I was having a conversation with my husband earlier today about some of the shifts that I am experiencing in my life. For the past year, I have been rethinking my priorities. Since I was a little girl, I have been pushed to excel in my academics and career. I’ve worked since I was eleven, lived in different countries, and did all that I was expected of me in finishing my education.
But now that my mom is getting older and my marriage is growing, and I’m realizing that while I enjoy my career, I have started to shift my thinking about what else matters in this life. This may seem like a no-brainer for women groomed to be family-oriented. Well, for a girl like me, who was built to lead, move, and shake up the world as a community leader, it feels a little uncomfortable (in a good way) for me to look outside of accomplishments and accolades as the sole measures of happiness or life’s meaning.
My ideal life now must take into account my husband, his family, my family and my family’s extended families as well as my growing need for career autonomy and flexibility.
So in the conversation that I had with my husband, I shared these two questions as the guiding principles for the next stage in my life as a woman shifting in her life.
What kind of memories do I want to have?
While standing at the bus stop last week, I saw one of my former third grade students who now is in her last year of high school. It shocked me to see that little Samantha was now wearing lipstick and carrying a handbag.
When I was working long hours as a teacher and administrator to change the world, I never stopped and asked myself this question. But if you don’t stop and take stock of what you want from your life independent of you career, you will never make time for it and you may regret it.
What kind of feelings do I want to feel more often?
When I was into slaying dungeons and dragons, I was hyped to be active, on the move, and on the go. My achievement-oriented disposition overshadowed some of the other feelings that I wanted to feel. In addition to feeling good about solving others’ problems or making change for the people that I worked with, I realized that those feelings were not enough.
Outside of work, I want to feel happy, peaceful, confident in my skin, and accomplished as a good partner and friend to my husband. So in the same way that I make it to work on time to do my job, I learned that I had to create experiences and thoughts to allow me to feel those desired emotions. To achieve these feelings, I ensure that date night is sacred, my husband and I retire for the night together. I make sure to watch a silly Youtube video or sitcom three times a week, and I try to hit the gym with more intention and frequency.
BMWK Family: Have you asked yourself these questions? Can you relate?