Merry Christmas and happy almost New Year to all of you!
I realize I haven’t written since November 11th – and part of me has been feeling very guilty about that because after all, why start a site and a blog if you aren’t going to commit to it?
But this got me thinking about the important (and timely!) topic of allowing your dreams and goals to change and shift as your life does. In a few days, we will all start talking about what we want to accomplish in the new year – some of us will choose simple goals, others incredibly ambitious ones. But I truly think that offering yourself the space to do what feels right depending on the stage of life you are in is incredibly important. At the end of the day, YOU are the only person you need to answer to when it comes to acknowledging what fulfills you and what no longer works for you.
When I started this website and blog, I was not pregnant. Now I am 25 weeks along with a baby girl. I spent the better part of my first trimester incredibly nauseous and exhausted. I still spend time throwing up into plastic bags in the front seat of my car while driving. I’m working, running a house and chasing around a toddler and a dog. Every time I start to feel guilt about not blogging or updating my site, I have to remind myself that the ENTIRE PURPOSE of this project is to support moms and remind them that perfection is unattainable, but that humor and balance go a long way. So why am I beating myself up for resting and putting this goal on the back burner for a hot second while undertaking the important task of growing a healthy baby? If I can’t practice what I preach, I have no business writing about it. Plain and simple.
Today, I finally felt like writing again. I had a lovely holiday with my family and am currently sitting in a house that looks like it was ransacked, but for all the right reasons. Remnants of Christmas are still all over and not much has been unpacked but it’s OK because I have a little boy who is happy and a hot cup of coffee and really, the rest can wait. So here I sit, hoping to come up with some material that resonates with you all.
With that segway, I want to take this topic of allowing your goals to shift to the next level – beyond just a blog and a project. I’m talking the BIG dreams, the ones you have clung to for years that you are struggling to part with but that may not truly be your dreams anymore. You know the ones I am talking about… the ones that you have yet to set free because that would somehow mean that you had failed. I used to feel like that about everything, trust me.
But it ISN’T failure. It’s honesty. It’s reflection. It’s truly knowing yourself. And to me, that indicates progress and growth. Let me give you an example – when I first decided to go to nursing school, I came up with an incredibly specific end goal of becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner with a hematology-oncology specialty. That was when I was 24 years old. That goal is still incredibly special to me and close to my heart because it was the guiding force that helped me focus on learning everything I possibly could while in my program and becoming the best nurse I could be. But when someone recently asked me about that goal, I had to be honest. Right now? I’m happy where I am.
I love my job as a pediatric nurse. I also love my part-time schedule because the thing I love most in my life right now is being a mom. Does being a mom fulfill everything for me? No. I still need this job and this work in my life. But do I want more of it right now? No. I like the balance. I like not having to take my work home with me and I like not studying after my little guy falls asleep. I’m content – the reason I know that? Because for the first time, when other people tell me about what they want out of life or are aspiring to do, I’m not silently judging myself or competing with them internally. I can smile and acknowledge that person and be happy for them while still being quite pleased with my day to day life – this is a first for me. It has taken me 33 years to get to this point. I’m rather happy about it because trying to keep up with every single person around me and what I “THINK” I should be doing at any given moment is exhausting.
That’s not to say that I’ve tossed that goal away. Maybe in five or ten years I’ll go back to school. Maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll write a children’s book, or maybe the one I wrote in college senior year will be the only one that ever sits on my child’s shelf. Maybe I’ll tap dance on Broadway like I imagined when I was in 7th grade, or maybe I’ll take my baby girl to tap class and lace up her little shoes and smile that she shares my love of dancing. Maybe I’ll someday have the body of a Greek goddess and flaunt it in a bikini on the beach or maybe I’ll wear a bikini and eat an Italian sandwich from Amato’s with a coke and trace the stretch marks on my belly, smiling when I think of the babies it carried.
What I wish for you all is this – that in 2019 you can look at your life and be content with it. There are still years of dreaming left in you, so don’t worry about all of them coming true right now. Give yourself something to look forward to. And in the meantime, give yourself the freedom to be exactly the person you are meant to be at this moment.
To a happy and healthy 2019!