometimes all in the span of 24 hours) but at the end of the day, they're family and they're are always there, unconditionally.
I am a WIFE and while I know that sometimes takes an unfortunate back seat to being a Mom, I try to remember the importance of focusing on that role as often as possible. Keeping the foundation of my family strong is very important to me. Without that foundation, everything would crumble. I try to remember to show my gratitude, appreciation, compassion, understanding, patience, compromise, sacrifice, and most of all love. And I hope never to take my husband for granted.
For 35 hours a week I play EMPLOYEE and while it's admittedly not my favorite place to be, it's undeniably important to my checkbook, my lifestyle, and my sanity. I enjoy the majority of what I do and realize that the rest comes with the territory of inevitable personality differences, administrative nuances, and plan old personal inadequacies. Obviously I don't like the parts of my job I either don't know very well or feel I'm not very good at. I'd be lying if I said it was 100% fabulous! At least it's a job I can feel good at contributing to. My work helps people somewhere, somehow.
And of course, I am a FRIEND. I have many friends. I've been very blessed in the friend arena. My friends are from all over, varied in background and interests, gathered and tendered from various schools, jobs, and places along the way. Some of them I've known forever. Some I've met only recently. Some I see rarely and others I am lucky enough to be able to see more often. I have friends I can shop with, friends I can laugh with, friends I can be silly with, friends I cry with, friends I openly complain to without judgement and friends who remind me to tweak my perspective or adjust my attitude when it's needed. All of them are absolutely wonderful and each one has a unique role in my life and a special place in my heart.
As you can see, my life is whole. I have been lucky enough to travel through life with magnificent company. I am never alone, nor am I ever lonely. I am truly blessed with a myriad of wonderful people surrounding me and supporting me. Each person brings something a little different to the table. I guess you could say my life is like a pot luck dinner. Everyone is invited and each person has their personal specialty to offer. So bring a dish to pass and prepare to pull up a chair!