The other night Mark and I went to Williams Sonoma to buy something from the store as a gift from my father for Christmas. He gave us a gift card there as a couple since he knows we love cooking together, as many couples do, and then he gave us other gifts to give our kids (one of whom is still waiting to arrive of course).
We looked around the store at copper cooking ware, and at a tagine, which is used to make Indian dishes. Nothing seemed quite right. We also have a lot for our kitchen, thankfully, so it was hard to know what would be useful. Then we found the slow cookers.
I’ve avoided buying a slow cooker in the past because of the aluminum used in them. But, given inconclusive results of resent tests (linking aluminum to Alzheimer’s), and given the fact that we try to limit our exposure to metals in general we decided it might be worth it to invest in one. They are a time-saver. So we bought one, an All Clad the sales associate suggested, with the gift card and then used the remainder of the card to buy a cherry pitter, candy thermometer, and a hand held citrus press (all fun gadgets we didn’t have yet).
But anyway, buying a slow cooker was not something I would have seen myself doing a few years back. Actually, having a family as my main concern in general is not something I would have anticipated in high school or before. Up until I was about 20 something my main goal was to be a successful lawyer and subsequently work in politics. But I’ve been edging away from that since.
I had existential qualms starting in high school with being a lawyer and/or involved in politics and in college my perspective totally shifted. I decided sometime around then that true love was infinitely more important than a career. (I’ve shared this before) And I was henceforth constantly distracted to varying degrees by that from all other pursuits until I met my husband.
Of course, my faith in God was with me the entire time. There has never been a season when I didn’t believe. Although I have been more or less conservative and more or less liberal at certain times. I’m a fervent person and so I take things quite seriously, and “it” (meaning every inch of my world view, and etc., etc.) all has to fit together. I hate cognitive dissonance, so my interpretation of Christianity has also evolved, changed and grown over the years as everyone’s does who genuinely believes.
Anyway…for many years I was prepared to live life as an adult in suits and eat alone at night. Truly. I planned to live in Washington D.C. (abbreviated D.C.) and only come home to the Midwest on holidays… Even in college I anticipated that.
But things changed and what my life shift taught me, among many things, was to embrace your inner-truth. I believe, as a Christian, one has to be accountable to God but since He’s God and therefore already knows anyway, it’s more important for us to be honest with ourselves about things not for His sake, but for our sake. In high school and before I longed to delve into the world of politics. That was who I was, but I changed and I had to be honest about that.
Feminists – often my friends, teachers and other mentors – loved me back before I changed. Haha! Really… Actually, many people in general gave me a ton of affirmation and acceptance when my life goals were different. And that feeling of belonging made it much harder to face what I wanted later. I knew a lot of them would think I’d lost my mind, be disappointed or start questioning my intelligence.
But I found myself wanting to find true romantic love, get married and be a stay-at-home-mom until my children were a little older (emphasis on the part where I eventually do function more outside of the home as not just a concession but a real part of the long-term plan). …But a stay-at-home-mom?! Yes! That was what I ultimately wanted… And since I am fervent and sincere I knew as a TRUE feminist I had every right to do that if I wanted. I was not going to be bullied or coerced into someone else’s plan by anyone. Male or female.
So…I embraced it on a deep heart level. And over time my life worked its way into where I am today: A stay-at-home-mom (and part time antique dealer).
But honestly, and for better or worse, I didn’t ever even do any one thing consciously to choose it other than passionately pursuing true love and acknowledging to myself privately that that was what I wanted most. And yeah, I know that sounds corny and simplistic but it’s just true. And I can’t help but think looking for the sort of love I genuinely wanted allowed me to find a mate who was looking for something similar. My complement would have to have a similar view of existence… And he does.
I look back at that all though and see a few times when I could have easily married someone else or pursued something other than what I wanted. There were many really nice guys, some of whom were of similar faith backgrounds to mine, and I even started to feel something strong emotionally about one or two of them.
Actually, my first serious boyfriend was raised Catholic, went to Messiah College and was a genius. Truly. He had an iq of 140 something. After graduation he did an internship in D.C. at a political think tank and then finished his graduate studies at Johns Hopkins. But as charming as he could be and as impressive as he could come across as to people, he was not the right one at all. He realized that and unfortunately I did not. So, he got involved with someone else at least emotionally, and then broke up with me. I was in love… He knew that. And the callous way he handled it broke my heart. I mean, really, really broke my heart. But…strangely, it was for the best. And as much as I still don’t respect the way he handled things or admire his selfishness, dishonesty or weakness I do deeply respect him for being true to reality. I admire him for embracing what was there and not shying away from ending what he knew just wouldn’t work long-term. He knew it could be better for both of us. And thank God for that…
Actually, he seemingly hated the concept of a stay-at-home-wife. Although he understood a lot and a lot about me, he didn’t truly “get me” (he couldn’t love me after all) and he told me I lacked confidence in general (I didn’t). When I even hinted that I didn’t necessarily want to be a lawyer or as ambitious career-wise as him it was not well received. Haha! Oh man did he look down on me… *rolling eyes* But…again…thank God he at least was honest with himself. Thank God he embraced his genuine truth in his own fallen way. And I can’t help but think God was guiding him a bit too… He did have some genuine faith from his childhood. And God honors a sincere heart.
We bought a slow cooker.