Our life is made up of story after story,
strung together, making us who we are.
A few years ago, after I left teaching for a teacher leader position, was working longer hours, and commuting an hour both ways to work, I looked closely at my life and my priorities. Even though I was excited about my new position, my life wasn't in balance and I knew something had to change.
Writing is a way for me to process so I spent one night pouring my hopes and dreams onto the page. I wrote all sorts of ideas, trying to get to the heart of what I really want in life. At first it was a mess but then I started to see patterns and was able to corral those thoughts.
Thanks to Sage Cohen's book, The Productive Writer, I spent time finishing the statement: “My life is ideal when…” and I found that my life is most ideal when I’m spending time with my family, when I’m reading, when I’m writing and when I’m taking care of myself by exercising, eating healthy, and spending time with friends. Gaining this clarity helped me recognize baby steps I might take to get myself to a point where I spend my life doing what I want to do.
It was glaringly apparent that taking care of myself and my family is what is most important to me but I was spending a lot of time at work instead of at home. I still take my work very seriously and am passionate about supporting teachers but I'm lucky to now be working much closer to home. I get to do drop off and pick up and have so much more time to spend with them. It's a big change that has made a big difference in all of our lives. But I know I wouldn't have been brave enough to make a huge career change if I hadn't realized how much my heart needed it.
If you’re like me, I’m guessing somewhere along the way, while meandering along this journey called life, you have thought about the meaning of it all. I’ve often wondered:
Why am I here?
What am I meant to do?
How can I make a difference?
The truth is, I'm here to live the best life for me. And if I'm true to myself and my heart and my dreams, then I can make the world a better place. That's how I make a difference.
It can feel overwhelming to want to change the whole, entire, great, big world so instead lets live our best life and together make our little corners of the world better places. A lot of us making better can make a whole world of difference.
Let's Write! Explore what your ideal life looks like. Remember that words like "ideal" and "perfect" are subjective. Your ideal is whatever works for you. Your ideal is perfect because it's yours. Finish the sentence, "My life is ideal when..." and then write down a few actions steps to more towards your more ideal life.
More about the notion of "perfect" next time!