Instead of thinking about what you want to do with your life as a young teen or twenty something, why not think of your life in terms of what you want to see it towards at the END if it? As in, who do you want to be when you are 75?
When I’m 75, I want to have been a writer. I don’t need to have five novels on a bookshelf, or be published in any of the traditional ways, but I want to have written things that touch those around me. I want to write words that make me happy, and pulled things out of my insides that are beautiful and real and honest.
When I am 75, I want to be a prolific reader. I want to always be reading and finding things that inspire me. I want to explore new genre’s and live different lives through various characters, both real and fictional. I want to be surrounded by the books I adore, and always have a book or two on my nightstand that I am dying to begin.
When I am 75, I want to still be a hopeful optimist. I want to believe in the good in people, always. I want to believe that good will prevail, that good things will happen to those that ARE good, and that if I really believe and hope and pray for something, that it will happen.
When I am 75, I want to be surrounded by things that make me content and happy. I want my home to be a haven to myself and my family, where people feel welcome, and I feel content to walk in the door. I want the things I have to speak directly to me, in a way that if you walk inside you would know that I have lived there.
When I am 75, I want to be truly and unspeakable happy with myself. I want to be confident in who I am, non judgmental of those around me, funny, well read, and honest. I want to be elegant, but quirky. Someone who has travelled widely and tried new things and always tried to be a better person. I want to have aged gracefully, realizing that age is only a number and how we feel on the inside is all that counts. I want to be a Grandma that cuddles her grand kids near when they visit, always kisses and hugs my children goodbye no matter how old they get, and holds hands with my husband in the car. I want to be emotionally open and well loved.
The funny thing is, when I look at this list I don’t see a set career, or notice whether I’ve lived in fancy houses or drove expensive cars. There is no mention of looks or clothes or appearance. And while I am vain enough to know I will probably dye my gray hair until I’m in my grave, and that clothes and accessories and all that superficial stuff makes me terribly happy, my life is really about the roles I fill. Being a mother and wife are terribly important to me, the most important. As is my relationship with myself. I’d like to think I’m a perpetual learner of my own spirit in a way. Taking each day as it comes, and making sure that I am always learning from my mistakes, and always, always trying to be a better me.
Tell me, how do you see yourself at 75?
I think it’s natural for all of us to have a jealous monster inside of us. We see people all the time that seem to have better homes, cars, closets, opportunities, better behaved children, perfectly romantic husbands, amazing creative talents, etc. I mean, the list goes on and on, right? Sometimes I wonder why I can look at others and then feel so DOWN on myself, finding myself lacking in more ways than I’d like to admit. I probably have a minor self esteem issue, grown from who knows where (YM magazine, Saved By The Bell episodes??), because I never grew up in a way that would make me feel less of myself, but somehow that seems to be the way of women. The teenage years are hard! I work daily on being kinder to myself, and showing my daughter that I can be kind to myself, too, because that is how SHE will learn to love herself. A little self doubt is normal, but I hope my daughter can grow up seeing herself in a good light, and forget the things that aren’t great. Reading Amy Poehler’s book a couple of weeks ago (have you read it yet? It is LIFE CHANGING!), I came across this quote that really resonated with me:
“Good for her. Not for me.”
I love this because it shows that while we may admire different accomplishments of those around us, both near and far, these circumstances may not be what is good for US. I may love a bobbed, ash blonde hairstyle on Pinterest, but I think it’s clear that won’t happen. (Yikes!) The same goes for Elf on the Shelf creativeness, a perfectly clean and photo ready home, blog photos that are Vogue worthy, or a model thin body. I’m a mama, a wife, a (passably) good friend, a writer, a blogger, a reader, and a host of other small things not mentionable. I may admire the qualities of other women out there, (especially if I don’t possess them!), yet I can sit and know that it isn’t necessarily something that is meant for me.
It’a funny what time, maturity, and enough distance from teenage-hood will teach us, huh?
Tell me, do you find yourself comparing yourself to others often?