When my boys were younger, and I was in the heyday of my fulltime mom years, I drove an SUV. A huge 7-seater Suburban. And I put about 30,000 miles a year on that thing, carting my kids and their friends and all their gear to football and wrestling and taekwondo and band events.
Now that they’re either out on their own or off at University, and my daughter is the only one still at home, I drive a manual 6-speed, 427 horsepower Camaro.
And I LOVE it!
I was dropping off my daughter at school one morning, and one of the teachers was at the door greeting the kids as they walked in. She leaned down and said to me, “I want a car like this when I grow up.”
We both laughed because she’s about my age, maybe in her 50’s
And I told her “Me, too!”, meaning I’ve got the car, but I haven’t grown up yet.
As I drove away that morning, I kept thinking about her comment, and how it was really apropos to the work that I do, helping soon-to-be and empty nest moms rediscover themselves and revive their dreams.
You see, even though she was kidding around, somewhere deep inside, she has a desire for something that the sports car represents. It may not even be the car itself (it rarely is). More likely, it’s about the freedom and the fun and maybe even the rebellion of it.
Somewhere along the way, she convinced herself that she either COULDN’T or SHOULDN’T drive a sportscar.
And isn’t that just what we do??
We have a dream of something when we’re young. Something we want to have or be or do. And then we have kids, which might be one of those dreams, right? To be an amazing Mom, and pour our heart and soul into raising these beautiful people we’ve been blessed with.
But there are other dreams, too. Like,
And somewhere along the way, we convince ourselves that we CAN’T or SHOULDN’T do those things, or have those things, or BE those things.
Now, by itself, one little forgotten dream won’t necessarily have a huge impact on us.
But… if we develop a habit of doing that, of discarding our dreams as being frivolous, or illogical, or worse, INAPPROPRIATE…
We can reach a point in life where we start to feel “invisible”, or like something’s missing but we don’t know what it is, or even feel a sense of disappointment or disenchantment about life in general.
This doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a habit that creeps up on us, one thought at a time. We think things like,
Well, what some would call a midlife crisis… I’d call a Midlife celebration!
Seriously, isn’t it time to stop worrying about what other people might think, or heaven forbid, what’s APPROPRIATE? I mean, who gets to decide THAT?
Isn’t it time to begin pursuing those dreams you set aside while you were raising your family?
So what if backpacking around Europe no longer appeals to you? Is there a part of you that would still like to travel there?
So what if you’re no longer interested in being a world famous singer? Is there a part of you that would love to sing anyway?
So what if your friends think you’ve lost your mind when you show up to your next get-together in a convertible Camaro? Is that really the goal of life – to make as many people as possible see you as sane and rational?
Are you aiming for your tombstone to say “She Followed the Rules”?
In all honesty, it doesn’t take drastic measures like chucking your job and backpacking Europe for a year, to start feeling like yourself again.
You can take baby steps towards reviving these little dreams, these little desires, and experience profound fulfillment and joy.
Or take giant leaps if you want.
After all, what are you waiting for?
So here’s a tip…
Sit down with a journal or piece of paper and write
If you have trouble with it, think back to when you were a kid and what you dreamed of doing, having or being when you grew up. Our unfiltered childhood thoughts can often help us get out of our own way and remember who we truly are on the inside, without all those pressures and expectations we acquire later on in life.
But just write down those 15 things.
Over the next week, give some thought to whichever one feels the most exciting to you, and take at least 1 step towards making that dream come true.
Listen, there is NO BETTER time than right now to show up as the real you, in all your quirky, unique, and brilliant glory.
It’s YOUR time.
Whatever you dreamed of being, having, or doing when you grew up; that dream (you’ll know the one) is whispering to you right now – it’s time to be it, have it or do it.
We’ll see you soon!