"I don't know who I am anymore." "I've lost myself." "I have no purpose." - I can no longer count on my ten fingers how many times I've heard these phrases from women in my life: my friends, colleagues and even family.
This predicament often happens after having kids. After you pour so much of YOU into tiny humans to keep them alive (yes, it's vital and important), that you get to a point that you no longer know who you are or what you're passionate about or even how to spend your days. It's a common issue that typically happens to women as we are still the people in society typically expected to do all the things in the home.
It broke my heart this week to listen to an amazing woman and friend this week in tears admitting she feels like she's not living her life to her best ability. She said she's not really sure what she's here for or what the purpose of her days is. Oftentimes, it's easier for us on the outside to say "You're amazing. You're keeping your family afloat while your husband works ten hour days. You're teaching yoga classes while your kids are in school. You're leading a group of moms at the school with calm, patience and strong leadership." She really is doing so much, but I find over and over again that people yearn for more.
In my own life, I've had moments where I'm not sure what I'm doing or where I'm going. I've always been very career-driven while trying to be that Pinterest perfect mom, trust me, it is not always working as I would hope. As we are nearing the end of a year and the end of a decade, I can't help but reflect on all I've learned over the last 10 years: All the mistakes I've made, all the self-help books I've devoured, all the dreams still floating in the back of my mind, all the relationships that have pranced in and out of my life, some to stay forever while some were for a season.
All that's been learned over the last decade, there's some things that are worth carrying into 2020 and others better left behind.
Here's five things worth carrying into 2020:
1. Dreams: We all have dreams in our hearts. Oftentimes, from the time we were kids we dreamt about what life may look like. Sometimes life doesn't turn out the way we imagined, but I believe each of us have a calling and purpose, something we were put here to do. It's not being afraid of that dream and taking the steps to make it happen even when we don't know what we're doing or if it will work out in the end.
2. Invest in people: The people in your life are there for a reason. I truly believe that we are called to invest in the people in our lives just as we will learn from them. Over the last decade, I've been so blessed by an amazing community who has kept us afloat at times when we truly didn't know how to get back up after life had us down. I think by lending a helping hand, we will always be able to bless others and be blessed in return.
3. Don't play small: So many times over the last decade I've found myself taking a step back or acquiescing to someone else's idea scared to share my own. I've learned, sometimes the hard way, that it pays to know your own worth. When you're working hard and you know your ideas are valuable, you can play big and make a difference. The world needs your voice just as much as anyone else's. In 2020, I don't want to play small and be silent anymore.
4. Take care of yourself: As a working mom, this is one of my daily mantras. Making time for myself is no longer a hopeful addition to my day, it's a necessary part of my day. Running, swimming, writing, reading and getting outside happen every day. I know that for me to be my best self with all those that depend on me, I need to take care of myself first. (and not feel guilty about it)
5. Be grateful: This simple phrase is sometimes harder to live by when things don't go your way. Yet, this simple shift in attitude makes all the difference. Whether it's a matter of writing down 5 things every morning that you are grateful for or simply reflecting on it throughout the day, it's worth it.