Alas, I cannot come back and report to you that I have found chef. Not when it's snowing outside and starting to stick as I type this.
What I did find this week was some perspective.
People are always talking about eternal perspective, but I don't generally have a problem with that. What I'm missing is temporal perspective. Perspective for the here and now. It is so easy to get myself all bogged down in the trial du jour, that I forget the fact that the trials always end. There is always another spring after the long winter.
I also forget the fact that I have numerous blessings. So many, in fact, that I can easily call myself spoiled and undeserving.
I think a lot of people think I don't like living here because I don't like Cedar City itself. That is really not true. Cedar is a great place to live and I like it fine. Sure, it's a little on the small side, and there's not really anywhere to shop, and it snows a lot, but there is a lot of good in it, too. Besides, I'm not sure there exists a perfect place to live, there's always something. Anyway, the reason I have struggled with living in Cedar City is simply because I do not like the feeling of having to work in order for us to make ends meet.
I have never before felt like a working mom, nor have I ever had so many other extraneous demands on my time as I have this last 3 years. Basically, I feel like I have to give so much of myself to other areas, that I don't have much to give to the three little people who matter most. Sometimes I can find a balance, but most of the time I'm just treading water and trying not to drown in my overstuffed life.
Once, when I was in college, a professor had us all sit in a circle and share the most difficult things we were dealing with in life right then. As I listened to the trials my classmates were going through right then, I became more and more grateful for my own hardships, and was a little embarrassed to share them when it came my turn because they seemed silly in comparison. And yet, as it turns out, many people came up to me and told me that they couldn't do what I was doing.
I have had a similar experience this week, and as I look at the trials others around me are facing, I have been given some perspective on my own. So what if I have to work right now? At least I can. The hard part is figuring out how I can more fully enjoy my children and not get so bogged down in the fact that my life is more full than I'd like it to be. My kids are the most important thing right now, no matter what, and I could lose them at any time. I need and want to be able to find joy and fulfillment in motherhood like I used to be able to.
I still don't have the "how" nailed down, but the desire is there. And the perspective. And that's good.