>The other evening I was chatting with my best girl friend about our lives, and a revelation hit me. As a woman, especially, I can get so stuck on preparing for the future and what I am supposed to do that I can miss the major point of it all. When I was younger, I looked at what I wanted to do with my life, what degree I was going to get, who I was going to marry, if I was going to marry, etc.
I got older, went to school learning about subjects I loved, married and had children. Now it’s not just about what I am going to do, but what does the future look like for my children. I spend my days preparing:
- I prepare/plan for at least 3 meals every day – if you add snacks in, half my day is just in planning meals! (okay, truth by told, I’m somewhat lying here. My husband happens to be an incredible cook and oftentimes it’s him preparing and cooking. However, that doesn’t help my point here. Which I’ll get to, eventually)
- I clean the house to prepare for guests and to put myself at ease. (let’s face it – I’m a clean freak. But it makes me feel good to know that 90% of the time I can have drop-in company come over and I’m not focusing on how filthy my house is)
- I work from home and a key focus is on product/web development. I have to think about everything we do and how it affects the future of the business.
- I get myself cleaned up and ready for every day – I prep myself for what the day will bring.
I could go on and on about all the many things we all do to prepare for the future. Sometimes, however, the stress of not being able to anticipate the plan dominates your ability to take on the plan. Imagine packing for a trip and having no idea whether you need evening wear or hiking boots and a sweater. This, however, is sometimes how life goes…because, overall, we don’t know what the weather is going to be.
For example, the wife of an entrepreneur. A beginning entrepreneur oftentimes lives a “feast or famine” lifestyle. All businesses have their ups and downs, and when you’re calling all the shots, the downs tend to affect you in a personal way. It can be scary to not know how the future is going to play out, and I see many stay-at-home moms who are in this supportive role, yet are terrified of how the plan will play out. They stress over all the little plans of life because they are uncertain the “big plan” of the business will thrive. They crave to be able to dot their i’s and be the “hostess with the mostess” who has things under control.
Sometimes, when you’re not calling the shots in one area you feel is vital (i.e. family breadwinner) you seek to control as many other areas as possible. It gets difficult if your partner is unable to give you a play-by-play of how life is going to go!
So how do you cope? How do I cope, not being 100% on our business ventures and whether it will guarantee me the income I’d like this year? I’ll tell you what – focus on who you are vs. what your plan is. Like most of you know, 48 Days focuses on the fact that 85% of the process of finding the work you love is by looking inward. Think about this – why the focus on yourself?
The more you understand who you are, the better you are able to manage life in general. You identify your strengths, you get resources for your weaknesses. You know what is most important, and you focus on those in times of uncertainty.
I don’t know if my girls will turn on me in their teenage years. But I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they feel my love for them, and that they know every single day that I will listen to what they have to say.
I don’t know if working in a family business will be the best venture for my whole life. But I do know that no matter how much I love my work, family comes first, and if that is ever challenged by working together, I will find a new job.
I don’t know if my husband will be in as perfect health in his 70s as he is right now. But I do know that he is my absolute best friend and I will be by his side regardless of physical circumstance.
I don’t know if we’ll be in the same house/city/lifestyle five years from now. But I do know that no matter where I am, I’m with the people that matter most to me, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
We don’t know every curve in the road of our lives, so of course, we need to figure out how to also enjoy the journey. My challenge to you is to remember who you are. Remember what is important, and rely on that – you are beautiful. You are happy. You are relishing the moment as it is. You are wonderful, radiant you. Take life by the horns and ride on, knowing that no matter what life brings, you’ll be giving it your best self.
What is your best attribute that helps you embrace life?