Friday, March 30, 2012
I have a cold, and the children are at school. I should be working, but I find myself drawn to the muted stillness in the house instead, staring at the light shining through those excellent little green flying saucer petals you see above for long empty stretches. Our friend left them on the porch for us on Tuesday and they still seem to be glowing.
Earlier today over coffee I finally read The Brain on Love, from last Sunday's New York Times. I've been applying for jobs and entertaining new career aspirations lately, and reading it made me feel a heck of a lot better about a realization I came to as the car slid into the driveway yesterday afternoon, with chattering children in the backseat: relationships have always - acknowledged or not - been the most influential factors in my decision making. My parents, my closest friends, my husband, my children: these people have always colored my ambitions and hopes. I've often suspected this was a problematic weakness of mine. A strong person wants what she wants and just goes for it, right?
But I don't seem to operate that way. I feel myself tied with many beloved others - past, present, and future - and as I move through space they move with me, for better or worse. Is it any wonder striking the work/home balance has been a tough one for me? (And for nearly everyone I know??)
Reading about the neuroscience of love, I entertained the possibility that making decisions in such a way that prioritizes supportive and loving relationships might not be such a bad thing. (Which doesn't mean being the ever available Mama - it's helpful to remind myself that sustaining, creative work outside the home is excellent for my relationships with my husband and children).
But perhaps the best takeaway? That showering my children (and husband!) with affection, as I am prone to do, is excellent for their growing brains. And for mine, too.