73: What Would You Do?

73: What Would You Do?

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life

What Would You Do?

Every day, take some time for yourself. Love yourself. Honor yourself. Give priority to your physical, mental, and emotional wellness.

~Author Unknown

My preschooler began to chatter about starting kindergarten in the coming year. I sighed as we scouted for gym shoes with non-scuffing soles. She was growing up so fast.

I loved being a mom. It was all I had ever wanted to do my entire life. But now that I’d had my two little ones, I realized that being a full-time mom was only an option for a limited time. Eventually, they would be off to college and then my purpose would be fulfilled. That was the end. Until then my job was to sign permission slips and pass out lunches.

Was that really all I had to contribute to the world? What would I do with myself when I was no longer useful to my children? Would the next thirteen-plus years of my life revolve around me waiting for school to let out so I would have something to do?

These depressing thoughts whirled around in my brain throughout the next several days. I moped about the house doing my chores and chasing the children. Either as an effort to cheer me up or because he was afraid my sullen face might stay that way, my husband finally pushed me out the door to meet friends for coffee.

We mulled over the same topics as always. We chatted about all the typical young mom things — diapers, tantrums, how to sneak veggies into meatloaf, and mom groups. It was good banter, and I usually enjoyed it. But I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that one day our children would grow up and we’d be left without anything to say.

“If you could do anything, without cost, location, and education being factors, what would you do?” I asked.

The table went silent as everyone began to explore a question they had never dared ask themselves before. There was real enjoyment in examining our inner selves without limits. There was freedom in not having to subject our dreams to reality. The answers started pouring out — everything from being an accountant who loves working with numbers to a doctor who loves helping people heal. We learned so much about each other that evening. About who we really were and what we were really passionate about. We weren’t being ungrateful or unrealistic about the lives we were living. We were acknowledging something that was deep inside us and igniting passions too long suppressed. Some of us even surprised ourselves at what we discovered.

We left that night with a challenge. Somehow, we needed to find a way to feed the passion inside us. Some of the ladies actually did find jobs locally that matched their interests and fit into their lives. Others found ways to volunteer with a similar purpose to their inner passion, leaving them feeling just as fulfilled.

The bottom line is that we became better mothers, wives, and friends when we talked about our passions. Our happiness comes from finding that purpose and meeting it in some way.

“What about you? What would you do, if you could do anything?” my husband asked later that night after I had shared the events of my evening.

“Write.” I replied, “I want to be a writer.”

Now pass me that thesaurus.

~Jaime Schreiner

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