Today I was asked a question that used to be so easy for me — a question that I realize I’ve forgotten how to answer. Today I learned something about myself I didn’t know. I was asked very inquisitively yet innocently enough: What do you like to do? In other words:
- What makes you happy?
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
- What brings you joy?
- What puts a smile on your face and in your heart?
Right away I pulled two answers out of the air, but I then took a moment to actually think before giving the third, realizing how extremely uncomfortable this question was making me feel. There was a time when I knew the answers off the top of my head and couldn’t wait to share with whomever dared or cared to ask. But, not today. Today was different. Today this simple question made me feel lost, confused, bewildered, and downright embarrassed! I instinctively tried to retreat by saying “Well, I don’t do much of anything anymore,” and again the question was posed only this time with a different tone of voice: What do you like to do? Needless to say, I felt under the gun so I blurted out, “I like to shop,” and “I like to read,” and “I like sitting in front of large bodies of water.” All are true except the fact that financially I haven’t been able to “shop” the way I’d like to in years, “reading” has become a hurried or non-existent activity since becoming a momprenuer, and I have yet to find a large body of water to sit in front of since relocating. You see, I was used to sitting in front of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee for hours upon hours. It was the only place I could go and be surrounded by absolute peace.
Nevertheless, the question slapped me in the face. I’ve become so consumed with the lives of others and what they like to do and what makes them happy, that I’ve unselfishly lost interest in none other than MYSELF! For a woman who’s tried to keep it all together on the inside as well as the outside, this realization was a major eye opener. OMG, girl! Somewhere along the way you lost YOURSELF!
Ten years of marriage and four children later, here I am struggling to remember what it is that I truly “like” to do. I guess having a family, working outside of the home, becoming a business owner, and letting life seemingly cruise by has finally taken its toll. Don’t get me wrong: All of my sacrifices were needed and well worth it at the time. I mean, any “only child” now living in a household of six could chance losing herself, right? EXACTLY!
Now that I’ve been slapped, I’m awake and hopefully you are too. So for those of you who still have breath (yes, EVERYBODY), take heed! Be vigilant about not letting life just happen and pass you by. I know that it’s unrealistic to think that every moment will be cherished and well spent, but being more aware of time will put one’s life into better perspective. I’ve taken some time to re-evaluate and reflect on my life. I pulled out the map that I’ve used for the last 10 years and there I saw myself, stuck on a one way road that eventually turned into a roundabout. You know those traffic circles? There I was going round and round doing the same thing with no personal progression. I’ve been living a stagnant life and put my own happiness on the back burner. The thought was “I’ll get to me eventually.” Well eventually is NOW! Accepting that tomorrow has nothing to do with us, we must grab life by the reins and hold on for the ride. If you now realize that you’ve been stuck in a roundabout as well, join me today by vowing to live life differently and more abundantly.
I’m a pen and paper kind of girl so, I’m going to, and I suggest you do the same:
- Make a list of 5-10 things that make you smile.
- Make a list of 5-10 things that you enjoy doing alone.
- Make a list of 5-10 things that you like to do with or for others.
So the very next time that I’m hit with “What do you like to do,” I’ll be ready. I’ll not only have the answers somewhere tucked away on my list, but I’m also vowing from this day forward to live them as well!
So allow me to re-introduce myself. My name is Laurie, and I like to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!