My sister is seventeen years younger than I am. She has weight of the world on her shoulders. Do you remember that? I mean not really the actual weight, but it felt like it. It felt like make or break time. It felt like every decision I made would determine the course of my life. The fear and the inevitable dread that I had already made the wrong ones kept me up at night or kept me drinking late into the night. Then I got older and realized with age, experience, and exhaustion that my decisions were always the right ones because they led me here which is nice and cozy. I love my life. It is filled with freedom, love, and wonderful people. What it is not filled with: gumption.
Something I have lost is that bursting with energy, that gotta get it done, push it to the limit drive to succeed. As my friend Alice Isak rephrased it, “I’ll get it done, but I am not going to ruin my sciatica.” When I brought up my sisters seemingly innate energy, Alice made a good point when she reminded me how good it is to have young people around. They are energizing even though they always seem to be so exhausted. My sister works full time, has a full college schedule, visits my parents once a week, and has a live in boyfriend who works twelve hours a week. Just writing that sentence made me tired. I love her so extremely dearly, but I could not live like that now…. and yet…I envy the extreme sense of urgency. I miss the concept that I need to accomplish this or I might just implode.
I miss that drive that makes me work harder than I thought I could. I again, finally, have those choices to make. I have a clean slate that I can make my mark upon. I have been staring blankly at it, blinking, and tired. It is awfully big sometimes. It wasn’t when we were looking at my husband’s slate. I helped him decide on a career easily. He listed his options to me, and I printed out descriptions from the internet and we had discussions of pros and cons, and eventually he made a decision that worked out for him. However, now that I have the luxury, I wimble back and forth in my mind. I know getting healthy and higher education are in my future. At forty they seem like impossible tasks but at least I know that much. However, where the higher education will lead or what degree I will get, I don’t know.
My friend Alice Isak just told me I need a toddler’s lunch. I of course said, “HUH?” She explained you need to give yourself only a limited amount of choices and then pick from those. If the choice was every food in the world a toddler would get overwhelmed, but normally it is a choice between two like: hotdog or peanut butter and jelly. I know I want to write a novel, freelance or teach. So in the coming year I want to get some experience doing all three so that I can see which one I like most. The one I like most I will study further. It seems so simple, that blank slate, but I just figured it out. I told Alice I feel stupid not figuring that out before. She said, “Well, don’t.”
I started laughing but then she said, “If it is not moving me to the next step, let it go.” Wow.
Oprah has this article in the January issue interviewing Brendon Burchard, author of The Motivation Manifesto, and he talks about how to accomplish goals. Something he said really hit me, “Let us be bold again.” I feel like I was bold back when I was the first person in my family going to college, and graduating from college, but lately I just feel old and tired. I want to be bold again. I want to gather up energy and feel the intensity of a blazing goal. I want to roll up my sleeves again, and not put them down until I accomplish what I want. I want to brave new experiences, social situations, and environments with the vigor of youth. I want to “boldly” work under the assumption I can accomplish anything I want.
I read a good book called “The Dreamgiver.” In it the author, Bruce Wilkinson, explains that when God gives you a dream it is our responsibility to accomplish it, how is that for immediacy. God wants me to be bold again.