One thing that happens to me every spring is that I get a desire to look at my life and see where I stand. Many people do this on New Year’s, and I do in a way think about the last year and consider what I need to change for the coming year, but after the long, cold, winter, I feel a freedom that may not translate well into words.
Spring is about beginnings to me and when I think about my life I think about
the big beginnings and the big endings, because let’s face it, you can’t have one without the other.
If you are a parent, then you know making choices about what you pursue is a daily thing. You have responsibilities and you don’t want to let those who depend on you down, so maybe the idea of writing the novel, or owning the art store seems far away. You have bills, insurance concerns, soccer games, birthdays, and any number of other things to put in front of them.
I get it. I do. I am the mother of two grown girls, I am wife, and I was my mother’s care giver for almost 10 years. But I am here to tell you that if you want something bad enough, it will only help to complete you as a person and make your other roles more empowering.
I am not suggesting you quit your day job that puts food on the table, carries the insurance, and in general makes life in a consumer driven world livable, but I am talking about carving out even five minutes a day to work toward what you want. Why, should you add one more thing to your already full plate? Well, good question and here are five reasons for you to ponder.
1. YOU THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME
If you sit on your lunch break, or in the car in traffic and think about what your life would be like if you were doing (insert dream career here). Or if when you are in the middle of a bad day it pops into your head; you are already spending precious brain matter on it. Instead of just thinking about it, take your lunch break to read articles or books about the dream you have. Make a plan for learning more about it, or even make a list people to connect with to network. If it is writing that book, carry a recorder (we all have one on our phones now) and dictate scenes or ideas to keep for later.
2. YOU DESERVE TO BE HAPPY
This one was a huge one for me. You did not become an adult to give yourself up to your responsibilities. Your children need to have an example of a person that knows what they want and works to get it. Your parents who you may be caring for would want you to have those things you dream about. Your spouse much prefers seeing a smile on your face, then a look of frustration and defeat. Also remember we change over time. Do not feel guilty that what you first thought you wanted as a newly minted adult, is not what you want now. It’s called growth, and it is not a bad thing, it is a very good thing. I found that when I was struggling with my reality, just doing one thing toward my dream would help me stay positive and hopeful.
3. THOSE AROUND YOU DESERVE AN EXAMPLE OF A PERSON BEING THEIR BEST SELF
No one wants to be a martyr when they grow up. And we don’t want our children to be either. We all make sacrifices and that won’t stop, but your children deserve to see you every day striving to be your best, and to be happy. My daughters know that when I go away for a writer’s conference, or have an hour of writing time to myself, I am a better human being when I spend time with them. Likewise, your friends should see others striving for bigger and better things. It may inspire them to also take a step to follow their dreams as well.
4. WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR TALENT WILL AFFECT OTHER PEOPLE IN WAYS YOU CAN'T IMAGINE
No matter what your dream is, it would impact someone to have you and your talents in their lives. Maybe the novel you write gives someone hope. Perhaps the furniture you upcycle will make someone smile every time they look at it. Maybe the young person you counsel will find a solution to their troubles.
5. REGRETS ARE THE WORST
This was my number one reason for not letting my dream go and even when life got tough, I found a way to keep working on it in some fashion. I do not want to find myself at the end of my life saying, I wish I had… or What would have happened if I’d only…
I would rather say, boy that was an epic fail, but at least I tried.
If there is that one thing you have always wanted to do, consider my reasons for not letting it go undone. If you are a person who is content with your life this is not an article saying you should have something you want to do to change your life. Just be open to those feelings of curiosity and interest and instead of burying them until “later” why not take a small chunk now and see who it feels. If it feels right, take another chunk. You never know where it might lead.
Do you have a dream you’re working toward little by little? How do you carve out time for your interest? I’d love to hear from you.