I’ve been at an odd place lately. They (you know who “they” are) have talked about men going through a mid life crisis. We’ll, I think isn’t any different for women – it’s just that we don’t refer to it as a crisis. We call it “reinventing myself.” I really like the sound of that really. It’s much more fun than a crisis, don’t you think?
Anyway, I’ve been questioning everything I do lately. (Okay – well not everything. It just seems like it sometimes.)
I’ve been thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life. Yeah – I know – you’d think I would have figured that out a long, long time ago. Well I did. And I still do know what I want to do.The problem is…I still want to do it all. If I don’t, I’m sure I’ll be propelled back to my childhood to those evenings when I was sent to bed while my parents threw a party in the other room. I don’t want to miss out! I hate being left out! What if I miss out on something exciting because I am in my out fulfilling my life’s purpose.The problem is, as a result of wanting it all, I have felt pulled in so many different directions. All of them good causes. All of them worthy of pursuit. All of them things that I am good at. All of them using talents that God has blessed me with.
Some days I just want to spend my future in the art studio, creating lots and lots of art. No, I want to split my time between the art studio and teaching art.
Some days I want to spend the majority of my time speaking to various groups of people on how to enRICH and improve their life.
Some days I want to spend time writing book, after book – from self-improvements books to that next big work of fiction.
Some days I want to spend my days as a food blogger who makes regular appearances as a judge on Iron Chef.
Some days I want to simply be just a homeschooling mom, who focuses ONLY on helping her kids be the best they can be.
Some days I want to be a vagabond – sell all my earthy possessions and travel the world.
Some days I want to purchase a farm and settle down in the country and some days I want to live a New York city lifestyle.
And thankfully most days I still really want to what I am doing.
But frankly – some days I don’t even want do one thing related to any of those pursuits.
Steve Pavliva, said in his blog post on discovering one’s life purpose, “If you want to discover your true purpose in life, you must first empty your mind of all the false purposes you’ve been taught (including the idea that you may have no purpose at all).” Yes, most of these are false purposes. After all, I would hope that my life would have more purpose than leaving my mark as a judge on Iron Chef.
I already know what my life purpose is, and two of the things I identified above fit perfectly with that purpose…
Spending time speaking to various groups of people on how to enRICH and improve their life.
Writing book, after book – from self-improvements books to that next big work of fiction. (Okay, maybe the fiction doesn’t fit).
But that doesn’t mean they other desires don’t have a role to play in my life. What these dreams and desires show me what some of my core values are. These desires are an indicator of what I value in life. And most importantly, they are an indication of what I can do to add a little richness along the road of life. They show me what my emotional “needs” are in life.
For example, creativity is one my core values, and one of my gifts from God. In fact, I made a good living as an artist, and art instructor, for some time. I bet you didn’t know that about me – did you. Well I guess you may have figured it out two paragraph or two ago. I am simply not that happy without some type of creative outlet. But, I don’t have to express my creativity on such a grand scale. I don’t have to turn everything I am good at into a career (but I still reserve the right to do so later). I can still express those “gifts” in other ways.
I can teach my daughters some new art techniques (fulfilling my desire to give my kids the best education, to be an incredible mom, and to create art.)
I can blog about the food I prepare for my family, but not worry about it resulting in a trip to judge the next iron chef competition. Heck, I can blog about food, while I watch Iron chef. (But, just between you and me, there is no way I am removing “Judge an Iron Chef event” from my bucket list.)
I can share with others the benefits of using art journaling to heal wounds of the past, and to create a brighter future.
I can recreate that little piece of the country here in my own home, right now, by raising backyard chickens.
Living a New York lifestyle to me means…
Attending the ballet.
Eating from street carts.
Attending art gallery openings.
So, to add a little New York lifestyle passion in my life, I can mix in the occasional play, purchase a set of season tickets to the local theater, and make my way to downtown Salt Lake to eat from the hottest, new food truck.
So ask yourself…How are those gifts of yours going to best serve you and your mission in life?How can you still use those gifts and desires to enrich your life and enhance what you are, or will be doing? What core desire is behind all those things you dream of doing? How can you fulfill more of that core desire in your life right now?You can successfully mix living a life based upon your core purpose in life, and still live true to those core values. Know that all of these are okay pursuits because they are part of your core values. They are congruent with your true desires. They make life worth living.