MANY TIMES, THE ANSWER IS - SIMPLE.
But sometimes we simply aren't seeing the bigger picture.
This is an extraordinary time of my life. My kids are mostly grown, I have a loving husband, I live in a safe neighborhood, and I have friends and family who love me dearly. I'm building a business that I'm passionate about, and I'm excited to watch how it grows and changes the world around me.
I am thriving.
However, there was a time in my life where in order to survive, I had to shrink my world. I was struggling to make my mortgage payment, I watched my bank account every single day to ensue I could buy groceries and pay utility bills. I was a single mom with a long commute, demanding clients, and had a child who was sick a lot. I was completely overwhelmed, with good reason.
I had to scale down to a simple life
-- very simple.
At the time, I felt like I was shrinking my life in order to save myself from going crazy.
For those years, the only thing I did with my time was work, care for my child, exercise, and on an occasion meet up with a friend.
That was it - work, kiddo, and exercise.
I lived very aware of the fact that this seemed too simple, and I was destined for something greater. But for that period of my life, simplicity was absolutely the right thing to do.
Choosing to let go and live simple gave me permission to begin to be compassionate towards myself. It helped me quiet my inner critic that beats me up for the things I couldn't control. On some days or weeks that I still missed exercise even with this simple life, compassion reminded me that I was going to be OK. I was focused on the bigger picture.
Compassion saved me by helping me
trust that this was just temporary.
I had to let go of thinking that I should be doing more, volunteering more, and spending more time in self discovery, yada yada yada. I had to let go of dreaming about tropical vacations that I could not afford, with vacation time I didn't have because I'd already spent any possible of vacation time and money caring for a loved one with cancer and attending funerals. I had to be strong and conquer all of this, because even though it was hard, deep down I knew I wanted to. I had to let it go, and trust it would return.
If you are thinking that I should have just quit my job and found an easier path during those years, I would say that you are technically correct – and entirely wrong.
Life gave me many choices.
I chose to be the woman with the strong work ethic, the woman who stands on her own two feet. I chose to doggedly learn from my mistakes and keep looking forward. I choose to be the woman who could do this and survive and thrive. Those choices also meant I've had to work very hard.
I could have made choices that would have been easier.
I could have followed the allure of flowers and chocolate,
- but I didn't.
I chose the road of simplicity and it calmed down my mind that was screaming at me telling me everything I SHOULD be doing, should - should - should. Should, it is the word of frustration.
Now, years later, I finally have breathing room in my life and more space for the adventures I've been dreaming about. I'm eternally grateful that no matter how crazy busy it got, I always made an effort at staying active. I'm equally grateful that I learned how to be compassionate to myself during the times when being active didn't happen. We keep moving.
My hope is that if you also are overwhelmed, you can know it's OK. Yes, follow your passions. Yes, never give up on dreams. And yes, it's perfectly fine if you have a season of life like mine where your #1 goal is simply finding peace of mind.
Truly and Sincerely,