I know that many of us would love to have a crystal ball that actually worked, but we don’t. As a result, life throws us surprises that oftentimes leave us saying, “Hey! Wait! Wasn’t ready for that!”
In my case, I just learned that I’m expecting Bumpkin #2! While I’m thrilled about the news (I want my kids close together and love being a mom), I’m also somewhat dreading the pregnancy. For those who don’t know, my first one was terrible. I vomited the entire time, felt so awful that I ate whatever I could hold down. Needless to say, I pretty much told everyone who asked how I was feeling that pregnancy and I don’t get along.
Then there’s the fact that I’m just getting somewhere in the development of a personal yoga practice. While the alteration of this won’t be a major downer for me, I had a few goals I’d hoped to accomplish. Nothing big. Just a few poses I’m aiming to perfect.
Funny how so often we start to think, “But that’s not what I wanted to do.”
Perhaps not, but if we stop and reevaluate, perhaps what we want isn’t the best for us at that time. Perhaps what we really need to do is far more important. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since receiving the news. Personal goals are all well and good–in fact, they’re great as they keep us motivated–but so often we find ourselves so driven to succeed that our goals end up driving us rather than being used as stepping stones toward a larger achievement (whatever it is).
So I’ve decided that I’d like not only to survive this pregnancy in a better frame of mind (and body), I’d like to thrive. Here are my steps to thriving:
- First, I’ve taken a step back from myself, taken a deep breath, and said, “It’s okay. Now is the time for new and better things.” Motherhood is an amazing journey that I’d not trade for all the riches in the world. It is truly one of the greatest blessings we can receive.
- Second, I’m letting go of the expectations I’d set for myself since my daughter was born. This isn’t easy. I’m a goal-oriented person. But I know that this frees me up to be happier in my current situation.
- Third, I’m not giving up on the things I’d set out to do. This might sound like I’m still expecting of myself, but in all honesty, I’m not. I’m going with the flow. I’m letting life happen as it comes. Instead of berating myself for not practicing, let’s say, I’m realizing that taking that nap is exactly what I needed. I also know that I’ll eventually achieve the things I’ve started out to do…just perhaps not in the time frame I’d originally thought they’d be done in.
- Fourth, I’m stripping away the extras in my life, focusing on what’s really important. So often, many things clutter our homes, our thoughts, and our time. Paring down helps shift focus back to the intangible things that matter most to us.
It may not sound like a lot, but then refocusing yourself in order to thrive doesn’t require a whole lifestyle change. It just requires setting priorities. Mine are my family and faith, my writing endeavors, and my teaching…in that order. It may seem like I’m short-changing myself on the potential of a star-shining career, but really, what can we take with us when we leave this world? Nothing, but we can leave behind a memory that is carried into the future with our children and I’m hoping that the one I leave will be full of happiness and love.
Besides, if my daughter is any indication of what’s in store for me these next 18-20 or so years, kids just make me laugh. I like laughing. I hope I laugh a lot!
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