Accept No One’s Definition
Of Your Life;
The other evening we had cocktails in this beautiful home on the water.
Afterwards, the hosts treated us to a slow, peaceful tour in their boat which was docked outside their home, and as we made our way to the restaurant the driver graciously pointed out the various landmarks to us.
But I was quickly lost, unable to get my bearings in the water. And it occurred to me how common this feeling of being lost and disoriented is these days. In fact, it’s a daily occurrence for me.
The other day Mr. M even joked, “Les, whatever way you think you should turn, just go the opposite way.” And honestly, it’s actually worked a few times. The thing is, I don’t remember being so bad about directions but heck, I just left a city that I was born and raised in which means that I was rarely challenged.
But drifting along in this boat and taking in the beauty of our surroundings reminded me once again of the value of leaving our comfort zone.
Getting lost daily is making me open my eyes. Feel more present and alert. Sort of the way you would if you were sight-seeing on vacation.
And plopping ourselves in the middle of a new city has rekindled this old, hazy feeling from years ago. A sensation of starting over, of having exhilarating possibilities suddenly opened up on the horizon and of a sepia colored memory of myself as a twenty-something girl living in Los Angeles, determined to carve out a career for herself.
The truth is… I loved my work. I once wrote that when I was a grad student working in the Eating Disorder Unit and in the throes of my own personal therapy it felt like being on the top of a soaring cliff with the winds pummeling me from behind. It was a time in my life that was both exhilarating and terrifying but honestly, everyone should feel so alive.
But then motherhood happened. And from the moment I held my baby in my arms, I was transformed. I put my career on the back burner and it’s a decision I have no regrets about. Not one speck.
And I wish the same for you because if there’s one thing being a therapist taught me, it’s that we’re all doing the best we can with who we are at the moment. And hopefully we know ourselves well enough to keep prioritizing the things that will matter in the end.
Although I’ve learned that knowing ourselves and living a purposeful life doesn’t just magically happen.
I think it’s crucial-especially for women--that we carve out quiet time to reconnect with the person we are, when we’re not being Mom and Wife and Daughter and Sister and Grand-daughter and Co-worker and Committee Chair and Field Trip Driver and all the other emotionally, entangled roles that rotate our world.
Because it’s scary how easy it is to be swallowed up by our care-taking, to become so Other-Focused that we lose touch with our deeper selves, our feelings and our own personal dreams, and those things that inspire us and make us feel alive and energized. And depending on what stage of life we’re currently in-whether our kids are young or our parents are elderly--it can be natural to feel depleted. Even confused about the things that replenish us.
Here’s a true story.
I was once standing at the door of my son’s little preschool house talking to several mothers. This was a parent participation preschool which means that even though it was led by a teacher, it was the parents who put on their green aprons to work their weekly shifts at the school; unfortunately, these required participation hours caused a silent wedge between some of the mothers who worked outside the home and the mothers who stayed home (and worked).
I had just finished passing out Halloween invitations to this group of Moms when this particular woman who worked full-time at a stressful job, looked at the home-made invitation in her hand and remarked,
“Oh my god. Who has time for this?”
And I just smiled and silently thought, “Not me. But I make the time, because boy I love creating fun, artistic things out of paper.”
It was also worth noting that this same mother always had her nails done. And whenever I would see her beautiful, French-manicured hands and hear about her crazy schedule, I would think the same thing she thought about my invitations. “Who has time to sit and get their nails done?”
Isn’t that funny?
So you see? We are always finding ways to do what we want. And even when we feel harried and other-focused, we can still learn about our passions if we observe what we are drawn to, what kinds of things we make time for in our busy lives.
Because our priorities tell us what is important to us.
Are you finding time to do what is important to you?
Because I just saw this wonderful 30 day challenge that I’m starting. If you’re wanting to jump-start an old goal or dream of yours… you might find it motivating. Because it’s never too late to change the direction of your life.
Click here to hear more:
As always, I thank you for being here.
And I would love to know what you think.
Can you relate to this post?
I’m linking up here: