Dreams I never dared to dream are coming true. I never thought I would have a platform to pour out my heart and my hopes for humankind to share with the world. Never in my wildest dreams would I have dared to think that I would publish two books in six months, write on a well-read blog, and have other projects in the hopper. I never would have imagined that I get to pack up my “shake your fanny pack” and travel to speak to educators across the country about The Path to Serendipity, and now the children’s picture book The Princes of Serendip. I write these words still in awe. I am amazed and eternally grateful for the opportunities I have.
But they don’t come without a cost. Does anything?
Writing and speaking is my side-hustle. It happens to be directly related to the profession that has stolen my heart. It has terrific bonuses of causing great reflection and personal growth, and it holds me accountable for my own behavior. It helps me be a servant leader because it stokes my curiosity about the people around me and how I can best support them to enjoy and flourish in their journey. It is a wonderful model of risk-taking and demonstrates the benefits of hard work and dreaming big for my sons and my students.
But it is a busy life. And I am often torn between the many to-do lists in my head.
People ask me, “How do you do it? You are a principal and a mom and now a writer? I don’t know how you have the time.”
The answer is that I don’t have the time. I squeeze it out of my life like wringing out a barely damp towel. And, as you can imagine, it comes with significant costs. For instance…
…I am most definitely NOT keeping up with the Kardashians. I have no idea what is on the E! Television Network or HGTV these days when I used to spend hours binge-watching them.
…My passion for shopping has been virtually extinguished. Before I started writing, I could whittle away a whole day zipping from store to store.
…I have no idea what it feels like to be bored. I vaguely remember the feeling and it sounds incredible sometimes, but I don’t see it in my near future at this point.
…Candy Crush used to be my favorite pastime. Sadly, it doesn’t even have a home on my phone anymore.
And then there are the big costs…
I am not sure that I am the mother that you are.
I don’t know that I contribute enough to my relationship with my husband.
I could easily spend 24/7 on my work as an elementary principal but I take a few hours off from that some evenings and weekends.
I don’t see my friends very often.
And then there are the enemies in my head that ask me questions like these:
You aren’t perfect, so how dare you share The Path to Serendipity?
Should you be spending time writing when there are so many other things to do?
The facts are that we all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. We make decisions about how we fill them every minute of the day. I think the bottomline for me is this: is what I spend my precious minutes doing aligned with my goals for this beautiful, complex life? Am I being the mom and wife and daughter and sister I want to be? Am I being the principal I want to be? Am I feeling fulfilled and excited so that I can give my best to the people around me?
Once in a great while the answer is, “Yes! You kicked butt today girl!”
But, honestly, the answer is usually, “No, not yet. But, you are getting there and you will never give up trying.”
I keep rereading this post and asking myself what my purpose is in sharing this with you. I read it to my 16-year-old son and asked him what he thinks my purpose is. Instead of answering me, he asked me this, “What is your purpose in most things you write?”
I answered, “To reflect and grow and hope that in sharing my reflections I help someone.”
He replied, “So, I guess you have your answer. You’re welcome.” Sassy kid.
The universe is holding your dreams, keeping them safe, just waiting for you to make them happen.
What are your dreams? What are you willing to sacrifice to make them come true? What aren’t you willing to sacrifice? I have decided that I am not going to let doubts and imperfections get in the way of wringing all I can out of this life. I will dream big and work hard to make my dreams come true. I will give everything I can to the people I love and sometimes I will feel completely drained and the dumbest things will make me cry, and other times I will feel on top of the world. And, that is okay.
I am okay.
You are okay.
“Don’t limit your challenges; challenge your limits.”
P.S. I originally ended this post with a different quote, but at the recommendation of my 12-year-old son, I changed it to his favorite quote. Thank you to both my sons for their help today! #WinningParentingToday #LikelyLosingTomorrow
Image source HERE