Live the life you’ve imagined

Live the LifeI have a plaque in my home office with those words on it to inspire me. Today I looked at it and thought, “what does that mean, to live the life I imagine?” Wasn’t I doing that? To some extent I am. But, my life has changed. I am practically an empty nester. I have a son leaving in a couple of months for college and a daughter who has returned home (as a full adult) after graduating from college looking to find her first job before attending graduate school in a couple of years.

It is no longer about them. I don’t have to drive them around for sports activities, piano lessons or “play dates”. We all have our own cars. They come and go as they please—for the most part. So, what is my role now? They are “adults”. However, their bedrooms are still messy and the bathroom that they share is gross. That has not changed. But what I do have to change is my hand-holding of them.

I am so proud of their respective successes in school. Their dad and I did a fairly good job raising them. They have the basics and they still have us. That won’t change.

I can’t make the “owie” go away simply by putting on a bandage or giving them ice-cream as I did when they were children. This is hard for me—not being able to solve their problems. I felt more confident about the questions they asked or the decisions that they had to make because my children did not have prior knowledge of the issues that were in front of them at the time and I did.

As adults, they have choices and they know what is the best decision for them. What they want from me is to listen, and to provide my opinion when needed. I am the sounding board. This is my role. And at the end of the day, they decide.

So, what does it mean to live a life I imagined? Here are my thoughts:

  • To walk in the knowing that my God loves me…too.
  • To know that I am not here just to serve others—to help them reach their goals, etc.—but also to have goals of my own and the ability to reach them too.
  • To know I am enough.
  • To know that I can be better.
  • To know that I don’t have to be perfect.
  • To be grateful for all things.
  • To respect myself (body, mind and spirit).
  • To know that it is okay to make mistakes.
  • To learn from my mistakes and others.
  • To know what I bring to the table.
  • To know I have the right to have a seat at the table.
  • To know that I will be okay.

Change is hard. But, things end. People leave. And you know what? Life goes on. And so, I must live the life I imagine and keep moving!