5 Ways I Plan to Live My Life to the Fullest

BY: - 9 Jan '14 | inspiration

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Last Sunday, over the Christmas break, one of the principals that I work closely with, dropped dead at 38-years old, leaving behind a wife and a four-year old daughter. This principal was a dynamic leader, loved children, but most importantly to me, and for the purposes of this post, so young.

So young.

I haven’t been to a funeral in years. And the last person that I buried was my grandfather, a man well into his nineties.

As I watched them close the casket, all I could think about were the suits, Air Jordans, and Timberlands in his office closet that his wife would have to collect before another principal takes his spot. I attended both the wake and funeral.  At the funeral, the pastor, a former high school teacher, delivered this principal’s “last lesson plan.”

The essential question of this lesson was, “What are you doing with your time?” I know that we hear this and attend to these words with temporary intent when things like this happen and then quickly return to living without purpose and not fully to our potential, present company included.

It’s been a few emotional days and I have been reflecting on this question. And here are some of my new thoughts, prompted by death:

Wait.. But Not Too Long in Relationships

This is for the good and bad in life. While I would never tell anyone to leave a friendship, relationship, or marriage without exhausting all possibilities, I will say that you don’t know when it will be your time to go, so make sure you are living as close to happiness as you can.

Make a Bucket List

What is it that you want to experience? What do you want your eulogy to say?

Speak Your Mind

Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel. If you need to have a difficult conversation, take action to do so. If you haven’t told the people that you value how much they mean to ouy, take the time to do so now.

Make Time for the People and Things that Matter Most

Prior to this principal’s death, I was supposed to visit his school to celebrate a recent accomplishment, but cancelled last minute because I had to do some paperwork. That was a Friday. That Sunday, he stopped breathing on the way to the hospital. The following Thursday, I am looking down on him in the casket. If you are wondering if I got the paperwork done, they answer is no. I still have to work on it.

Spend the Money..Within Reason

I know that I am BMWK’s resident frugalista, so I would never say spend your mortgage, tuition, or retirement money on foolishness. But if you find that you are knuckling and tight-gripping EVERY nickel, I would say live a little and find a balance so you can enjoy your money responsibly.

BMWK Family– What are you reminded of you when you attend funerals? What would you do differently if you knew that you only had so much time to live?

About the author

Kara Stevens wrote 138 articles on this blog.

Kara is a motivational speaker, life coach, and founder of the personal finance and lifestyle blog The Frugal Feminista .

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11 Tips to Help You Be Both a Good Mom and a Good Wife

BY: - 10 Jan '14 | inspiration

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Balancing a marriage and motherhood can be very challenging.  For many women, it often seems difficult to be great at one and still find the energy to be great at the other. And truthfully, the role that tends to suffer most is being a wife.

I think it’s possible for us to develop a sense of balance that allows us to be great in both roles.  Is it going to be easy?  Definitely not, but I think it is very possible.  The mistake that most women make is giving too much of themselves in an effort to make everyone they love happy.  They end up operating on a nearly empty tank because they try to meet every need that their child(ren) have, while also trying to maintain a happy marriage

I have a crazy idea, though.  What if you tried to put your own needs first? I know, I know… it sounds almost impossible.  How can a mom and a wife possibly put herself first?  Well, not only is it possible, but I think it’s the only way to balance all of your roles successfully while keeping your health (and sanity) in tact.

I do realize that telling women to put themselves first may seem cliché, but there is more to it than simply putting your needs first.  Surely you can’t be a great mom and wife if you are selfish, right?  The bigger picture is whether or not you are able to find a healthy way to balance your needs with the needs of your child(ren) and your spouse.  Are there things you can do to make it all work well?

Here are 11 tips that can help you find that elusive sense of balance you are looking for so you can stop ending your days feeling like you failed the people you love most.  And instead, end each day feeling like you are a good wife and mom.

  1. Carve out time to spend with girlfriends who are in the same boat. I love all of my close girlfriends, but when I am struggling with issues around motherhood and being a wife, it’s nice to hang with women who are experiencing similar struggles.
  2. Talk things out with your spouse.  If you feel like you are failing yourself or your family, you need to talk to your spouse.  It may seem obvious to you, but this man may not even know that you are struggling.
  3. Make a list of 10 personal goals you want to accomplish by the end of the year. If you focus your attention on what you want to accomplish, you are more inclined to make decisions that make you put your needs first in order to reach your goals.
  4. Get a regular babysitter.  Whether it’s for a date night with your man, or because you need to get a mani and a pedi, having a babysitter you trust is a must.   
  5. If you lost your sexy, get it back.  Moms are infamous for letting themselves go, both after marriage and after having kids.  Don’t fall into the trap of being tired and letting yourself go. Maintaining your sexy makes you feel great (which makes you a better mom) and it makes your spouse very happy.
  6. Plan a romantic getaway. It’s good for the kids to know how to have fun and be okay without mommy and daddy and it’s great for you to rekindle your love with the man you said, “I do” to.
  7. Workout. So simple, yet so important.  It makes you happier and healthier and that ultimately improves the most important relationships in your life.
  8. Spend time alone with everyone… including yourself. Going on dates with your spouse is important, but so is going on dates with your child(ren) and yourself.  Taking that time to connect makes all the difference.
  9. Show your kids that dad does a great job, too.  One thing that many moms do is to show their children that they can do everything better than dad.  It’s not intentional, but it happens.  Children need to know that dad is more than capable of managing things if mom can’t, and that his way might be different than moms, but it’s not wrong.
  10. Consider therapy, coaching or counseling. Part of self-care is making sure you are managing your emotional needs.  If you are feeling stressed, tired and overwhelmed, seeking help is critical.
  11. Pray… always. Pray with your spouse, pray with your children, pray as a family, pray by yourself.  Prayer works.

BMWK – please share with us your tips on how you find balance in your role as a mother and wife.

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 439 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a lifestyle consultant who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create lives they love. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.

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