“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”- Socrates
Last Sunday was Epiphany Sunday and the priest quoted Socrates during his homily. He had my attention. I am currently in a place where I am examining a lot of different aspects of my life- what brings me joy, what brings those around me joy, what am I being called to give my energy to, how can I be an encouraging of others, what things have been taken away from me that seemed like losses but were really blessings. Lots and lots of questions and examination happening in my 3lb brain. Lots and lots of internal dialogue and a few scribbles on some paper.
Two weeks into 2018 and this is starting to feel like a year of discernment. A year to decide whats next and sift through what was weighing me down. But you know what, it feels like something super special to do for myself. I have TIME to THINK about ME. Self examination is an amazing luxury.
When you are in survival mode, there is no time for reflection. You are just slugging through hoping to do the next right thing and keep yourself alive. I’m pretty sure the first year of motherhood is NOT a place where much self-examination happens and that is probably for the best. Also, the first year of each subsequent baby is born is also not a good place for that. So in this portion of my mom life, I’ve basically just gotten to a good point where self examination became realistic, which is probably why it’s actually happening- for the first time in 4 years (at least).
I’ve been looking at those past 4 years. Here’s a timeline of my crazy:
Baby P born Sept 2013 *mountain top*
Back to full time work Jan 2014- care for baby, self, husband gone for 3 months.
Quit full time job May 2014
Start as Noonday Collection ambassador Oct 2014
Get pregnant with Baby N March 2015- care for toddler while pregnant. meanwhile, husband in career limbo leads me to stress eat, cry, live in constant anxiety etc.*valley*
Baby N born Dec 2015
Things turn around for the better *climbing up the hill* Jan 2016
Start fitness business May 2016- teach 3-4 classes per week plus handle business side, care for baby, toddler, self, while supporting husband’s career that takes him elsewhere.
Start Pampered Chef business August 2017
End fitness business September 2017 *valley*
End all other business ventures December 2017
2018- THE YEAR SELF EXAMINATION, SOLACE, STILLNESS, REALNESS, HONESTY, JOY
Soooooo…… maybe I’ve been in survival mode…. most of the last 4 years. Yes, I had times where I got out of the valley, saw the world from the mountain top, took a good deep breath, and then went back to the trenches. There were definitely times of pure joy, feelings of success, and relaxing moments during those years but none lasted all that long or long enough to make me feel comfortable enough to be introspective. Now, your life might not look anything like mine and maybe you aren’t out of the woods yet, but you will be and there will be a time for you to examine whats been working, what hasn’t, and what you can do to make things more joyful. Or maybe your time is now and you’d like to join me.
These are the reflections I am going to be working on:
In those years where I was pouring my energy into something other than my family or myself was it because being present was hard? Was I trying to make up for something or was I doing it for the joy of it? -whether that be for myself or the others around me. Was I working to prove my worth by what I can do, what I possess, and what people think of me?
In the hills, mountains, and valleys of life, am I OK with being on a plateau- constant and steady with a few bumps or do I enjoy the highs and the lows and am I contributing to them?
When I have felt mistreated in a relationship, did I jump into that relationship too quickly (this seems to be the underlying constant)? How can I do better for myself in the future without keeping people at an arm’s length?
How can I teach empathy? For others or for myself?
How can I be an encourager? In the past I was more giving and considerate, I would like to add more of that back into my life. Do I have the bandwidth to do so?
To contemplate about these things is so much more life giving than to think about how I am getting dinner on the table, or if the baby poops enough, or how the heck I’m going to lose the last 10 pounds. But I also know, not every season of life lets us think this way. Good luck on your journey RIGHT NOW. Wishing you lots of joy this year!
With Honesty and Kindness,
PS- If you like my blog posts, please share them! I am off social media for 2018 and won’t be doing so myself.