I thoroughly enjoyed watching TED Talks from time to time, and this one by Meg Jay: Why 30 Is Not The New 20 made a big impression on me.
It had a big impact because I have 4 children who I’d love to see capitalize on their 20s and not waste them. Because I probably missed some great opportunities and used poor judgment during that time in my life. It had a big impact on me because not everyone gets to decide what they will do with their 20s (or 30s, or 40s, etc.). Some don’t live that long. I believe that every decade counts. Actually, I believe that every day counts. It is easy to sleepwalk through life and suddenly our children are grown, and we wonder where the time has gone. It’s not as if we can rewind the clock but we can “wake up.”
When we wake up time does seem to slow down.
Life becomes more enjoyable and intentional. We are able to enjoy the moments and the days. We are able to live with purpose. We are able to reinvent ourselves if we choose to. We are able to spend time with people we love (and enjoy), doing what we love – we can even choose to do work we love.
In my 20s and 30s I was so busy getting married, creating a home, starting a family and raising my children that I lost sight of who I was and what I really loved. Yes, I was a wife and mom and I loved that, but I completely lost sight of ME. Who are we outside of our roles, anyway? Think about it. Try to describe yourself without saying what you do for others or who you are to others. For example: I am Andrea. I am a mom of 4 incredible boys. I love my family. I love my work. But who AM I? I am a woman who loves being at the ocean, and dancing. I love laughing and listening to music, especially live. I love seeing plays and going to the ballet and symphony – watching people live their passion inspires me deeply. I enjoy quiet time alone. I love nature. The wind and the water speak to me. I appreciate my body. I am learning to love myself more. I love to learn. I know how to become present and in those moments I feel truly grateful for my life. My life has had ups and downs and I am thankful that I have learned that it is all good. Newborn babies are amazing to me and I have a strong, empathic connection with children and I love families. I love architecture and design and homemaking is a passion. I love great food and celebrations. I love being adventurous and playful. I am learning to rest and relax and have fun more. I love gardens, the stars, landscapes and historic homes. I know where I come from and where I will return to when my story ends. I love God. I value freedom, honesty and connection. I find great peace and inspiration in beauty… I could go on but you get the point.
Take 5 minutes today and answer the question, “Who am I?” without describing your roles or what you do for others.
This is the essence of who you really are. See if you can incorporate more of who you are into your everyday life. Whether you are 20 or 30, 40, 50, 70 or 90, or any age before, after or in between, at any age and any stage this activity will improve the quality of your life immensely. Who are you? Today is your day.