Have a seat. Or stand, if that's more comfortable for you. My only request is that you make yourself at home. Put your feet up. Have a look around, and go wherever you like. Feel free to use the bathroom, or grab yourself something from the 'fridge. Mi casa es su casa.
It's difficult to live with intention when you're a new parent.
Sorry to be abrupt, but that too is one of the symptoms of still-wet parenthood, I've found. One becomes very direct. By necessity, because for weeks or months (or years?) you've had to be wildly attentive every second of the day AND do so on less than the recommended daily allotment of rapid-eye movement. Not only do you come to appreciate saying what you mean and meaning what you say in the context of needing to teach a tiny human what things mean, but your mental state is such that you need to have ideas as you have them. Memory may not necessarily be trusted.
"Buy eggs this weekend!" you may find yourself shouting at your spouse as he or she is washing out a onesie.
"Your mother is passive-aggressive in her parenting advice to me, and I've been meaning to mention it to you!" you abruptly announce just as your partner is mercifully falling asleep on the couch. In a sitting position.
"Art is a necessity, but so is clean underwear, and sometimes clean underwear is winning!"
At any rate, I had meant to start in here with a little update on my perspective on The Third Life(TM); or: living a life with creative meaning and intention. Instead, I zeroed right in on the crux of that struggle for me right now. It's difficult to live with intention when you're a new parent.
I don't in this particular context mean it's difficult to be intentional as a parent in general. One's intentions are, if anything, crystallized in the moment-to-moment sense. Eat three meals. Say something nice to your husband/wife. Prevent baby from chewing on objects that will maim him/her. Encourage baby to reach toddlerhood. Discourage baby from randomly suffocating. You get the idea. Each day is a-swarm with intentions.
It's just in the long-term that it starts to get a little hazy. I was much clearer on my personal mission statement when I was a ne'er-do-well twenty-something. And I mean not only my artistic mission statement, but my parenting one as well. I've always wanted to be a parent one day, a father (preferably), and I've put some thought into it. I had long range goals. I had BIG IDEAS.
You'll note, I'm certain, the past-tense.
So much of the first year of being a parent is just about survival - theirs, and yours. You can aspire to so much more than getting by, yes, and I believe you should. You should also be forgiving of yourself when you are eating cereal with your hands out of the box at 2:00 am in the TV room and notice half of a pair of soiled baby socks peeking out from under an ottoman and think to yourself, "I'm going to pretend its partner is definitely already washed and where it belongs."
I have a better understanding now, I think, of why so many people rediscover religion when they have children. My parents were such people, and I had always assumed it was because they wanted to cover their bases with us, in a sense. They were raised with religion, so it seemed negligent to not at least offer my sister and me the option. True though that may be, there is I believe a more poignant reason.
Children prove to you - even as you're becoming wholly responsible for another human being - that you have no real control in life. All you have, in fact, is intention. And if you're lucky: adaptability. I think on the tail-end of a more youthful time in one's life, when one is struggling to prove one's self and be as independent as possible, having children can bring home in a very immediate way the need to "give it to God." Religion, properly applied, gives us permission to be humble, to learn, to be like children before (a) never-faltering parent(s).
And good Lord, do I need that.
I'm not relinquishing my intentions, as an artist or a parent. I still believe in those ideas and ideals, and I can't envision myself with so little direction as to abandon them altogether. I am relinquishing some control, albeit with the hope that it actually means I'm embracing something more, something better. (Similar to how parents sacrifice some of their independence, but stand to gain incomparable love.) And my acting "career"? Hm. Stay tuned. More on that anon.
The outstanding theme of my life right now, this new site, my every effort in fact, is unity. The three, become one, as some ancient interpretations of dogma might have it. It's a good place to be, good work to be doing. Moreover, it's the right place.