Have you ever read a post that you just couldn’t shake? The wisdom in  “What I’ve Learned My First Year” has resonated in my mind over the past few weeks. On a search for homeschool blogs, I was led to a knitting blog, which led me to a guest post by a woman who had opened a shop to sell her hand dyed yarn. Such is the wonder and danger of the internet. One quick google search can lead to several magical hours down the rabbit hole, with a rude awakening at midnight when the lack of work accomplished conflicts with a desperate need for sleep.

Anyhow, Danie’s writing spoke to my soul, and being in a pensive mood, tonight seemed the time for some further reflection. Her first point was to be yourself. She said, “I think to really be successful in life you need to know who you are and be that person unapologetically.” For most of my life I have tried to be the person others wanted me to be. A good daughter, a quiet, if unexceptional student, a supportive wife, a caring mother, a helper at church, a person who steps up to the plate when others have needs that are unmet. I have spent so much of my life trying to meet others needs and/or expectations that I have no idea who I am. A life of “service” has resulted mostly in a worn out door mat. I have never learned to stand up for myself and simply be the person I was created to be.

Her second point is to invest in the future you want to build. To quote, “You should have an idea of what happiness looks like in the future. I always say that happiness isn’t found, it is built by the decisions we make every day. In order to find that happiness, you have to be able to invest in the future.” My dream is to share health and fitness with homeschool and other stay at home moms. When your whole life is dedicated to caring for others it is so important to dedicate at least a little time to caring for your own health and well being. My first decade of parenting I completely neglected self care and paid a heavy toll both physically and emotionally. Over the past 6 years I have taken so much joy in moderate exercise and been taking baby steps down the road of healthy eating. I would love to share this journey with others and encourage them along the way, but my life is so busy with so many things. My  hope is that this blog will help me to process through what is good and find what is best in my life. To help me to let go of the things I only do because I think in “ought” and make space for that which truly brings joy and blessing. I know I lack wisdom and discernment, so the first and most important step here is prayer, followed by a needful dose of courage to step out of my comfort zone and dare to follow a dream.

Danie’s last point is to play. “It is easy to get so busy that you go on autopilot. You work until lunch before you really start to think about what you did that day. While that kind of routine is good for getting things done, it is not conducive to learning new techniques, being inspired, or recharging your creative self.” I have spent the last three years on autopilot. As my children have grown older and school work has become more demanding for both student and teacher the frequent outings like nature walks, park days, and spontaneous meetings with friends have grown less and less. I don’t really have regrets. We have all grown and learned a lot. But it is time to focus again on play. To take more family trips and outings before they begin to leave the nest one by one. To model a healthy balance between work and leisure instead of all trying to relate to one another in a state of frazzled exhaustion.

These are my goals. Now to figure out how to make them realities. What have you done to pursue your dreams? How do you live authentically and unapologetically? Stories, affirmations, and words of wisdom much appreciated!!