Everyone has their dreams when they’re younger. My dreams? I wanted to be President of the United States. I wanted to make a difference and change the world. Instead, I became a teenage bride at 19, had my first child at 25, and proceeded to have four more kids over the next nine years. Don’t get me wrong, being a Mom is great. In fact, being a Mom to my five kids has brought me more happiness than anything else in the world.
However, I always thought I would do something more with my life…BE something more. Hold on–I know what you’re thinking. Being a Mom is enough. Of course, it is. But growing up, I had always wanted to be more than “just” a Mom. I wanted to live my dreams and ALSO raise great kids. However, when you’re busy changing diapers, driving carpool, and attending soccer games, it’s easy to lose yourself. Eventually, your kids’ dreams take center stage and you forget you ever had any of your own.
I come by this honestly. I’m the second oldest of seven kids with a Mom who has spent most of her life happily cheering us on in the pursuit of our dreams. That’s just what Moms do.
So, while I raised my five kids, I did what my mom did, my grandmother did, and what my great-grandmother did. I put my dreams on a shelf and forgot about them. During those early years, I remember thinking that if I tried to live my dreams, I couldn’t also be a good wife and mother. I would be distracted. So, I decided to be the best wife and mother I could be, and that would be enough.
Things were going according to plan when, after nearly 25 years of marriage, my husband filed for divorce and I became a single Mom. I soon found myself looking for a job, feeling scared, and wondering how my happy life could have been turned upside down so quickly. Suddenly and unexpectedly, my life had become Skiwampus.
ski·wam·pus | \ ˈskiwämpəs also ˈwȯm- \
1. Not in alignment or traveling off course
My grandmother used to say things were “Skiwampus” when life seemed a little “off.” It was her way of saying that things would be okay without actually stressing about it. After my divorce, Skiwampus came to mean so much more to me than just feeling a little “off”.
When things feel “off,” our natural instinct is to fix it. We want to make everything “right”. We want to believe that, somehow, we can control the situation. In reality, often life just happens to us. We can’t control everything and, more importantly, we can’t control other people who turn our lives upside down.
So, when difficult, unexpected things happens to us, we need to LET IT GO. We need to just accept that sometimes, things are going to be Skiwampus.
When you let go, you create space for better things to come into your life.
Letting go isn’t an easy thing to do. We still want to fix the situation because it makes us feel better. Inaction feels like failure. However, when we learn to let go of the things we can’t control, we create space for better things to come into our life.
If my life had never become Skiwampus, I never would have gone back to school and gotten my MBA. I never would have gotten my job in sports marketing and worked with famous athletes. I never would have written an article for Silicon Slopes Magazine. And I never would have gotten my job in tech. If I hadn’t learned to let go of the things I couldn’t control, I would have missed out on so many amazing experiences.
I never dreamed I’d be a single Mom. I never dreamed I’d go back to work full time with my kids still at home. I never dreamed I’d be navigating the world of online dating. But life isn’t always what we dreamed it would be.
What dreams haven’t you pursued? Why not?