Just living

I am a planner. I set goals. I dedicate time to figuring out what’s next. I look for ways to improve on my faults and maximise on my strengths. I organise, I walk with purpose and I am deliberate in where I want to go.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these traits but this year is a year of ‘wait and see.’ My husband and I have no plans, no set targets. We have things we would like to happen and we are working on but we’re not revolving our lives around those things. We’re not filling our calendar and we’re not constantly looking into the future.

The inevitable result is that we’re far more in the present. We are enjoying the moment, embracing the things that we love and simply seeing what happens.

In a sense, we are letting go. We’re giving our plans up to God and seeing where we end up. I’m still aware of things I want to work on in myself but I’m also excited to see what the next few months hold.

Already I’ve been prompted to focus on creativity, on enjoying the things of this world that simply exist to give us joy and evoke a sense of possibility that is hard to stumble across otherwise. We’ve been steered as a couple into looking at prayer; why, what and how we pray. Right now, those two things are completely monopolising my thoughts and as I mull them over, I begin to see more opportunities to practice what I’m learning.

I miss having a specific purpose that I’m working towards but I have to admit, it is invigorating just living and seeing what life will bring our way.

So for this year at least, that is my new system for measuring goals. I want to see what we end up doing, whether we have embraced creativity, pursued what God has for us and discovered more about who we are and what brings us joy. I want to make sure I don’t waste my time on social media or overwhelm my time by forcing my schedule to fit in too many things. Instead I want to spend time with God, invest in relationships and use my time to appreciate the beauty and goodness that this world offers. I want to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, accept but not dwell on the frustrations and disappointments that arrive and develop a perspective bigger than what I can see. I want to experience new things, make the most of where I’m at and trust that by relinquishing control of what’s next, whatever comes will be exciting, challenging and satisfying.

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I want to be who they are

Looking around the internet – particularly the blogosphere – there are countless women who exude traits that I want people to associate with me: simple living, creativity, family values, wisdom and so much more. I’m pretty content with who I am; I know what I like, what I dislike, what I’m great at and what I’m fairly dismal at – yet there often seems to be something missing.

There are so many women I can relate to in terms of goals, values and lifestyle that I begin to wonder, how am I unique and what can I offer in amongst this shoal of successful, intelligent and warm-hearted women?

Today I had someone a few years younger than me tell me “you’re living my dream!” My job is the pinnacle of the career that she is hoping for and the goal that she is working hard to make progress towards. It struck me that what I admire in other people, others may covet in me. Who I am and the life that I have, is not to be taken for granted, it is one that others might be dreaming of.

So perhaps I’m not quite as contented as I had thought. I may know myself well but do I see myself as others do, or do I take for granted what I have, leaving me unsatisfied with my place in a vast world?

I love a challenge, I love to learn about myself and the world around me and I don’t think there is anything wrong with goals, ambition and wanting to fulfil your potential. What I think I’m missing along the way is learning how to embrace who I already am, so that I can recognise and appreciate the amazing traits in others without becoming disheartened that they devalue or supersede my own qualities. Instead, I want to be able to absorb those characteristics that I most respect to help me become who I want to be.

I don’t want to be who they are. I want to be my own unique blend of me.