I thought for sure when all of my kids were grown enough to be in school that I would take a starring role in my life again. That just seems to be the natural progression of stages with kids right? If you’ve been with me a while, you know the wide variety of dreams, schemes and plans I have for myself. They’re all over the place and I was just so excited to finally get some time to be what I had envisioned as “me”. (And I so think I look like that.)
We’re headed into the third year of me having all of my muffins in school and I thought for sure that this would be the year I could finally start working toward some of my bigger dreams. It just had to be.
I found out recently, through listening to my instinct, that I am being called to duty as “The Best Supporting Actress” in my life. Did I hear that right? What about the starring role in my own life? How come I have to keep supporting and not have my own show? Who came up with this plan? Who’s in charge around here?
I am adjusting to this newly heard instinct. Early on in the year, I felt called to question my beliefs and assumptions about the plans I have been lovingly nurturing and babying. Maybe, just maybe, I had it all wrong. Maybe my gift is to be more “support person” than I had ever planned on.
Nah. That’s preposterous. I have plans that require me to stop supporting and start doing, for goodness sake.
You’re heard the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans” right? Well, I am starting to think that He’s cracking up. That His sides hurt. That tears are rolling down his eyes and He can’t breathe from laughing so hard at my plans.
This year has been a wonderful year for me as my faith, and the circumstances in my own world, and the larger world around me, have laughed at my plans and decided to change things up. They threw me topsy-turvy, just because they could. In hindsight, it’s exactly what I needed. It continues to unfold, which is kinda exciting ya know.
I love change. I love a challenge. And I love adventure.
I love when I am pushed to get out of my comfy spot and get really really uncomfortable. I love when angst is in my belly and despair is on my brain because I know I will not hang out there. It’s quite often too agonizing. In those moments, I know that I need to pay attention, something is a brewin’ and a life moment is calling me to jump in, wade through and stay the course until I get to the other side. I have had enough moments like this to know that it never gets easier, but it gets quicker as my trust has deepened in the adventure because it always brings me to a place I needed to get to.
It’s messy and a free for all as I fight and cling to the last bits of my comfy spot trying to see if I can figure out if there are any shreds I can save first. Then, when I have tried all of my options, I acknowledge defeat and go forth with a new kind of energy. It would probably be easier if I could let go a lot sooner but growth doesn’t always come quickly when you’re feisty.
One of the biggest internal fights I have put up this year is that I was not feeling any peace with the plans I had for the dreams I was going to go about this fall after I had finished my summer frolicking. How could I not be feeling peace about these dreams that I have carried for so many years? I was ready, I had it all planned out. I kept it simple and flexible so I would still be available to my peeps. So, what could possibly be the problem? Maybe I was not doing them in the right order or I just needed to switch up how I was doing them? I pondered and pondered and still no peace. A nagging feeling, deep within, started to hang out with me that was telling me I needed to put my first focus into being a parent this year and tend to my home. Nothing else. This coming year is going to be full of adventures as we all navigate new days with the COVID virus and lots of changes. I am needed at home as the Best Supporting Actress to be the one who helps us through it. I am blessed to have the opportunity to do what I am being called to do, and after some begging and pleading with my instinct that it had the wrong guy, I gave in because I knew it was right. I would not move ahead with my plans this fall.
So then, an even deeper nagging started poking at me.
“What is it now instinct?”
But I knew what it was about. I had been having a feeling, but didn’t want to explore the option. Maybe I wasn’t hearing my instinct right because this time, it was directly about my dreams.
My instinct was calling me to live the most basic life I could at this moment in time and I realized it needed me to put my dreams away. ALL of them, no matter how tiny of a dream I was bargaining for. They all needed to go away.
Them’s fighting words.
Agony. How will this be possible? My dreams are so woven into my being that there will be holes left in me. What am I going to do with myself now? How will I ever fulfill my new role as Best Supporting Actress while cleaning toilets and cooking more meals for picky people without my dreams to keep me company and keep the doldrums at bay?
Resignation. I accepted the message finally but just could not figure out exactly what it meant. I’m feisty and I don’t like to give up. And I cannot imagine my future without the big ole country shoppe full of all that excites me that I want to share with you. But that was a “far out there” dream any way that I was not planning on in the near future so no need to fear yet. So what was it that I was not completely accepting that I needed to do?
Because I don’t like to give up on anything until the options are exhausted, I kept pressing on into this discomfort and digging deeper for the answer that would identify my calling and my purpose for this year. (I’m telling myself it is for this year because I can handle anything for a year. If I am called to accept this for longer, knowing it now will just bring on my full feisty. So, I am tricking myself into just trying it on.)
What was I still missing? What was not getting through to me, not sinking in? Wasn’t it enough that I didn’t get the starring lead role? Wasn’t it enough that I said “good-bye” to my dreams (for now…)?
I continued to ponder.
Recently one morning, while I had semi-begrudgingly started to begin working on my Best Supporting Actress role, I was tidying up our home a tad more than I have felt like in order to obey part of my new calling, and I heard this message loud and clear…
“Tend to the life you have.”
That was it! It is so simple but I had been missing it. Fine, probably more like fighting it. I have been reading about it, it is an old message, but I just glossed over it assuming it didn’t mean me. But, as a dreamer I live a lot of my time in the future, although I have worked hard to be able to be in the moment as well. Because we are still transitioning from moving back to my home town from the Midwest a few years ago, I live in the future as I work on getting ourselves finally settled into our own place. I always have a foot in the future. Heck, I even have heard myself saying that I’ll do a better job cleaning when we get to our new house because I will like it more then. In the future.
I immediately felt a deep peace. The peace that tells you that you are where you are supposed to be. These changes do not need to be forever. (Right? Wink, wink.) I just know that this next year will need me to be “all in” for the life I have now, not the new one I am working toward. I can’t be here peacefully if I am off in the future and especially while full of dreams, plans and what if’s that vie for my attention. I’ll be annoyed at being held back. I’ll be impatient and feisty that my plans are not fitting in to the needs of this next year. My feet need to be planted together this time. Like when I was surrounded by babies and toddlers and I just knew that my place was there in that moment. I tended to the life I had at that moment because that was all I could handle.
Wait! Help! Aside from the baby years, I’ve never been called to live my life like this, all in this moment, or at least I never listened if I was called to it previously. It was in the baby years that I started giving life to many of my current dreams. I knew they were just thoughts then but I was able to entertain them. Now, I am feeling like I need to let them all blow around. They will come back to me, maybe, maybe not. I value a simple life and have worked to restore balance when it is out of whack but this is a whole new awareness and level of simple for me. Not even to daydream the day away.
(I’ve had lots of requests for homemade goodies since I’m not doing anything else any ways.)
There will be some personal growth needed for this Best Supporting Actress role that I am being called to commit to as I am feeling a bit typecast. I won’t be the “Best” if I am cranky about it and I’ll be honest, I’m not feeling the joy in some of the tasks I am being called to focus on while I tend to my parenting and home life. I’ve cleaned enough toilets, cat boxes and critter cages.
I’ve fried many brain cells trying to plan food for picky eaters day after day, after day, after day, after day…you get the idea. I was kinda over this role leading my days. But, I decided that if there isn’t any joy in it, I’ll just have to bring my own. (I’ve been reading lots of books this summer for my personal growth, a crash course of sorts, so bring it. I’m on the fast track to a better and healthier “me”!) But I’ll need to “bring it” in a new way I guess, not in the escaping to my dreams and plans way as I like to do. I’ll have to work on that.
(The kitchen table is cleared of summer clutter and ready again for family meals. A yummy “make your own french bread pizza” night.)
(And “make your own” means there is something for every picky eater’s palette. So far, I’ve got this.)
Let’s get this year of supporting people done and over with as fast as possible! Right?! Am I right?!!
Humor. My favorite friend. Fine. That’s not really how I am approaching this. Most of the time.
I’m actually very excited because I feel like bringing my world all the way back to “this moment” is going to bring some amazing awareness and instincts on where to go next without it being vague and without me guessing. I’ll know. I have so many dreams and plans that I’m not really sure where to focus my energies and talents. This is a new strategy and I am full of anticipation and on the edge of my seat to see how it all works out. I’m still struggling with letting my usual thoughts go away. It’s a new way of living, but I’ll get there.
Back when the summer was just on its way, I shared a post about living “Not Me“. At that time, I had no idea that I was actually supposed to spend some time doing just that. As the summer takes its place behind us now, it looks like that’s just what the doctor ordered. Not in the prescription “I was planning” but that’s how it works usually.
Just between you and me though, I had a thought that maybe I could work on a couple of frivolous hobbies that I had set aside, because I was focused on some other dreams that I thought were more attainable, while I am tending to the life I have now and I am excited about that. They fit into some of my future dreams but no one has to know that.
I’ll see what my instinct says. Maybe it will let me if I promise to just keep it simple…and after I clean the toilets with joy, of course.