I want more. I always have. When I was younger I wanted to be older, when I was dating I wanted to be married, when I was married I wanted a baby… you get the picture.
Well now I have all of those things and more. I have the best husband, a nice car, a cute house, an even cuter baby, and a great job. Yet I am still not satisfied, there’s always one thing that I’m looking at saying- If only I had [insert thing] I would be content, or I could be happy. I don’t think this is a new concept, though, I hope you will hear it in a new way after this.
Joy is a choice. It can be a constant in your life if you will allow it, and choose it. You have to choose it because if you wait until you “have it all”, you will only encounter one variety of joy in your life; a kind that is momentary and fleeting, devoid of any lasting satisfaction, that will leave you craving more.
You can never have it all.
How do I know this? It’s not like I’m at any point in life where you would look at me and say I have it all. I certainly could have a bigger house, or earn more money, I mean things can always be better right? I know this because having it all doesn’t exist without sacrifice.
If you don’t know me, I have been a hair stylist for about 6 and a half years now. But the whole time I was pregnant, I wanted to be a stay at home mom. The ideal life for me was play dates and cooking fancy dinners for my family every night. (We’ll talk another time about my misconceptions regarding being a stay at home mom).
Then I thought ahead a few years; If I stay at home while I’m having and raising babies, what happens to my career that I have spent all this time building? I would lose all of my clientele, as well as become rusty on my skills. Hair is a use it or lose it kind of craft. I realized, if I get the life I think I want, I’ll lose this. When I’m ready to work again after the kids are in school, I’ll be starting from scratch.
I then accepted that I was going to have to keep working, only now I could not be satisfied with just working part time, that felt mediocre. I wanted to do bigger things i.e. travel for education, own a business, make more money. I had (have?) big dreams. But I realized the sacrifice there, is time with my kids and husband.
For the record I am in no way saying you can’t or shouldn’t do these things as a mom, I am inspired and impressed by those who do it. However I think they would agree that it’s not without some sacrifices. They miss milestones, and new interests that their kids take up. The majority of their children’s daylight hours during the week are spent with nannies, or Grandma’s. And that is OKAY. Men have always worked and missed some of these things, they still love their children and have great relationships with them. So if you’re a hard working momma, you rock don’t stop!
I’m just recognizing that it’s not a cut and dry decision to become an entrepreneur with small children. I still have to outweigh the pros and cons and decide what is right for our family. What I’m pointing out here is that each path I take to have a life that’s different than the one I have now, has its own sacrifices to consider.
Right now I work 3 days a week at a job where I have a lot of flexibility with my schedule, awesome co workers, and get to be home with my baby the rest of the time. If I can’t be content now, I never will be. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have dreams or try to make changes your life, just make sure they’re for the right reasons.
Here’s what I mean; If I choose to stay at home, for example, because I think it will make me happy, the reality is that there will be days I wish that I was working and hadn’t put my career on hold, or days where it’s just plain hard and I’m not happy at all. However if I am perfectly content with my life right now, and still choose to become a stay at home mom, because I’ve really outweighed the options and know that it is what’s best for our family, I can then be content with that. You see? It’s all about mind set. If you base your happiness on circumstances that will inevitably change with time, you will be left feeling empty, and searching for the next temporary indulgence.
This really applies to anything you guys. Everywhere from spending money, to life’s decisions. If you’re out searching for happiness instead of choosing it right now, I can tell you it’s not out there. It’s inside of you. You have the power to choose joy today.
Maybe you’re still working towards your goals and you’re nowhere near where you want to be, that is okay. Take your time, enjoy the ride, choose Joy.