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I remember turning thirty and thinking it wasn’t really all that big of a deal. I wasn’t depressed or sad. I was however, busy being caught up in achieving the goals we had set for the life we dreamed. I was happily married, traveling for work, enjoying home ownership, saving money for the future, etc.

Since turning thirty, every year since, I have not really acknowledged my age appropriately. I mean that I totally forget what number I am in the thirty decade. So, I always just think or say, “thirty-something”!

Until this year. This year, I am painfully aware that it is THIRTY FIVE, the big, 3 5. I find myself wondering when the heck this happened and furthermore, was I even there for it?!?!

In addition to the fact that I have been trounced upon by the realization that I am going to be thirty-five, I have been floundering around trying to figure out who I am in addition to being a Mom.

I am fairly certain that this, identity loss thing, happens to a lot of Moms. Maybe it’s because we become so involved with the new role that we sometimes lose ourselves. Actually, it’s probably more accurate to say that we give up ourselves for the sake of motherhood. I am not sure that is good or bad. Probably a little of both.

I am a stay at home mommy. I didn’t plan to stay home but it worked out that way. I have to say, this is BY FAR the best job I have ever had and the most rewarding. It is true that I am working harder than I have ever worked in my life and I have never been more exhausted at the “end” of a work day.

The only downside to this amazing full-time job is that I love it so much and I am so focused on it that I have created the perfect opportunity in which to lose my identity.

When Delainie was born, and in the NICU, the nurses would call me, “Mom”. I. Loved. It. I would think, “Mom, that’s right, that’s ME”.

In every hospital we have been to the nurses called me, “Mom”. On the dry erase board in her hospital rooms it would list the cell phone number for, “Mom”. When the nurses were in the hall talking to docs, they would say, “Mom, wants to know if Delainie is going for her MRI today” or “I will check with Mom and see what she wants”.

Even now, when I call my parents, my Dad will jokingly say, “is that Delainie’s Mom on the phone”?

I love being, “MOM”. Quite possibly I love being “MOM” more than I ever loved being “Kelly”. Sometimes I think the person I was before was boring, insignificant and lacking purpose.

Being a “MOM” brought a whole new level of responsibility to my life, a whole new meaning to life itself. With it I found my old self slipping away; and, what’s worse, I didn’t even try to hang onto it. So, away it went, and I denied any need for a replacement.

It has become clear, after almost three amazing years as, “MOM”, I am ready to be a “MOM named KELLY”. Of course, that will entail reinventing, “Kelly”.

Yup, at almost thirty-five, I am going to reinvent myself. How? Well, I haven’t thought it through completely yet, but it will likely be a work in progress for the long-term.

I think my first steps at reinvention will include things like this:

1. I will be taking inventory of the people and things in my life. If I don’t need it, don’t want it, it doesn’t help me for the better, it gets the boot.

2. I am also in search of a church community where my family and I will be accepted and welcomed. A place where we can learn new things and meet new people. I am a spiritual person and have never really felt the need for organized religion. However, a church community may be a good place to start introducing the new, “Kelly”. And, it may give me an opportunity to learn more about the faith of those around me.

3. I will also plan, to get a very, very, part-time job. I think the satisfaction of having a separate work goal and making a few dollars would empower the new, “Kelly”, just right.

4. One thing I KNOW I NEED to do, but it is a tall order, is carve out more time for my mental health and nurturing my soul. This is hard, very hard. It will likely require baby steps and it will likely require reminders from those who are close to me.

5. I want to be more open-minded and learn new things about myself and those around me. I will embrace change. I will embrace change. I will….okay, I think that may be a mantra I will need to say in meditation in order for that one to be as powerful as it should.

6. Learn meditation. Not only would it be beneficial to explore meditation for my mental health and nurturing my soul, but I cannot do #5 above, without learning it!

These are the things I think will help get the reinvention of the new ME off the ground. It is going to be a new adventure and I am looking forward to it. I think it will be lots of fun!!

Cheers to Thirty-Something and Thirty-Five! Cheers to new beginnings!