Raise your hand if you’re ready for a reset. Is this a normal thing to feel at the age of 38? Is this my mid-life crisis? We each get one, right? If this is it, does that mean I’m halfway there? Yikes. That’s a scary thought. Maybe being scared by knowing I’m halfway done is a good thing.
I feel like I’ve been very deliberate in structuring my life these last few years around the premise that we don’t get to be here forever. I’ve been taking those trips to remote places of the world, I’ve been savoring the sunshine and fresh air, randomly pulling the kids from school every once in awhile to take them on a 1:1 date with their mama, going on dates of my own – more on that later – and yet, I still don’t feel like I’m running at my peak performance. This is something I talk about in therapy often; I am an achiever. I feel most confident and capable in life when I’m working towards a goal, but even on the precipice of achieving that goal, I’m already trying to figure out what the next one is going to be. This is where I get stuck. What can I achieve next? What's my next goal? Are these goals too big? Too small?
I watched a documentary this weekend called Mission Blue which follows Sylvia Earle’s (my personal idol) lifelong mission to save the oceans. She’s a marine biologist, oceanographer, research scientist, author explorer and overall incredible human being; and she managed to achieve many of these huge accomplishments while raising three kids!! She’s amazing. I want to be Syliva Earle when I grow up – only I’m not realizing I am grown up, and the time to make things happen is now. I’m the only one holding myself back. Being a single mom is a challenge, being a widow is a challenge, being filled with anxiety about the “right” way to do things is a challenge, being nervous about major life changes is a challenge, and yet… the idea of dying and not having lived life to my fullest potential is a bigger challenge than any of those.
I think we get used to how things “should” be or “should” look. The house, the car, the kids, school, friends, work, shopping, playdates, etc. know I do.. it’s how I grew up and how I’m watching my friends raise their kids, but what if we reset things a little and think about how things “could” look? What if I found a way to rent out my house and move the kids to Costa Rica, or Honduras, or Greece for a year to work in/near/on the ocean? What if we homeschooled and sailed around Central America for a year? It would be challenging to work through the logistics of renting my house, figuring out visa’s, finding a job in animal/ocean conservation, finding a nanny for my kids, figuring out their schooling, etc… but wouldn’t that be amazing to have had that as a part of our life experience? Why would we not? I watch families sail across the ocean with their kids, I watch families move to regions of the world some of us have never even heard of, they've somehow found a way and I need to not let my specific circumstances/challenges prohibit me from doing it as well. I want to teach my kids that if you can dream, you can achieve – but we are the only ones who can make that happen for ourselves. It’s up to us.
Is anyone else in this boat? Ready to make some big moves, but understanding there are some big challenges associated with big moves? I think I’m about ready to hit that reset button. If this is the halfway point, this means it’s time to start dreaming bigger.