I've been feeling a little ... well, ungrateful lately (maybe envious is a better word), but even as I was ennumerating in my mind all of the activities I'm missing out on doing, I knew that anything I don't have, I have consciously and willingly given up so that I could have the things I do have.
It was a conscious decision, for example, to place the center of my life in my home. I actively sought work from home, because I wanted to be here for my children so that they wouldn't have to be raised by someone else while I earned money. I gave up any hope of a flashy career, because I wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom. The work I do for money really is secondary to my real job, which is being a mom to my girls and a partner to Deus Ex Machina.
Sometimes I wish that I could get out in the world more, without a boatload of kids hanging all around me, but I find that when I do get out, I don't know what to do. I'm usually surrounded by so much energy (*cough* chaos *cough*) that when it's not there, I feel exposed. Their energy is my buffer - kind of like the Tasmanian Devil's whirlwind.
Sometimes I wish I had friends or coworkers or classmates ... other people with whom I could go and do cool stuff on my days off (which, really, is only Sunday, as during the rest of the week, we're always busy with classes or work-related activities), but I know that I wouldn't give up the one "unscheduled" day I have to spend with Deus Ex Machina and go hang-out with other people. I see him too rarely now with as busy as he is. Sunday is our only day to reconnect without all of the noise of the world interfering. It's also the only day we have to get stuff done around the house :).
So, while I, occasionally, wish such silly stuff, the reality is that I am thankful that I have a job that I enjoy doing, that gives me a small income, and that allows me to stay home and work. I'm thankful that my children are so amazing and that they let me be the center of their world. I'm thankful that my partner-in-life is my best friend.
Sometimes I have to remind myself, but most of the time I'm fully aware, and incredibly grateful that my life and everything I need and love is right here on this quarter acre, in this 1500 square foot house ....
... and when I do need to get out in the world, that's what the Internet is for, right?