Have you ever wondered if you are doing enough?
Do you feel the pressure to do all the next things, until you are exhausted and totally confused?
I had never felt the pressure as much as I did when I entered my empty nesting years and then … I became a Grandma …
I thought these years would be full of freedom, clarity, a peace moving forward, and confidence moving forward.
Yet … I find that these days can be full of less confidence than ever.
I have wondered if I am enough and if I am doing enough.
I wonder if the kids like coming here enough? Am I nice enough? Am I smart enough to do what I want to do? Can I even do what I would most like to do? The questions can fill my mind as I move throughout my day, but especially as I lay my head down and go to sleep.
In all the talk of being your “best you” sometimes we can try and our “best everybody”.
We can put alot of pressure on ourselves to be:
The best grandma.
The best mom.
The best wife.
The best neighbour.
The best friend.
And we become more confused, fearlful, and lack more confidence than ever.
Great post so far, but what do I do about it, you ask.
To be our “best you” we need to know who that is.
Do you know who you want to be?
Who your best you is?
The problem begins when we are trying to be everyone’s best instead of our own. Trick is, we can’t be anyone else’s best. We can only own the gifts and talents we have been created with.
We will not understand anyone else’s thoughts or choices completely, and we shouldn’t, because they are not our unique values and priorities.
I heard NHL legend Gordon Howe’s son, Murray Howe, speak a few years ago and have not forgotten his words, “Know your own self-worth. God made you a specific way for a specific purpose. You don’t have to be Gordie Howe to be great, you just need to own your own unique talents and passions.”
Those words have continued to remind me that I was made on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose. My purpose is my purpose and no one else’s, and I don’t need to own theirs.
What does that mean on a day to day basis?
It means we get super clear on who we were created to be and own that.
We stop trying to be who we “think” we should be and just be our best wherever we are.
If we are a young Mom at home, a Mom with school age kids trying to balance school activities and a full working schedule, a Mom setting her kids up at university, a daughter trying to balance work and assisting parents, a friend trying to be supportive and understanding, or an empty nester looking towards retirement, we need to gain the clarity that will build the confidence to choice by choice be our best “us”.
As a young Mom I spent so much time trying so hard to be everyone else. I mean, other Moms were exercising, having people over, keeping their houses beautiful, their kids were sleeping through the night, and on and on and on. It can become endless.
Now I can look back and would encourage those young Moms to see how important just being a Mom is.
I would tell them that all the “ordinary” (because I don’t think any of it is ordinary, it just feels ordinary) in their days is more important than they will ever know. It is the most important thing they could do. If I could help them know how they were made to be the Mom they are, and not the other Moms they see for a few hours a day or on social media.
Funny thing though, we do the same thing as empty nesters.
We wonder if what we are doing is enough, and feel the confusion of what is next and if we are on the right path.
And the same thing applies.
We are not meant to be anyone else.
We don’t need to be what we “see” others being and doing on social media, on tv, or around us. Truth is, we only see what they let us see. We never have their big picture, we just have our small frame.
When we get super clear on who we want to show up as, what our foundational core values are, and the things that we have a passion for, then we begin to see how we can show up as our best … and no one else’s.
The next steps? Well there is no right or wrong steps, but rather one choice at a time that aligns with who you want to show up as.
I want to show up and love radically with grace. Not “fair” love, or expected and logical love. Radical love. The supernatural kind of love, that is beyond me on my own. The kind of love that helps others be their best as well.
As an empty nester, when I apply that to my daily decisions, to my family and friend relationships, and to my interaction with others, then I begin to show up in a way that reflects the clarity of who I was made to be. My step by step movement builds the confidence, because I begin to realize that I may not do it perfectly, but I can do it step by step.
Before long, there is a beautiful staircase of steps that reflects the beauty of who we were made to be.
We wonder if we are enough, doing enough, being enough, because we are looking in the wrong place.
When we realize that we are created on purpose, with purpose, and for a purpose, we begin to live out of that.
We can own that.