“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste the experiences to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Every New Year brings New Year’s Resolutions. In 2017 we sat at the dinner table discussing what we would like the next year to look like. My husband has always been one to set goals each year, goals that challenge him, goals that are filled with adventure and personal development. This year was a little different, we talked about happiness! What truly makes us happy? I remember the moment my husband asked me “What makes you happy? What are the hobbies, passions, and interest you want to focus on this year?” I was literally speechless! I could not answer that simple question. How have I forgotten what makes me happy? How have I forgotten what I am passionate about?
Being a mom, I gave my whole self to my kids. Every stage throughout my children’s life looked a little different. Being a nurse came long hours, weekends, nights and holidays, but we managed, like every family does. I learned to work all night, rush home to relieve my husband so he could go to work. I learned to get my kids ready for school, and rush back to get some sleep. I learned to live on little sleep. I learned to juggle after school activities in between naps(or no naps). I learned that some things I would miss when I had to work weekends, like family events, holidays…but I had a great support system that would send me pictures and involve me if they could. My life was consumed with my children and work. I eventually worked my way to a leadership role. I spent countless hours giving everything I had to being the best manager. I absolutely loved my job. I loved the wonderful people I was able to work with every day, I loved the patients we served…but I also noticed that my family was starting to come second….and that broke my heart. How have I managed to lose sight of what is truly important to me? How have I lost so much of me that I could not even answer my husbands simple question? How have I forgotten ME?
Our journey for me is about rethinking life and what life should be for us. I was at a point where I felt stuck and wanted more out of life. I felt like we were making it, meaning we could survive the week and then survive the weekend and repeat. We were definitely not living life to the fullest. I began to ask myself, “Why did we do the things we do? Why did we have our current careers? Why did we live where we do? Why did we spend our time and money on certain things?”….we had no answers! We had never before even asked the questions.
A bit later, my wife would join me in our search for more. Those questions that we never asked ourselves kept bothering me, so I started to question everything. What made me happy? What made a day worthwhile? What made life worthwhile? I really started to track, compile, list and organize what had an impact on me and allowed me to appreciate the moment. I enjoyed doing this exercise as it is very analytical and scratched a particular itch for me but it also was quite eye opening. It helped me discover who I am and what makes me tick. I would track if the day was a good, what exactly made up my day (tasks, goals, emotions, etc,). It could be something that made me happy or angry or upset…as long as it was deep and real I took note and tried to embrace it. It was a work in progress but I quickly learned a lot. What made me tick became more clear. There were certain things that greatly increased my happiness, fulfillment or my mojo. I just wasn’t making them a priority. One item, spending quality time with my family, kept appearing at the top or near the top of my list. Whenever I was really connecting with my kids, I could see the brightness light up in them. In turn, I would light up as well and know that I was putting in the effort to become a better father and it was paying off. Arguably the biggest thing that could increase or decrease my happiness or fulfillment was my wife. A happy wife, A happy life is one of the truest things ever said about marriage. Not only did I need to find out what made me happy, I needed to find out what made my wife happy. Little did I know, that was a much more difficult task than I thought it would be. If you now ask me what makes me happy, I have a long list of things I could do to instantly make me happier and I can tell you why they would make me happier. So much so in fact that I struggle to choose only one thing to do next. My wife on the other hand had no such list. She didn’t even have the answers to put on a list. It didn’t make sense to me. How can she not know what makes her happy? This is where I should give some background. We have 3 kids (11, 7 & 4). We both work and live the typical American suburbia life. So you now understand where we are at and why we were struggling a bit with life. I wasn’t making enough time to do the things I wanted to do or should be doing. My wife didn’t have the time nor the insight into what she should or could be doing. We had a lot of work to do here! As I approach 40, time is speeding up, life is getting shorter and this mini mid life crisis of mine is still going on. So what next? How do we get to a place where we want to be?
We began by asking ourselves these questions, in hopes to find the answer.
So this is where our Journey began! My family decided that life was going to look a little different. We were going to try to answer some of these big questions, do things we have never done before, go places we always dreamed we could go, and discover our new purpose in life. Follow us as we discover happiness, fulfillment and new adventures as a family. A Family life Redefined!