Shawn bought me this little, itty bitty laptop for Mothers’ Day. It is really cute, and I can take it anywhere. For instance, I am sitting in the red chair in my bedroom right now, instead of in the study. Piper is scratching around in his dog bed in the corner under my bed, and the vacuum sits reproachfully at the base of my oval mirror, the one that is almost full length.
There are a dozen antique pink roses in a vase downstairs on the kitchen table. Ordinarily I discourage people from buying me roses for Mothers’ Day because at Wegman’s, where they sell roses for the everyday low price of $9.99 on 363 days of the year, they charge $34.99 on Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day. Even Aldi marked up their bouquets from $3.99 to $7.99 in honor of us moms. (Right.) But Shawn and I happened to be in WalMart picking up a prescription for one of the boys, and they had Mothers’ Day roses, twelve for $10. I was willing to accept roses on a major flower holiday if we could get them at that price!
The other morning as I was drinking my tea and staring absently at my flowers, I thought of how I would love to arrange flowers for somebody’s wedding sometime. There are websites where you can order flowers for close to wholesale prices. I would love to plan wedding flowers with somebody and place an order for a bunch of carefully selected flowers, and then arrange them when they arrived.
I doubt if I could ever do this for one of my own daughters if they got married, as there would probably be 10,000 other things I would need to be taking care of, and getting the flowers all set up would certainly impede my ability to get myself ready for the Big Event. So I would need to do this for somebody else.
It struck me that I would not want to do this for money. I would just want to do it for fun, and for love, and to be helpful (I would want them to pay for the wholesale flowers, but I would arrange them for nothing). I am terribly unambitious. I never want to do anything for money. I really hate being paid for things.
It isn’t that I don’t like money. I’d (on a certain level) love to have a job, a career, a salary. I’d love to be able to make a financial contribution to my children’s college expenses. But the things I like to do—teach Sunday school, teach Bible studies, watch people’s little children, arrange flowers—I don’t want to do for money.
There is a part of me that would love to be paid for writing, and then there is another part of me that recoils from it. I want to write what I write without regard to what people think or whether (for goodness’ sake) they would pay me. I’d love to write a book, a fiction book with chapters and a really fantastic plot, but maybe a children’s book and not a novel. But I don’t want to write it to be published, to sell. I just want to write it. Of course, I would like to see it in print. If people liked it, it would be rewarding to get money for it after the fact. But I don’t want to write it for profit, as a job, to make money. I want to write as a blessing, something free and beautiful and God-ordained. And then I’d like to let the chips just fall wherever they fall. If my book is only ever something I print on my computer printer and put into a three ring binder for my children and grandchildren, so be it.
I wonder if there is something fundamentally wrong with me, that I am so unmotivated, so unambitious. I am certainly un-American. So many of my friends work and contribute to their families’ finances. I have no desire to do this, no desire at all. And I do not even homeschool. I am a drone. I have not even been teaching Bible study or Sunday school for the past six months, and still I do not clean my house regularly or organize it or (now that spring has arrived) work on the yard or the flower beds.
I am satisfied, for one thing. If I really had a hunger to build that house in the country, I could be beating the streets looking for a job. But I am completely satisfied with the house I live in. I like my kitchen and my bedroom and the new shower in my master bath. I like my neighborhood and the fact that I am within five minutes of three or four grocery stores. I do not long for more clothes or more vacations (usually) or a new car. This is not to say that I don’t need a new car, just that I don’t want one.
I wish I could figure out what God wants from me, my calling, my vocation. Here I am, 45 years old, with no clue what I’m going to be when I grow up, no desire to grow up, and no desire to make money.
And I wonder why my son Jonathan is unmotivated. Ha.