I feel a buzz of anticipation in my life. Some of it comes from goals I am looking forward to accomplishing. Some of it comes from major life milestones being realized. Some of it comes from knowing exactly what I want to do with my life.
There are 5 things in particular:
1. Running my first full marathon in 2012
I tried (and failed) last year because I was stupid about training. Not next year! I will train smart and I will cross the finish line! (Which marathon is TBD.)
2. Moving back to Minnesota (in 2013?)
As we were driving home from our Minnesota vacation, Travis and I started talking about seriously moving back to Minnesota. We thought about what we would need to do to our house to make it sellable, where he would look for jobs, what cities we would be interested in moving to, when we would shoot to move (anytime but the winter!), etc. These practical considerations made the idea so much more real and got us both really excited. While we love Colorado, our hearts belong to Minnesota (and to our families).
I most look forward to seeing our family more than twice a year and even seeing our extended family on a more regular basis (instead of every 3-4 years!). These also have me excited: seeing more fall colors than just green and yellow; spending time on the lakes; having a bigger yard for the dogs to run around in; and watching lots and lots of hockey games.
3. Getting pregnant (in 2012?)
Starting a family has been one of those things that over the years, Travis and I have continued to put off, saying, “It’ll be a few more years.” At that rate, I’d be 40 before we’d have our first! Since we are in agreement about wanting at least 3 kids, age 35 marks the start of high risk pregnancies, and I just turned 28 in July, I told Travis it’s getting to be “about that time.” So we are tentatively planning to start trying in July 2012 and who knows from there?
Along with that…
4. Being a mother (in 2013?)
I don’t know how long it will take us to get pregnant but this would be the ideal timeline. Then, I’d be having our first child at 30. Which is old enough, I say.
Having kids feels like the last real step in becoming an adult. Even though I am 28, I don’t feel 28. Sometimes, I’m still shocked that we own a house, we’ve been married for over 4 years, I have a well-paying job, and I am old enough to be a mother (and have been for some time). Some day, I could be entrusted with a kid of my own (here’s asking God!). It boggles the mind.
As a mother, I am hoping to either stay home full-time or work only part-time. My mom had the privilege (and yes, I consider it a privilege because not every family can afford it!) of doing this when I was growing up and I have so many great memories of being with her all day, every day.
5. Being a published author (in ????)
Being back in a 9-to-5 in corporate America definitely has its perks. And for the most part, I enjoy what I’m doing (regardless of the fact that I’m crawling the walls with boredom). But it’s not what I really want to do. I’ve had countless conversations with my mom about this. She’s offered me many helpful ideas that I’ve seriously thought about. But none of them seem to be it.
Then I listened to the audio book of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. He wrote (read?) something like, “When you find what you’re really supposed to be doing, you’ll encounter resistance.” That is exactly how I feel about writing. Anyone who has read my blog from the beginning (I am probably the only one ) knows that I have always wanted to write, but have continued to listen to the doubts, the fears, and the reasons why I will never be a published author.
But if you asked me, “If you could do anything with your life, what would you do?” The answer hands-down, 24 x 7, no doubt in my mind: “I’d write.” And not just write anything (because as a copywriter, I am currently writing for a living). But write about what I feel passionate about, what I feel like God has given to me to tell to the world — which happens to be mostly about my life and the lessons I’ve learned.
Yes, I’ve struggled with the whole “That sounds really vain” objection. Who cares about my life? Who am I to say that I’ve learned enough to teach others? But I can’t escape the fact that writing is my passion and so is God, faith, and what I’ve learned from making SO MANY mistakes. I honestly believe that God has given me this desire and my writing material, and I have to step out in faith to pursue the dream He’s inspired.
So what’s different this time? How am I going to overcome the tendency I have to get wrapped up in the busyness of life, push writing to the side and say, “Yeah, I still want to write but I just don’t have time.” Well, self, I have news for you:
If you don’t make time, you’ll never find time.
And if you don’t find time, you will never be an author. An author, by definition, writes.
Are you really willing to compromise your dream in order to do the dishes? Are you really willing to long for this aspiration to come to fruition but never work for it? Are you willing to put hours upon hours of training into a race that is done in 2 hours instead of investing in what could become your career?
This is life fulfillment we’re talking about here.
The reason why you were put here on this earth, the person you were created to be.
Don’t you dare take this lightly.
I am done with making excuses, with being half-heartedly invested in writing. I don’t care if I get published by Crossway. Or Doubleday. I don’t care if I have to self-publish or print on demand. I don’t care if I only make an e-book and sell it for $.99 to Kindle users. The bottom line is, I need to take my writing ambitions seriously. Because if I don’t, no one else will. And I will continue to gaze through the misty cloud of future hopes, wishing I could be a writer.
And I have a plan. Once triathlon training is done and I have 4-5 more hours a week, I am going to write. I am going to determine a set time, most likely in the morning when I’m most apt to stick with it, and sit down and force myself to write for at least 15 minutes. This is great advice for writers. Don’t wait until the inspiration hits you. Write now. Even if it’s crap (which it probably will be). Eventually, something good will come out of you.
Another great piece of advice I’ve heard (that I might even frame and hang up at my desk) is this:
The Secret to Success: Disconnect Yourself from the Outcome
Writer’s block often comes from worrying that what you write will be crap, no one will read it, and you’ll just be a writer wannabe. This happened to me when I was working on my book at the beginning of this year. I was too concerned about the outcome to focus on the process. So I just need to let it go, trusting that God will help me write my best.
So here’s my BHAG (Big hairy audacious goal):
Be done writing my book on walking by the Spirit by the end of this calendar year.
There will be more on this once my Olympic triathlon is over (just a little over a week left!).
Of course, in the midst of all these exciting goals or milestones, I recognize that God is the one in control of my life and that any one of these things could not happen, or happen differently than I am anticipating right now. But this is my assurance through it all:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
What are you looking forward to over the next couple of years? Any big life changes or BHAGs?