Lately I find myself very content and fulfilled with my status in life. I don’t feel like I’m catching up or waiting to start or finish something. Its a good feeling and I am grateful. For a long time I felt like I had to catch up. I didn’t finish high school or college in a traditional way so I always felt rushed like I was behind. I went to night school to finish high school and throughout my college years I changed my major many times, tried a couple of different schools, stopped and started. Looking back it seems pretty normal but while it was happening I felt like a failure. I graduated high school on time and finished college at 27. It felt like a huge accomplishment but also like a chore I was waiting to finish.
Then we had our son. My husband and I dated for about 10 years before I got pregnant, but now all of the sudden we had a child and we were not married. This was a another time I felt like I was behind or had to accomplish something before I moved forward. Its silly really because it doesn’t matter, but these societal traditions are just engrained in our culture.
So now I was married and a college graduate and I still felt I was missing something. We went for the second child. This was the best decision we made because now we were blessed with a daughter. I can’t imagine my life without either of them. So for the past couple of years we had the two children in our rental and I felt a little stressed about buying a house. It was the next step. I was also obsessed with having more children. There’s something about when your already in the trenches of a newborn that you think, well I’m already sleep deprived and on this crazy schedule, might as well go for more. As the little one gets older I find myself becoming more and more satisfied with the family we have. Toddler years are rough, I can’t imagine throwing a newborn in the mix.
Another thing that has finally settled into balance is our work schedules and careers or lack thereof. I used to work full time, working towards a career as a scientist. I wasn’t happy. I realized I just wanted to be a stay at home mom and enjoy my children and I honestly enjoyed being at home. I didn’t like running around all week and being away from my family. Meanwhile my husband found a job that is both rewarding and challenging. He went from working nights in the restaurant business, which he absolutely hated, to getting his realtors license. He is currently is in his fourth year as a realtor. I went back to the restaurant business so I get to stay home all week long. I just work Friday and Saturday nights. Making the transition from my husband staying home and working at night while I was working a full time job, to me staying at home and my husband working full time was difficult and stressful at times, but I’m glad we pushed on and found a place of balance where we are both happy.
My latest outlet has been blogging and writing. My husband is in a band and they always meet once a week so he is good about making his personal creative outlet a priority. I am more inconsistent with that aspect of myself. Starting the blog has been a great little distraction from childcare and house cleaning and bill paying. It requires me to to take some time to focus on myself and it feels so good and exciting.
So this is where I’m at. I’m grateful we all still fit comfortably in our 2 bedroom house and we are looking forward to house hunting this spring and summer. This time around though, I don’t feel rushed. We are living, we are happy, we are healthy, and this is it. I have been making a more conscious effort in enjoying and embracing the present instead of planning and focusing on the future. My family is young and this is the time to enjoy life.
The thing about life is you can always change it, and it is always changing even if you are not. Your life is your own and there are always options. Its good to shake things up once in awhile and try something new. The balance of life and marriage and families is always transforming, so we must constantly make adjustments to keep that balance. Balance is the key to happiness. When you are too consumed with one aspect of your life like kids, work, or personal hobbies and relationships, the balance is off and needs to be readjusted. I think there is a special balance to happiness. On the one hand we must embrace the present but on the other hand we must be willing to constantly adapt and make little changes in order to avoid becoming stagnant. Life is always moving and changing and so should we. The trick is to avoid trying to control it, to embrace the change, and enjoy the ride.