Lately I have found myself wishing for a crystal ball. Wishing in the same way my seven-year-old-self; eyes tightly shut, finger crossed, lips murmuring please, please, please, wished for a cat in spite of being severely allergic.
In most situations, I have a “go-with-the-flow” type of attitude, but lately, my flow has been going and going and going.
It feels like that flow is just a trickle these days. I’m longing for a little more of “yep, that’s what I expected” and a little less “ooookay, let’s see what we can do with THIS.”
I had always felt my go-with-the-flow was something I was just born with. Then, I had kids, and I realized maybe I’m not as go-with-the-flow as I had hoped. Maybe I’m a little more on the anal-retentive/OCD side of the flow scale. As we journeyed through the typical diapers and sleeplessness and the not-so-typical medical issues, I worked to come to terms with the dichotomy I saw in who I was and who I was becoming as a mom.
I realized I had taken many things for granted.
My go-with-the-flow wasn’t quite a conscious approach to my life as much as it was a fortune of circumstances around me. It’s taken me quite a while to begin a practice of intentionality in my marriage, in my parenting, and in my inner life.
This road toward more intentional living started with my parenting (click here to see how things didn’t go as planned from the start!). I had to make some hard choices about where I would spend my limited amount of energy and mental resources. I had to dispel some of my own myths of what “good parenting” looked like. I had to kick the vision of Super Mom to the curb.
Living with intentionality requires thinking and thinking requires effort, and let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t WANT to think. I’m a huge fan of outcome-based thinking. Before making decisions, I try to first slow down and question myself. What is my desired outcome? What am I looking to get accomplished? Is what I’m doing RIGHT NOW getting me closer to or farther away from my goal?
I ask my kids these questions too. As you can imagine with teenagers, it’s not always a welcomed conversation!
And, if I’m being completely honest, it’s not always a welcomed conversation with myself either.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t completely abandoned spontaneity. I love spur-of-the-moment fun and excitement. I have even come to appreciate some of the unexpected moments in my life – both good and challenging.
Living with intentionality, to me, means living in awareness. Awareness of what you value. Awareness of what you’re willing to let go. Awareness of the beauty in your imperfections and the imperfections of beauty.
Awareness that we are all getting “there”-one small step at a time.