A few summers ago I decided to read the original "Dr. Doolittle" to the girls (the original title is . . . get ready for this . . . "The Story of Dr. Doolittle: Being the History of His Peculiar Life at Home and Astonishing Adventures in Foreign Parts Never Before Printed"--whew!). You know, the 1920 classic by Hugh Lofting that is nothing like the 1967 movie version with Rex Harrison and even less like the 1998 movie with Eddie Murphy.
One thing the book and the movies all have in common, though, is a character called the Pushmi-pullyu. I best remember it from the movie I watched as a kid. It was kind of like a siamese llama, all fluffy and white, with a head on each end.
This poor animal, though, didn't know which direction it was going. One head wanted to go one way; the other head wanted to go the other. Both heads had to really work together to get anywhere.
On a lot of days I feel like that poor Pushmi-pullyu.
Take today, for instance. It's President's Day, which means no school. Most of me wants to do something fun with the girls, like go see a movie or head to the mall. But what HAS to be done are dentist appointments, eye doctor appointments, laundry, music lessons, and getting one child to her job. Today will be a day when I'll be heading in all sorts of directions and probably not getting a lot done.
To widen the scope a little bit here, when I look at the future, I feel much like that Pushmi-pullyu, too. Do I want to keep my focus, as it has been for so many years, on being "Mom" to my girls? That's a wonderful thing and something I love doing. Or do I want to pursue other options that swirl around in my head? Writing? Speaking? Teaching? And if I pursued those options, when would be the right time to do that?
The tough thing about being at this point in my life is that I could spend years wandering around, contemplating, wondering which direction to move. And nothing would get done. I don't want that to happen.
But here's the great thing. I have options. We all do, whether we realize it or not. Yes, I feel pushed and pulled in all directions right now, but that's O.K. Maybe that's just what life is all about.
How about you? Are you being pushed and pulled? What are the options facing you right now?
(Just a note: if you have kids and are looking for something good to read with them this summer, check out Hugh Lofting's "Dr. Doolittle" books--there are several. You might enjoy one of them as much as we did.)