Heather’s Blog: RestartSeptember 6, 2016
I’ve been feeling a lot lately like maybe I’m not enough: Not enough at work, not enough at home, not enough of a wife, and not enough of a mother. I can’t completely pinpoint where this thinking is coming from, but I just feel like I am trying to do it all and be it all, when truthfully I am stretching myself so thin that I can’t be enough at any of it.
This isn’t the first time I have felt this way. My life has followed this roller coaster pattern of ups and downs on a few different occasions throughout my 35 years. Before cancer, however, I used to approach it a lot differently. Before cancer, I used to ride it until I crashed and burned and found myself in a heap on the floor, not sure how I was going to dig myself out of the rubble.
After cancer, I told myself — no, I promised myself — that I was going to live my life differently; I was going to slow down, take time to do the things I love and bring joy to my life, and truly live my life on purpose. The truth is, cancer or no cancer, even with the best of intentions, all of us can — and WILL — at some point lose sight of our purpose, the thing that drives us to being the best of who we are. So the question is, when we find ourselves there, under the heap of ash laden rubble, how do we dig ourselves out? How do we press restart?
The answer to this question is about as broad and elusive as asking someone to tell you the meaning of life. There is no one answer suited for the masses; it is going to be different for every person. For me, the starting point is this blog; I find answers in my writing. It helps me identify what I am feeling, and then I can start working on it from there. To be honest, sometimes I have to write about it ten or twenty times before I can really start to figure it out.
Learning about my passions has been another big helper for me during times when I have felt less than myself. Friendship, exercise, travel, music, and dessert — these are my joys, these are the things that bring me back to the core of who I am. Although they may seem quite different from one another at a glance, the root of what they represent to me is all the same: connection. This is MY purpose, MY driving force.
There is my answer. It looks like I didn’t have to write about it twenty times to figure it out (high five to me)!
I have been plodding forward for the past few months, head down, eyes on the ground focused solely on what needed to be done in all the different roles I play in my life. Don’t get me wrong, those roles are important, but along that journey, I forgot and lost sight of the most important role I play in my life: ME.
I made a promise after cancer to pay attention to myself. The thing is, a promise isn’t much good unless I am actually getting out and doing it! I was for a long time, but I know it is normal and completely acceptable to sometimes neglect our best mindset and lose the footing from our intended path. The amazing thing about life though — and this answer is the same for all of us — is that there is always a way back to that path, or an opportunity to pave/bulldoze ourselves a whole new one.
So today, I press RESTART. This is my opportunity to remind myself of that promise, and take the first steps I need to redirect my recent actions and find my way back to me. Thanks for letting me hash this one out.
Live life on purpose.