what i want for my life

do you ever sit back and compare what your life was like a year ago? two years? five?

i find myself doing that often. especially in this past year. 2012 & 2013 were years that kinda flipped the script on me for reasons i can’t delve into on the internet. it’s the internet! you already know too much about me as it is.

but i can say that one of the big changes in our household is our financial status. that’s no secret. i’ve talked about being poor again on here previously. i’ve always lived a life of modest means. my needs were met but nothing too extravagant until sometime in my mid 20s. i made a really good salary and i met and married a man who made a good salary. i experienced a few short years of abundant income, even in my decision to leave full-time employment. most often we had more money than we could spend and i was diligently squirreling money away for a rainy day.

and then the rainy days came, rainy weeks, going on a rainy year. thank goodness for that diligence.

so now you find our family very much like so many others, scraping by, making it but just barely. i have questioned this season in my life and have come to a realization of its purpose: to show me how to live the life i really want.

and to show me that the life i dream of living is valid and important.

after careful thought and inventory, i have to admit that i wasn’t living the type of life i desire before. i wasn’t being authentic and it was making me terribly unhappy. isn’t it funny how less money often equals more happiness? i could get into a list of reasons why this is but i’m sure you know them. even if you’re a sitting pretty, scrooge mcduck doing back strokes through your sacagaweas you still know deep down that money distracts and deters.

being poor makes you focus on the important things in life. it makes you question what you really need to be happy. you can’t focus on what you want. you have to focus on what you need.

sometimes i feel pressure to go out and take any old job that i’m qualified for to force a solution to some of the problems but then i stop myself and think about what i really want my life to be about and i am overcome with the strong, sure feeling that my life needs to be about less and not more. the answer is not to go out and make more money. it is to eliminate things from my life that are energy, monetary and time sucks.

because here’s the thing: i’m the happiest and most fulfilled with my life’s work that i can ever remember.

if i had to architect a perfect life’s work for myself i could sit back right now and laugh at myself for my worries because i’m already there. i’m doing it. I spend every day with my daughter and that is the most important thing to me and it always has been. i remember having these thoughts in high school and feeling guilty that i didn’t have strong career aspirations because what i really saw myself doing was being with my family, tending a garden, running an efficient household. but that seemed so anti-feminist at the time. well, and figure in that i was nowhere near home & baby making at that time. i wanted to see and experience life first.

but i know that i’ve always had this in me. i’ve always dreamt of this life. i’ve always wanted my life to be about mothering and babies and living a sustainable existence, living simply, living free.

i’m with my girl. i help women become mothers and men become fathers. i educate darla with life and adventure. i am conscientious about my connection to this earth and take that into consideration with every purchase and action i take. i am lucky enough to have a part-time job that believes in what i do and i believe in what they do. that job even aligns with my earthy sensibilities. and i get to write here. this pays me nothing but it sure gives me an outlet and i treat it like a job. because some day i hope it will be.

i love writing this blog and i love having you read it. i hope my readers can see that this blog isn’t about telling you how to live your life. i can’t give you ideas and how-to’s on putting together a dashing ensemble. i can’t give you crafty instructions for throwing amazing parties. i can’t give you recipes that are going to wow your family and nourish them. even though you will find those things on here from time to time, you won’t find that sort of instruction here on the reg.

the only thing i can offer to you, readers, is myself. i can only offer you how i live my life and my feelings and thoughts about that. i can offer you my desires and my mistakes. i can offer you the hilariousness of my daughter that gets me from one day to the next. i can offer you my struggles. and i can offer you the ideas and strides i am making towards creating the life that i’m passionate about.

so, what i want from my life is simplicity, peace, love, happiness and adventure. i want fewer things and more experiences. i want to live a life in accordance with my connection to the earth and my fellow human beings. i want a life that is focused less on how much money is in my bank account and more on that feeling of fulfillment i have that has settled down into my core because i’m doing exactly what i want with my life {although i wish i could do it a little more frequently. expecting columbus couples, give columbus birth arts a chance!}

awww gosh, i never know how to finish posts like this. maybe i’ll just end it by saying thank you. i’ll end it that way because it applies in every possible way in my life and to so many people. yes, that’s perfect:

thank you.

easy

not too long ago a phrase that i said to myself quite often was “why can’t anything ever be easy?” nothing ever seemed easy. in fact, the only thing that was easy in life was making myself feel horrible about myself and my life.

and then something changed. i changed. i stopped looking for everything to be easy and then suddenly, it was.

i realized that our world has programmed us to think life should be easy & “convenient.”  i realized that nothing ever worth anything in my life came from “easy”.  easy never put a dime in my pocket, a lesson in my head or a true smile in my heart. i started to take inventory of my life to see if the actions i habitually made were authentic ones that matched up to how i want to live my life or if they have been placed in my brain as a conventional, easy way of living life.

today i ride my bike everywhere i go, do my dishes by hand and hang our laundry on the line. why? because that matches up with how my authentic self wants to live life. my authentic self believes that i should take advantage of the energy my body provides and that i was not placed on this earth to be a consumer. i feel better when i put my energy out, not when i am using energy up to live my life.  some of this is unavoidable, for instance the energy to cool and heat our house. some of the energy is negotiable, say the energy it takes to write this blog post. i try to keep a better balance these days. i can feel the weariness in my body at the end of the day and know that it was a good one because i am now spending my life putting myself out there into the world. it’s an amazing feeling.

this post is not about convincing you that you should live life my way. it’s about convincing you you should live life your way.

i do these things because it is what my authentic, deepest self believes and some of these small changes in life have made me infinitely more happy with my life path. my life is simpler. my focus is true. my goals are more clear. and all i had to do was to start living my life the way i want to instead of what is expected of me. i’ve learned to stop comparing my insides to everyone’s outsides. i’ve learned to respect the paths of others because i respect my own. i fall off this horse a lot but at least now i get back on.

are you living the life you truly want? are you living the life you think is expected of you? are you making decisions based on your authenticity or is it to live up to some standard? whatever that may be.

i think my greatest lessons on this have been from parenting. are you a new parent? i want to tell you something: put down the parenting books.

YOU CAN DO THIS IN WHATEVER WAY SEEMS RIGHT AND GOOD TO YOU.

ok, now you can pick them back up again because there is actually some good information in there but please put that phrase in your head and remember to read the books as an exercise in discovering your own true philosophies and not as a manual. your babies and children don’t have to do anything one certain way. as long as you are making informed decisions based on your authentic self you and yours will be fine.

but that is not a guarantee just in case there would be some kind of legal liability attached to this blog. caution! contents hot!

this is just my experience and my opinion. this is what has made me happier and more confident as a parent and person of this world. parenting and life are not easy. nor should we want them to be. at least i no longer desire for them to be. i know i will get a whole lot more out of it if it requires a lot of effort on my part.

so i’ll be here, no longer expecting life to be easy. i’ll be putting my energy out there and making myself open to the returns. because i now know that “not easy” doesn’t have to mean the same thing as “difficult.”  i’m pretty sure some kind of bumper stick is going to come out of this.

i’m thinking LIFE: REQUIRES EFFORT.