Last night I sat down with a notebook and pen and wrote out some very basic stuff for my life.
I started with…what did I learn as a child from my parents, what core beliefs were passed down…what was said, what was observed, what was valued in my family growing up and how has it affected me. That was an interesting process as I sat in quiet in my bedroom to see what stuff came to the surface. The first word that came to me was “hard working”. The value of hard work and over the top effort is something that has been ingrained in me. I also know this…growing up, I felt loved, safe and secure. I had a sheltered upbringing. As poor as we were I don’t ever remember feeling unloved or as if we wouldn’t be ok in time. I learned that life is hard and don’t expect things to go easy on you. I watched my parents struggle a lot…and I think I just kind of figured that’s real life…nothing should really feel easy. We were made to serve…and if you get stepped on in the process so be it.
A lot of good stuff really…hard work is a good thing. The down side being that if you’re not working hard or at least what looks like hard than you’re weak. Being strong and pushing through was important in my family. We persevere against all odds. So for me to opt out of a secure job cuts across the grain of who I am at the core of me. No wonder, it’s such a big deal in my soul.
Will I be as valued without my daily job? Will I be considered weak or lazy by stepping out? What will I have to show for my time off? Am I just wanting a life of ease and if so what does that say about me as a person?
Let me just say…I believe that I have innate value no matter what I do:). I’ve demonstrated plenty of strength and effort in my life and I’m sure I always will and maybe it’s time for me to figure out that weakness and rest are allowed and important too. The showing part…what will I have to show…I think it will be something that will show itself over the years…the long haul. I’m used to the gratification of doing a project and seeing the results quickly. This may be a time in my life when I just do what I feel that I’m supposed to do and trust the results to show up at some point. Work is far too ingrained within me for me to ever really just become a ‘slacker’ :).
Anyway that was my starting point.
Then I started to write down what my ideal life would look like.
What time would I want to get up?
What chunk of time would I set aside for reading and writing?
When would I eat my meals? Which meals would I plan to eat with my girls?
At what time would I follow up on their school work?
What time is allotted for housework?
What daily time would I exercise?
What time am I going to set aside completely for private lessons?
What time would be put aside for family time?
What time will I go to bed at night? How much sleep do I need?
I went through and very specifically wrote out an entire Monday-Friday schedule of what I would like my life to look like. Lauren immediately chimed in and said…”But mom…life is not ideal :)” She’s right…but if I start there….maybe that will head me in the right directions. That’s what I was trying to consider.
And it works…immediately after I made up a schedule on several pieces of paper as I added and took away until I liked what I saw I was able to start coming up with ideas to head myself in the direction of my ideal life. I started thinking about how many students I would need privately to make it. I started to think about what I would need to do to get there. I started thinking about the reading and writing portion and thinking about what books I want to read, what types of books, etc. I started thinking about 3 books that I plan to publish at some point.
I started to think about finances and how I would budget my life and resources based on this schedule.
I got so involved that it was contagious and the next thing I knew Lydia sat down at the computer and typed up her “ideal” life for homeschooling and so now she has a schedule as well and seemed enlivened by it. I have a feeling Lauren will in time…when it seems like it’s her own idea :).
I’ve been reading the book “Change your words, Change your world” and so many of these changes and thoughts have been brought about by that book.
I’m reminded that we have many more choices than we realize. I don’t think I understand this very well. I think growing up I just felt that we didn’t have many choices so you buck up and accept things the way they are. It’s empowering to find that we do have choices and we have power within to make a change.
I’ve been reminded that when we set the direction of our life into where we really want to go, all it takes is small changes here and there to get us going in the right direction and eventually to reach our destination. I’m making those small changes right now. I can already tell over 3 months time that small changes done incrementally over time yield huge changes when you look back. You can completely change the direction of your life over a relatively small amount of time by just setting a new course. You have the power to do that kind of thing. Focus is everything.
I haven’t mentioned God much in this process…but in my silence and time of listening and seeing what would come to the surface I believe that He was leading me, cheering for me actually. I believe that He helps us to unearth the beliefs we’ve always had and helps us to really think through them and sort through what is worth keeping and what is probably something that needs to go. I believe that He helps us get in tune with our self, our God made self, to understand what would really bring us a well lived life. He helps us to know what’s important. He leads us…beside still waters. I think growing up…that kind of thing, still waters…was not something that was ok. We were all about activity, doing, serving, giving, working…notice all of the ‘ing’ endings. Last night I felt led by the still waters and my soul felt comforted.
I’m not talking about creating a life that is self serving and focused on self. I’m not talking about getting lazy and sleeping til noon and partying til 3am. I’m talking about a life that loves God, loves others and even has enough room to love myself well. I haven’t ever heard sermons on loving myself well…but I believe at the core of me that is just as important in this recipe of an ideal life.
Loving God…Loving others…Loving myself. That’s what my ideal life…beliefs, schedule is going to be about from here on out.
Which means that last night as I sat down and considered some of my extra commitments…some if it I’m going to start saying no to. Some of it I’m going to make minor remodifcations. Some of it, I’m going to say a more enthusiastic yes to!
I even sat down last night and figured out starting in January of 2014 what my official ‘vacation’ weeks will be with my private lesson business.
I sense a greater clarification to my life. A greater sense of calm and purpose. A lot less doing and far more being. I can tell the direction of my life is changing bit by bit…and I’m at peace about where it’s headed.