When was the last time you imagined a better version of yourself? The version of you that was excited to wake up and anilalate the day? When was the last time your day consisted of something more, something greater than your. “ to do“ list?
When I was young, this was easy! As a high school student I knew I wanted to be a teacher So, I focused on volunteering, getting good grades and working to save money. At 18, I moved away from home to focus on my 4 year degree in education. During these four years, I envisioned myself as a full time, elementary school teacher and laid the foundation to achieve that. I attended classes, completed assignments and fulfilled academic obligations. I worked to earn income, volunteered when I could and fostered relationships to get me to my goal.
At 21, I was hired as a full time grade 5 teacher. The first two years I worked hard to secure my position and get tenure. Once, achieved, I worked on being the best teacher I could be; loving, inspiring and coaching many students over the years.
By 23, I was married and at 27, and 29 I had two children, and was appointed as school Principal. Up to this point I had a vision and a plan. I was clear on my goals and what I wanted to achieve. I had a road map in my head, followed it and experienced great success and happiness.
But then things shifted…..
By 35, I was in serious debt. I was unhappy, stressed, felt lost and had no idea why. I was miserable and felt so alone. I relocated my family to a new community in my struggle to find happiness and settled for a position as a Vice Principal just to get my foot “ in the door” in a new school division. Clearly, this didn’t work. By 38, I was divorced, and had gone from being a home owner to a renter, and reduced my family income to half. My kids were miserable, my relationship with my ex was toxic, and it seemed I was only attracting negative experiences into my life such as crashing my car, my son being bullied, dental issues, health issues, hospitalization, fighting, more debt, bankruptcy and the list goes on. But then life started to shift…
Gratefully, today, at the age of 42, things turned around to a point where I feel “ back on track.”
I am blissfully single, happily renting, and excitedly momming almost full time! My income is the lowest it has EVER been, yet I am happier than I have been in over 10 years! I have peace, calm, balance & structure in my life! I am proud of myself and my children, how we live and who we are becoming!
So, what changed? Why the shift? How?
Here is what I learned! After having kids, I lost the vision of who I was striving to be. I stopped setting and achieving goals. My focus, like any good mother, shifted from myself to my kids. But, here’s the thing. As my focus shifted, I lost myself and my identity. Not having goals, and clarity for my own personal path in life brought my happiness and zest for life to a screaming halt! I put so much effort into my family and professional life not realizing that losing myself would be the near death of my family!
The good news is I discovered you can have both! You can be an amazing mother and still have goals and a career! It took me time to figure this out, so I am sharing this with you, to propel your journey! Know this! If you are stuck or in a slump you can heal yourself. There are ways to heal!
Shit rolls downhill! After being an apt sudent in the school of hard knocks I learned if mom isn’t healthy, neither are the kids. As soon as I discovered the necessity of having goals, taking care of myself and endorsing my own health and well being everything changed for myself and family. We are ALL happier, healthier and in a better space to set and achieve our goals.
So, here is my advice to you…,
1) If you don’t take care of you, no one else will
2) Never lose sight of your future self and who you aspire to be
3) Change your habits, change your life
My life is far from perfect, but my perspective is spot on! What I may have viewed as detrimental 5 years ago is merely a blip in the road map today. Resilience has been restored! Life does NOT have to be hard. We make it hard. Self care, goals and habit change, helped me get my life back on track. So, I ask you…. when was the last time you visualized a better version of yourself?