Sunday, June 7, 2009

Only You

So, I've been struggling a bit all week, waiting for this week's post subject to come to me. I kicked around a few different ideas, but nothing really felt right. So, I said a little prayer and voila, it came. Why do I forget how easy that is?

Anyway, I think a part of the inspiration for today's post came from a talk that my little sister emailed me ages ago, but I finally got to read a few days ago. You can find it here. But I'll warn you, it's long. It's given by John H. Groberg. For those who aren't familiar with him, he wrote the book (based on personal experiences) that inspired the movie "The Other Side of Heaven". He's a man full of faith.

Usually, I've known what I'd be typing about for at least a few hours and I have some stuff sorted out. But it's only been about 10 minutes today, so I'm kind of shooting from the hip. Of course, I have a tendency to ramble, so you may not notice the difference as the reader, but I'm definitely struggling to get started here.

Okay, let's try to begin. Today I want to talk about finding your mission, or purpose in life. I think this is another essential in obtaining abiding joy. I think it's very easy to lose ourselves in whatever we fill our day-to-day with, whether it be family, work, or both. And those things are definitely important, but they don't necessarily define who you are.

Don't get me wrong, I believe that what I am doing as a mom is beyond important. Nothing is going to interfere or take the place of the work that I do in raising my children. And initially, I thought that mommy-ing is all I would fill my time with. But I don't think that is the way it's supposed to be. Because it didn't feel right.

There is more that I can and want to be doing. I have about 50 billion other interests. After I had Sweet P, I kind of lost those. I forgot about the things I loved doing and the "other" goals I once had. But then different things popped up and I would remember them--like the sunset photograph book I once wanted to put together. And I discovered new interests, abilities, and ideas. Like my love of baking.

I don't know if I just have a busy little head, or if you all do it to, but I'm always thinking of different ways to pursue or market my talents and interests. Sometimes I get started, but then I get sidetracked or busy with something else.

So, you can see, I'm still figuring out my purpose in life.

I don't think it's all wrapped up in one thing. As I already mentioned, my family is a huge part of things. But it's a part. And I don't think there is just one other part. I think there are many more things I can and should be doing.

I'm not trying to cause stress here in saying that you're not doing enough. Because the "more" I'm talking about refers to things that bring you joy. And I don't know about you, but something that brings me joy isn't really work. Well, I take that back, it might be work, but it will be fun work.

One of the things Elder Groberg talks about is trying different paths and seeing it what feels right and what doesn't. Maybe those projects I started but didn't finish were paths that I'm not meant to take and that's why I got sidetracked. Although, I do believe that the timing just wasn't right with some of them and I'm still making small plans with them in the back of my mind.

But other things have stuck and worked. And they've always increased my joy. One of them is this blog. For as long as I can remember, I've enjoyed trying to help others. It used to be easier because it was generally a one-on-one thing where a friend would come to me with a problem and I'd help them find a way to make things better. This blog is more challenging because I have to kind of come up with the problem on my own and hope that it applies to you. But I've mentioned many times that I have been guided every step of the way. And going back to what I was saying about work, this blog has definitely been work. And a lot of times, it's down right hard! But it's always worth it.

And even though I started it in an effort to help some people that I care about deeply, I'm positive it's helped me the most. If you were to look at my level happiness as sort of a line graph since starting this blog, you'd still see ups and downs, but you'd see a trend towards growing happiness.

I don't think that's is 100% because of this blog, but a lot of it is. It's been good for me to sort through all the different things that bring me joy or take away my joy. I can't tell you how often my own advice comes right back to me when I really need it, only a week or two after posting it. And, as I mentioned last week, your advice and experiences have often come to my aid as well. Sometimes when I think I've got one area covered, I'll read something from you and a whole new perspective opens up for me. It's amazing.

And I've felt a growing friendship with you--even those I don't know! Maybe it's just me, but I feel a bit of kinship in our shared goal and our willingness to share bits of ourselves with one another. And I thrive on friendship. The more, the better.

But I know that being a mom and a blogger are not all that I am meant to do in this life. I have other pursuits currently, and I know there are more to come. I just have to stay open and keep trying new things to make sure I don't miss out on any!

What do you do to find your mission in life? How do you maintain balance once you do discover a mission? Some of the things I feel I should be doing kind of intimidate me (i.e. They either will take a lot of work or I don't know much about them), even though I'm excited by the prospect. Does anyone have advice on how to get over that and get working on doing new things? Any other thoughts?

Now for an item of business. I am going to be doing some traveling at the end of July to see my family. Yay! But it's really hard for me to post while I'm out of town, plus I'd really like to just focus on being with family. So, I'm giving you all ample time to prepare a post of your own for me to use at that time. PLEASE! Who knows, maybe that's a part of your purpose too! When you decide to help, just remember to email me your post.

Thank you!


Kristen said...

Being a mom is definitely fun, but it is hard to go from doing everything for you, to being married and worrying about one other person, to worrying about multiple people in the house. Sometimes cleaning must wait so that we can enjoy something we like. I think that doing something that you enjoy is a great break and outlet. Sometimes it gives you enough energy to make it to the end of the day.

Amy said...

Yea, you definitely have to have stuff going on in your life besides your family (or work, if that's what you do). One reason for this in my life, is because with my kids, I have good days and bad days. If my life were ONLY about my kids, then bad days with them defines it, but if I've got other stuff going on, then I don't have to get down because of the bad days. Don't know if that really made sense. I just mean that if all you've got is one thing, then if it's going well, your life is going well, but if it's going bad, then your life is going bad. So it's good to have other things going on, so that main thing doesn't actually define your life. Also, I enjoy finding things that energize and re-fill me. I like to sew, play the piano (do anything with music), talk to friends, and other things too. My interests change all the time, I've just found that's important to have SOMETHING.

Linda said...

Your blog title reminded me of something I learned at Women's Conference: "When you walk into a room, you either add to it, or take away from it. You make a difference!" I beleive one of our purposes in life is to influence those around us for good, especially those we care about.

We are meant to live life with purpose. We aren't meant to drift along or be victims of what goes on around us. We are daughters of God and He needs each of us. He needs us to help build His Kingdom on earth in big and small ways, and in varying ways as our situations change.

Your blog helps us to focus on the positive and to remember that we are in charge of our attitudes, actions, and feelings. This helps us define our purpose. I appreciate reading the comments from your readers from different perspectives.

Cheryl said...

A new comment has been left on "Finding Balance in a World of Different Opinions".

Thanks! Keep them coming!

Belkycita said...

I felt the same way after having my babies but now I try to remember what mom told me once "we have to be like we are told in an airplane, put on your mask first and then on others"
I know try my hardest to do the little things I love. they make me feel so full of life that being the things that I need to be right now come naturally.