My parents are very easy-going people. They are content with what they have in life and they count their blessings. These are great traits to have. But on the flip side, this contentedness, I think, sometimes bred a little apathy. While my brothers and I were always encouraged to try new things and they supported us (and still do) in all our endeavors, we were never encouraged to take risks or push the envelope. If we tried our best, gave it our all, and still didn’t like it or didn’t succeed, well, it was okay to just give it up.
So what my parents inadvertently taught me, by simply being the people they are, is that things will happen as they will – you can’t do much about it, so just appreciate what you have been given. And that is true for many things in my life.
I’m not trying to say that is a bad thing – I don’t think it is. Many people are simply happy with their life – and that is great for them. They are thankful when good things happen unexpectedly, but they are simply content overall. But what my risk-taking, always-striving husband has taught me is that sometimes, if you’re not happy, you have to just do something.
I’ve written about this before – and some of you are likely thinking I’ve written about this ad naseum, but for me it is an ongoing lesson.
I found out last week that a friend of ours, who is a year younger than I am with two kids who are the same age as mine, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The prognosis is good, but my God. She isn’t even thirty. Life is so short. And so fragile.
There are things I want for my life that aren’t simply going to happen by wishing or waiting. I want more. Not in a selfish or greedy way, but when I heard about my friend, it was possibly the biggest wake up call I’ve ever had, at least in terms of appreciating that we are given one life here on Earth. And regardless of what awaits us after death – whether that is something better or nothing at all – we only get this one chance.
I want to be the person I want to be – the person I imagine but always think You’re not that person and you’re not even close. I don’t want to look back on my life in forty years and think I wish I had …
It’s time for me to get real with myself. No one is going to do it for me. I have to do it. And when I do it, and I can look back with pride at the changes I’ve made, it will be worth the journey.
I want to make decent money. Since I’ve been out of college, I’ve never made good money and at almost eight years out of school, I’m not okay with that. I’m educated and experienced and I want to feel worthwhile. I want to do this through writing and editing and I want to do it in a way that allows me flexibility for my family.
But no one is going to market me. No one is going to hire me just because I’m nice. I have to market myself and convince them they need me.
I want to be the type of mom who doesn’t lose her cool. The mom who plays with her kids and doesn’t look longingly at her bed, or her book, or back at the days when she wasn’t so weighted with all this responsibility.
But no one is going to make me do this. I have to get down on the floor and play dirtbikes and castle and picnic. I have to remind myself that these days when my babies are little are fleeting and when I do have time to do what I want, when I want to do it, I will wish to travel back in time. To right now.
I want to be the kind of wife who really talks to her husband – who doesn’t let the stress of everyday life get in the way of really seeing him, or sharing with him, or just loving him. I want to be the wife who doesn’t let us get lost.
But no one is going to make me put down my phone or my book or turn off the TV to just talk to him. No one is going to convince me I’m not too tired or too sick of people touching me all the time. I have to appreciate, every second of every day that a marriage is work and it is one job that I cannot slack off on. He is my future and my partner and we deserve to be as happy as we can be.
I want to lose twenty-five pounds this year. I want to feel comfortable and sexy and healthy. I want to know that I’m taking care of this one body I have.
But no one is going to exercise for me or yank the chips out of my hand. No one is going to cook me healthy food or push me down to the basement to exercise. I’m not going to wake up one day and look the way I want.
I can be judgmental of others and a little harsh. I hate that about myself. Other people’s choices are none of my business.
But no one is going to stop me from gossiping or thinking unkind thoughts. No one is going to make me choose to think something positive rather than something negative. I have to make a conscious effort, every second of the day, to change my thinking.
I want to have a better relationship with God. It’s pretty nonexistent right now and that is all my fault.I know that I need God in my life, but since my brother died, it’s been difficult for me to take that leap of faith.
But no one is going to pray for me or make me go to church. This is the most important one of all and one that I can’t wait any longer on.
I am an incredibly blessed person. There is so much in my life to be thankful for. But I’m not particularly proud of myself. So it’s not easy to think about, let alone write about, all of this – these are big changes. Way beyond what I said my “goals” were in my last post. I have no fantasies of accomplishing all this in the next year. I just want to know, in the end, whenever that may be, that I’ve done everything I can to be the person I wish I was right now. And I don’t have forever – I need to get to work. It’s all up to me.