What is the perfect life? I believe it is different for every single person, but the media tries to get us all to want the same things… We are socialized to have certain expectations from life, and follow a specific pathway to happiness.
We all know the pathway. Go to school, then university, meet your soulmate, get a good job, get married, get promoted, have babies, get back to work or start your own business, look after your children, send them to school to start their own pre-planned journey…look after grand-babies, retire, then die!
This kind of life, they say is the dream!!! This is what we should all aspire to. This is what will make us happy. If it doesn’t work out this way or in this order, we are made to feel like a faulty product. A traitor or rebel to the system?
What is more, this is the system the Christian Church seems to promote and support. Going through life with this blueprint and not deviating one way or the other, makes you reliable, trustworthy, sensible, blessed, favoured…righteous even?
We understand that some people are different. They are rare and special people called to a life of service and humility. None of us need strive to emulate them or carry their cross! Unless God appears to us personally to say we should take a different path, the common path, as portrayed above, is considered the right path for all to follow.
I guess it’s a little late for me to be talking. I’m halfway down that path already. Having the responsibility of a child, the pressure is on more than ever to conform and complete the journey in the direction that I’ve started. If I want to feed my child, take care of his needs, and ensure he has opportunities and resources at his disposal, then I better play the game of life well!
But I’m realizing that though they might preach that you can have everything, and teach that it is good to have everything, I really do not want to have EVERYTHING!!! I don’t want to be torn between two conflicting worlds. I want ONE world, that I am content, happy, prosperous and at ease in.
As a mother, even with just one child, I’m finding that I need to choose between motherhood and entrepreneurship constantly! I thought I would be a great mother. I imagined all the times I’d spend reading to my child, cuddling him, playing with him, teaching him how to do various things… Oh, that was the dream!
However, with my current lifestyle, I can well see my child growing up without knowing me or wanting to know me. If my head is not in the computer working, I’m likely busy in the kitchen, shouting at him not to enter, or glued to the TV in my desperation for some relaxation. That’s when we’re at home together. It’s not what I had in mind!
And as if they have no clue what’s involved in raising children, people are always quick to ask me about number two!!! Like really??? So I can ignore him too? Or have a full time nanny look after my kids, so I won’t even have those brief essential moments of bathing, changing diapers or breastfeeding anymore? I’m such a workaholic, I’m terrified of that eventuality…
If only we could delegate the making a living part to nannies, and be fully present and involved in our children’s lives!!!
I don’t want much. I just want to be present with my child for longer than five minutes at a time, enjoying every phase of his growing life, sharing laughs, cuddles and giggles and being there for him always.
I don’t want a lot. I just want to enjoy lazy evenings with my family, regular dates with my husband, and personal moments of reflection and deep spiritual connection with friends and family.
I don’t want everything. I don’t need to be the best in the business world. As long as I can be the best version of me to the people I care to call friends and family. But I’m afraid most don’t know me much anymore… because I’m rarely present, even when I’m physically so.
And many are also busy trying to live up to the life they have carved for themselves… or build the life they envision. Few ever stop to wonder if they are living the life they really want! I wonder what would happen if more people gave more thought to this?
Trying to have everything is causing me to treat as despised, those precious gifts I didn’t earn or buy. So, if that’s what it feels like to have everything… I don’t want everything. God, please, I only need enough money so that I’m not consumed by the struggle to fend off lack, and time enough to appreciate the real treasures of this gift called life!
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I remember going through the same process and I chose to be a full-time mom. My husband and I gave up many material things but we have no regrets in not playing the game. We learned to live within our means, while our friends kept chasing more and more material wealth. Most of them are divorced now and have big houses with big mortgages. We’re still married and though our home is humble, it is paid for. I’m old enough to remember women’s lib and when all of that was starting a friend said, “it’s just a way to make sure everyone is paying taxes”. I thought it was a weird thing to say at the time but now, I think she was right.
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Wow! I think your friend is on to something… it’s so strange. The dream is actually someone’s nightmare marketted down the centuries as a desirable thing! Yes, some might have it all and be happy. My having it all has nothing to do with this world!
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Amen.:0) They sold us the line that in order to be equal, we had to be like men. So then we ended up trying to ado it all. There’s no freedom in working 24/7 and nothing in the marketplace really replaces the experience of being a mom.
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True! Thanks for reading and sharing your insights, Pam!
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Sigh! Finding a balance is so hard. I guess sacrifice is inevitable.
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Thanks Deo! That’s the concept of choosing… we can’t have it all. We always trade something for the things we hold on to.
How are you dear?