How to Be a Big Deal and Enjoy It
This post was originally published at KristiAndrus.com, and is reproduced in full with permission.
Wine, Charcuterie, and Great Conversation
Last night, I hosted a group of women for wine, charcuterie, and great conversation. It brought me back to my first year of college because I remember thinking how lucky I was to meet so many friends in the dorms. And now, it’s happened again, right in my neighborhood.
We are from different locations, with kids of different ages, and have different careers, but it works. And one of the reasons it works is because we can share our stories and experiences to lighten each other’s load.
The casual observations that moms make become tidbits passed along to make life better.
- “Don’t wait to sign up for that extracurricular because there are only 12 spots.”
- “Add a pinch of sea salt and cumin to really bring out the flavor.”
- “Try the nail place over by the high school. They do an amazing job for half the price.”
- “I saw a Labor Day deal on laptops at Costco, but if you don’t go before Saturday, they’ll sell out.”
- “When my kids were at that stage, I didn’t think we would survive it either, but looking back, I realize it only lasted a few months.”
When someone has been in our shoes or can empathize with what we are going through, it makes us feel less alone. It also gives us hope that we will be okay and there is more to look forward to.
But hope is only part of the equation. Wishing to be younger or older, for the kids to stop doing something or start doing something else, for your job to pay more or to work less diminishes the present.
If you can take even five minutes a day to savor the moment, to anticipate what’s coming and give thanks for what is, but then breathe and focus on right now for five whole minutes, you’ll more clearly see the beauty, opportunities, wisdom, growth, and possibilities of today.
For example, we talked last night about vibrancy while aging. It feels good to love where you are, to stop obsessing about a number, and to focus on appreciating new gifts while prioritizing familiar favorites.
When juggling work and life, family and health, and the many multidimensional aspects of who you are and what you love, it can feel like you never make significant traction in any direction. But if that rings true for you, here’s a chance to look at it differently.
A Typical Terrific Tuesday
Picture a day in your life last week. Think about what you did, where you were, and who you were with. Let’s say it was Tuesday, and you woke up at home, took the dog for a walk, made breakfast for your family, participated in a board meeting, worked out, watched an online training, hosted a Zoom call, stopped by the grocery store, squeezed in a dentist appointment, picked up the kids after school, chauffeured them to their after school events, stopped by the library, made dinner, and spent a little time in the garden before bed — a busy Tuesday.
Nothing earth-shattering, right?
Except it is!
- You probably wished for a family once, and now you have one. Maybe you struggled with fertility issues, had a bad relationship before you found the one, or had some childhood trauma to heal before you could become the amazing mom you are today.
- You probably wished for a dog once, and now you have one. Maybe growing up, your brother was allergic, your parents had a cat, or your apartment didn’t allow one.
- You probably wished for a home once, and now you have one. You figured out how to earn and save for that down payment, looked at houses, and walked neighborhoods, noting schools, parks, and quality of life rankings. You learned about interest rates, mortgages, and now you have a realtor, painter, and handyman in your contacts.
Do you see where I’m going with all this? The things on your To-Do list may not feel like a big deal, and it may not feel like you are still making evolutionary leaps, but you are!
- You know how to plan meals for nutrition and to satisfy your family. You are involved in community organizations that impact the well-being of people you care about. You are an expert in your field who shares her wisdom regularly. You connect personally and professionally and spread a little sunshine when you do.
- You know which stores have the best deals and get new shipments on what days and how to save money on grocery and cell phone bills. You have even started flossing regularly!
- You read a book a week, keep a shared calendar that organizes the activities for a family of 3, 4, 5, or more with military precision, and you are growing tomatoes, arugula, and edamame.
You, my friend, are a big deal.
A big title, a big house, a fancy car, and a million followers are vanity metrics. Start measuring what matters to you and pay attention to the good fortune of the moment. Even if it’s not that exciting or feels a little like Groundhog Day, even if you are in the thick of it, all it takes to reframe how freaking good life is is to thank yourself for doing what you do.
Thank you for being the Uber Mom, booking the checkups six months out, remembering who wants to wear what on Friday (and making sure it’s clean), and crushing that last project at work.
If you’d like to learn more about joining a community of people committed to being a big deal while enjoying it all, click here.