When you were younger, say 16 or 17 years old, and you thought about what your life would look like in ten or 15 years, did you always have such grand and high expectations?
When I was 16, I knew that I wanted to get married and have a family of my own, but I also thought that I would live in a beautiful house that was always clean and organized, that I would be the fun mom who took her kids on lots of outings and did fun crafts and activities with them daily, that I would have the money to buy myself pretty much anything that I wanted including a nice wardrobe and designer shoes, that I would still have my 16-year-old body, even after having children, that I would be doing fulfilling work that I loved, and basically that by the time I was “that old” that I would have everything together and life all figured out.
Yet here I am, the 32-year-old that my 16-year-old self would dream about, and my life only slightly resembles the life that I pictured, that I expected, back then. I do have an awesome husband and three amazing children, my family is wonderful, but not perfect, but everything I pictured it could be. I do have fulfilling work that I love to do, but at this point I’m definitely not raking in the money. My house, well let’s just say that after a weekend of being sick, I woke up this morning to dirty dishes in the sink, a table covered with stuff that just seemed to accumulate over the weekend, and a pile of laundry that was supposed to get attention, but didn’t. And my 16-year-old body? Yeah right, I’m still hanging on to 15 extra pounds of baby weight, even though my baby is now 7-months-old!
It’s so strange though, because in many ways I still feel like that 16-year-old girl thinking, “Someday I’ll be able to keep my whole house clean and organized. Someday I’ll have the money to buy the nice things I’d like to have. Someday I’ll have life all figured out.”
But I’m starting to wonder, “When is someday?” I’m realizing that I can’t just keep looking ahead to some fictitious time in the future where things will be exactly as I dream them to be. That I’m already at the age and stage where I thought I would have “everything figured out”, but since I definitely don’t, it’s not likely to just happen in the years to come.
As this new year rolled over and I spent time thinking about my goals and dreams for the upcoming year, I’m beginning to acknowledge that I need to let go of some of those dreams that I had, like a perfectly clean and organized house. It’s not really in my nature, and it’s a little much to ask when I have three littles, five and under, at home. And the money I thought I needed so I could buy myself nice things? Well my priorities in life have changed, and even if I had that much extra cash lying around, I definitely wouldn’t be spending it on designer shoes.
And it’s okay. Actually, it’s more than okay, it’s good. Because the life I live now is richer and fuller than any dream life I could have “someday”. The relationships I have with my husband, kids, family, and friends, are so much more deep and important and meaningful than I could have ever dreamed of then. And I can set goals, and make changes, and let the other stuff go, in my life now, today.
And I can let go of someday.
Does your life look the way you expected it to when you were a teenager? What dreams have you had to let go of in favor of something better than you could have imagined?