Right now, my whole life is in a state of revision. If I’m honest, this process began a few years ago. When my kids were teens, we envisioned a future where I started school and moved toward a career. The plan was to taper up my time away from home until they were gone. It would allow me a chance to grow as they grew, to intentionally fill the emptiness left in their wake with meaningful work.
This was a solid plan. Although there were rough patches, this path has brought good things into my life. Into our lives. I am grateful for the chance to be home with my kids when they were young and grow toward more independence with them. I loved being a college student while my kids were in school. It helped me recognize the challenges of learning and gave me both wisdom and grace to help them overcome. When the kids left home, I had meaningful work to throw myself into. It helped to keep me moving forward.
All the years I was walking this path, I didn’t imagine the trade-offs I would have to make. As someone who’s enjoyed immense autonomy over the years, the lock step of the work a day life felt stifling. The culture of the professional work world asked me to appear one way, no matter what was real inside. It asked me to agree to things which I found troubling. I agreed to avoid conflict and get by. I often felt like I traded more than my time and expertise for my paycheck. I left essential parts of myself behind.
Once, I wanted nothing more than to have a secure paycheck from meaningful work. I was shocked to realize that that is no longer enough for me. There are other things I value as much, or more than security. I know, I’m shocked too. But, I’ve found that autonomy and flexibility are essential for me. I also think I need more room for creativity and solitude (these may actually be the same thing for me). I’ve always been bossy, but in the past few years found that I’ve enjoyed leading a team to set and then meet goals. But, the most important thing I learned is I want to be the boss of me.
As I move forward from here, Keith and I are talking about what matters again. What are the important things we will organize our lives, our days, and our hearts around? We don’t have a clear vision of where we are headed yet. We are learning from our experience, listening to our lives, leaning into the One who holds our lives. We don’t yet have a clear vision for the next season of our lives. We’ve made plans, reached goals, and come a long way, but that doesn’t mean we are done. We are in the process of revision. Taking what we’ve done and trying to make it better. That’s enough for now.
I hope you are enjoying this exploration of simple things that make life special. This is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click here to follow along.