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A Meaningful Life


Here’s a little back story on Lady G.

I went to a prestigious New England prep school for highschool, where my horizons were broadened and I found a great appreciation for learning.

I went on to college, various internships and jobs in television production, PR, marketing.  Ultimately, Mr. Gaga and I ended up in Connecticut. I worked for a nonprofit doing program development, fundraising and grant writing.

Doing good works was not part of my plan. It’s not exactly what I thought was my cup of tea.

I found it a challenge, yet also found it fulfilling and worthwhile.  I felt good about working a 12 hour day to benefit sick children.  I felt much better about that than I did working a 12 hour day for Viacom.

When I was pregnant with Sam, the nonprofit shut its doors and I ended up home with a one-year-old, by default.

Something else that was not part of my plan.

While also rewarding and fulfilling in some ways, I have struggled to find myself and find meaning in life as a stay-at-home mom.

I have found it difficult to consider my children my sole reason for being.  I have shuddered to think that I was put on this earth to raise 2 children, grocery shop and keep the toilets clean.

Very early on I started working a mindless part-time job just to keep myself sane.  Let’s say for the sake of anonymity I sell push-up bras.  I help women to look good and feel good.  It’s fun. It’s harmless. Meaningful? Not so much.

This week I went to the CT Forum to hear a panel discussion on leading a meaningful life.

The panel included smart important people who were doing great things in the world.  One of the panelists was Tim Shriver, who besides being the son of Eunice Kennedy and Sargent Shriver, is the chairman of the Special Olympics.  He also went to Yale undergrad, and then to about 65 other schools to collect various degrees, and has 5 children, looks like a Kennedy, and is brother-in-laws with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Around the time that Tim racked up yet another degree, I could be found doing very important works like emptying the dishwasher twice a day and organizing Legos.

Around the time that Tim racked up yet another degree, I could be found doing very important works like emptying the dishwasher twice a day and organizing Legos.

He was so dynamic when he spoke about the meaning of life, and how important it is to give back and to be someone who makes change in the world.

He has done so much and in the midst of it all his hair is always that perfect Kennedy hair that gives you hope and makes you feel all is right with the world.

It made me think about what I do.

You know…sell push up bras….clean the occasional toilet…..make dinner.

Hmmm.

Another panelist was a man named Larry Brilliant.  He has among other small tasks, headed the philanthropic arm of Google, cured 3 million people of blindness, and eradicated small pox.

The man is a genius, so I understand that I could never even dream of accomplishing anything that he has.

However the fact that while these people are changing the world, I am earnestly attempting to teach my husband and kids how to change the toilet paper, I literally cannot keep track of the socks of the 4 people who live in my house and  I have looked at my 2nd grader’s homework and found it overwhelming….probably indicates a slight problem.

“What am I going to do with my life?  You don’t understand because you have a purpose and your life has meaning….” I said to Mr. Gaga the next day with despair.

“Your life has meaning too, with your family.” he answered simply.

“That’s it? That’s my whole life? Just being a mom?” I asked incredulously.

“Yup.”

“What? That can’t be it! I don’t even think I am doing a good job with that…they watch SpongeBob and swear.” I said throwing myself onto my bed with dramatics.

“What will my tombstone say? Here lies Lady G, she sold push-up bras and called kids assholes on her blog?  And what about when the kids leave? What will I do then??”

“It will be time for us to be together, and enjoy life.” he said with a smile, imagining us probably on a beach somewhere loving each other.

All I could see in my mind were the creepy old people in the Cymbalta ad.

“WHAT?? NO!!!! I hate that plan!!! That’s a horrible plan!!!!

I stayed home emptying the dishwasher for 20 years for this?

I stayed home emptying the dishwasher for 20 years for this?

“Ok, great!” Mr. Gaga answered sarcastically, “Then go get a job you crazy bitch!”

(He didn’t say “crazy bitch” but I could see it in his eyeballs that he wanted to. He generally is very nice and patient, but can only take so much.)

Well, you will probably be working and the kids will be gone, and I will be home with like 5 cats….I guess I will just stare out the window and pet the cats all day.” I said with disgust.

“We are not getting cats….I hate cats.” he said firmly.

“So do I!!! I would never want a cat…but I think that when you are alone all the time with nothing to do that’s what happens! That’s the point! Your life is so boring and empty that you forget that you hate cats and you turn into a crazy cat lady.”

He just stared at me.

cats

How can I raise two children successfully and be fully invested in that, and still find a way to preserve a piece of myself, while simultaneously keeping Mr. Gaga around?

Does anyone have the answers??

This is probably why I have the tendency to be Lindsay Lohan…..just sayin.

It’s just not as easy as Tim Shriver’s hair makes it look.

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK BELOW …IT WILL MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I HAVE A PLACE IN THE WORLD….XO, LADY GOO GOO GAGA

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8 responses »

  1. I saw this quote recently from Mother Theresa, ‘don’t worry about the numbers just help the person nearest you.’ I think it’s okay to be just a mom. Because you MADE PEOPLE for crying out loud. I’m not saying just sit back and do nothing. Hey, if you become the next Maya Angelou and help millions and inspire the masses, great. Do it. But don’t be too hard on yourself. ;)

    Reply
  2. Nice piece. I recall those days. Give anything for them back. You are right about it all.
    However, you have not even reached your pinnacle yet. Knowing you I expect great things will happen.

    Reply
  3. Lady G, I think we are kindred spirits of sorts. I’ve been pondering the same things over the last few days. Pretty deep stuff. I drank a few wine coolers and suddenly my biggest problem was how not to fall off the coffee table while doing home karaoke. But, then the deep questions came flooding my mind again. Stellar post.

    Reply
  4. I get this feeling and I hate this feeling. I don’t even have any people that I created. Women can be way too hard on themselves. I don’t have answers, but I will tell you that your blog plays a part in helping me get through my work week. I always find your posts entertaining.

    Reply
  5. Pingback: Leaning out | Lady Goo Goo Gaga

  6. I felt EXACTLY like this all day yesterday……and I am sitting here laughing outloud..glad to know I am not alone…

    Reply
  7. I am reading this while putting away the dishes and laundry. Again. When confronted with my helplessness in the face of either uncontrollable laughter or tears, after choosing to laugh, I feel even more committed to play this Motherhood gig well while it lasts. I was on a path to accomplishing something personally fabulous and meaningful once, and got diverted between degrees when Mr Awesome sparkled at me and offered me the glamorous life of diapering, sock matching, and pot scrubbing that I enjoy today. My hope is still that when the Awesome Spawn entrusted to me for this season of life no longer need my management and are self sustaining, and before Mr Awesome and I become frail and dependent ourselves, there will be a window of time in which to contribute something else to the world worth being proud of. Whether or not my fantasy self ever comes to flower, though, I can feel great joy in sustaining life now, and in encouraging the extraordinary in these children of ours, countering the great weight of publicly enforced mediocrity that bears down on them mercilessly. Could choose the “I can have it all” approach and get into my own thing now, could get by if my earning power became necessary to float our boat, but really, I’m glad nobody is asking me to try to ride two horses with one ass. Lady, I feel you. You just get down wit’cha bad self and please keep helping us laugh, especially us moody, pondering Irish bitches who need an O and a laugh a day so we don’t turn into Sinead O’Connor.

    Reply

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