Monday, July 27, 2009
Many of us have been so busy raising children and doing all that goes along with this that we often don’t have the time to think about ourselves. Raising healthy, intelligent, and productive children is no small task and is a major contribution to society. Along with raising children we often balance some type of career, friendships, and social contribution.
In our high-paced world and doing what it takes to just keep up, it feels as if we may be spending our health and well-being trying to do all the right things for everyone else. Many of us have trouble with boundaries and great difficulty saying no to another request of our time and energy. The totality of all these activities oftentimes runs us ragged and wears us down – even compromising our own health.
In talking with so many women over the years I’ve noticed far too often that the eventual outcome is feeling energy depleted, which invariably goes along with a poor mood, feeling stuck, and in many cases feeling rather depressed – as if life has somehow passed them by. It just wasn’t how we thought it was going to be as young girls reading our childhood stories. Where is that knight in shining armor? Where is the man who was going to swoop me off my feet, romance me, and treat me like a queen? When I was a little girl, I never dreamed that I would be the one that needed to be so much in charge.
These feelings leave many of us searching for answers, meaningful answers. Yes, there comes a day when all the children are out of the house and the burden of making sure those you have brought into the world are doing well is somewhat lightened. Now what?
There are really only two choices. One is to look at your life and keep thinking about how it isn’t what you expected it to be – a view that invariably makes you feel that others lack appreciation and still do not give you the recognition for all that you have done for them. This view also carries with it the rather uncomfortable feeling that your life is somehow irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
Then there is the other choice, the one where you are your own knight in shining armor, and you are sweeping the world off its feet. Well, O.K., your plan doesn’t have to be that grand, but your attitude does.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there are only a few simple keys to a relevant life.
The first requirement is to put more into society than you take out. Most of us have already done that and yet still feel something is missing – so the issue is continuing to do that in a way that is self-gratifying. Be certain that you do not succumb to what it is that you feel you are supposed to do at this time in your life, or what others feel you should do. It is important to take the time to reflect within and find what it is that will truly make you happy. What could you do that would help others and be fun for you? Or, what could you do that would just be fun and help you to become a happier, healthier you? Others will see you as an example to follow.
The next question is simple, but the answer may not be clear at first. What do you want to do now to make a difference? How do you want to be remembered when all is said and done?
We need to go back into our past desires and wishes and look for a dream or a purpose worth pursing. Or maybe we just need to come up with something brand new. It has to be fun, it has to present a challenge, it has to be self-fulfilling, and it has to be worthwhile. That is a tall order, yet it is essential to move your life in this direction.
Remember, this is a path and an attitude. Small steps count. You just have to get started and get moving. Take that bold first step. Why not? Even if you do not fully succeed at it, at least you tried thus there will be no regrets. The chances you will succeed are very high if you follow this path. You are given this day, use it fully, accept it as a gift. It is your day to do what you can do and create your life so that you are able to do more and more in this regard. It is never too late to follow your dreams.
When you consistently follow your dreams that make a benefit and statement in the world, large or small, then you will have no problem answering the question as to whether or not your life is relevant. And, that will make you very happy.
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