Image found HERE
Somehow, maybe when I blinked, the months sneakily switched over from January to February. How and when did a whole month go by? The end of Jan and start of my birthday month (it’s the 19th in case you were wondering, feel free to note that down in your calendars), saw plenty of changes around these parts. Lovely husband returned to work (RIP Mon-Fri dual parenting.. Sob), I started down the casual teaching path, toddler prepared for his first day at daycare, the dog learnt to stop treating Ollie’s wooden train set as a toy.. Plenty of forward movement all round (the cats have pretty much stayed on the same, feline selfishness driven path, not much to report there really).
At the very beginning of January, I wrote a BIG old post about my intentions for the year, triggered in part by some of the stuff I was reading (the awesome ‘Spirited’ which you can read more about HERE and buy HERE) and a few other, fairly introspective texts. One of the core messages that sprung out and smacked me around the head was the concept that doing the things that make you feel the way you want to feel, is not just good for your mental health, it also lights the path towards a more meaningful life/career. Something in that message resounded really deeply with me. So simple yet somehow a message that gets muddled up pretty frequently, in my life anyway. After many post it notes, I managed to distill the way I truly desired to feel into three words; content, secure and fulfilled. That part, though it took awhile to get there, was straight forward enough. Do the stuff that helps me feel one or more of the above.
It was then that the questions started. As a mother, heck a person living in a modern day world, there are things I do each day/week/month that don’t always light me up. I don’t derive huge amounts of pleasure from certain tasks and find some to be tiring, boring, frankly quite unpleasant. Quite the opposite of content, secure and fulfilled.
It took me a little while to wrap my head around how these seemingly disparate parts could fit together. I juggled it all around in my head for a good few days before I realised that, like in many instances in my life, I had managed to get bogged down in the minutia of the statement. I was focusing on all the things I may need or have to do that didn’t always feel great as opposed to the multitude of stuff that did. I’d managed to lose sight a little of the intention behind the words that I’d chosen. This was bigger picture stuff, a reflection of days/weeks/months as a whole, as opposed to the dozens of bits and bobs that make up a single portion of a day. Yes, I may still need to change dozens of pooey nappies each week but that shouldn’t take away from the other stuff that I was doing that helped kick life in the direction I wanted to head in.
I found that refocusing on the things I’d identified as being key to achieving contentment, security and fulfilment helped get me back on the page. I had narrowed it down to four different things:
- Undertaking meaningful work
- Undertaking financially rewarding work
- Spending time meditating
- Spending quality, present time with Adam and Ollie
Each of these brings to my life something different; working on something or for someone that I really enjoy brings a different kind of contentment and fulfilment to that which I experience when I spend real, quality, engaged time with my husband and son. Identifying the different shades of my core desired feeling has been a really interesting process and has also helped me see some positive in previously mundane tasks. Rebranding the way I feel about folding and putting away laundry hasn’t made me fall in love with the task but it has reminded me that there is a certain sense of fulfilment lurking at the bottom of an empty basket or carefully folded pile of clean clothes. More and more, I’m learning that so much of this stuff is about perspective and while it’s definitely a work in progress, I’m already noticing some really positive shifts towards making this year my most content and fulfilled year in recent past.
I’d love to hear how 2014 is panning out for you! Did you set any intentions for the months ahead? How are they working out? Feel free to SHARE in the comments!
Image found HERE