Living Our Dreams in Each Season of LifeOct 01, 2019
I’m pretty sure wishing for something, that can’t happen at this time in our life, is a hallmark of human existence. Twelve-year-olds want to be in college. Empty nesters long for the days their children were babies. And there’s always a pinch of “what-if” in every situation. Each stage and season of life has its own challenges and rewards.
For me, I spent eight months building my website, creating content, working with two of my daughters on their novels, and wishing the gnomes would pitch in a bit more with meal prep. (Sadly, they refused.) As I pushed through learning curves, long hours, and finally launched, there is a deep satisfaction that comes when the right things happen at the right time.
As much as I longed to coach fifteen years ago, I’m not sure when I would have found the time or energy. I was homeschooling two elementary age boys with a preschooler and newborn in tow. Sanity was at a premium during those years. Despite all my optimism, I’m not sure I would have had anything left to give to clients. While I was frustrated at the time, today, I see the wisdom in waiting.
As women, we need to stop and be honest about our priorities, time, and energy levels. We juggle so many tasks and are the glue that holds families and friends together. If we spread ourselves too thin, it’s a disservice to us and those we love. But we can’t give up on our dreams either. Without dreams, we struggle to hope. Hope is the elixir better than coffee to keep us going. But what does that live like?
As a single woman, the world is your oyster. You’re free to go and come as you please. You can write until 4am and no one is wiser. And yet, some battle loneliness, insecurity, and lack of clarity for your future that leaves a deep ache. Making a couple key decisions can change everything.
Consider the things pressing on your heart. What do you long for most? What is the wisest choice? Consider your options then make the jump and don’t look back. The decision to write and channel those emotions into your work can be healing, encouraging, and empowering. You have a freedom that many older women don’t. Now is the time to take the calculated risks. Push the envelope with your writing. Make the jump to follow your dreams. You only have your wants and needs to consider. Now is the time to begin your journey.
As a mother, there are little people circling every moment you are in their presence. You have needs, but theirs are always more pressing. Life is exhausting because it’s an endless stream of activity until they are tucked in, not merely to sleep, but to recharge for tomorrow. Any writing you do is in stolen moments when you should be sleeping, but instead, you are feeding your soul. These are the years of baby step projects and small bites. Fifteen minutes here and there isn’t much, but if you steal those moments every day, it adds up to 91 hours a year. That’s enough to build a website, start a book, or launch a dream. These are the years to be intentional with your choices and time. Those moments are foundational. Use them wisely.
As an empty nester, there is either a loneliness deeper than your single days or re-creation of everyday life. I see the prudence of mentors like Elizabeth George encouraging younger women to raise their families, but to keep learning through extensive reading while they do. Because there will come a day when they will be able to shine. For you, these are those days. You have lived. You have a wisdom that young people don’t understand. Remember the dreams you had many years ago. Put pen to paper and share them.
Somewhere in the messy middle are the woman in transition. Divorce, high schoolers, widowhood, career changes, and unexpected situations. Life can be downright wicked sometimes. It’s in those moments we need to forget about writing for others and simply take notes for our self. For some, it will be years before we can connect the dots and see the wisdom in the pain. For others, those days will come much sooner. Never give up on your dreams, just know they might take shape in a way we don’t expect.
Every woman’s writing journey is unique. Young mothers will not have the same amount of time to write as a woman whose children are grown. Older women will struggle with technology in ways that younger women would never consider. Don’t give up! If a dream is firmly planted in your heart, take one small step each day to make it happen. Let those small steps snowball. One day you’ll look up and find you are right where you wanted to be all along. In the meantime, keep dreaming and keep writing.
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