Thursday, August 7, 2014

YOLO

I want to live a meaningful Life. Like when I think about that I get excited and it's more important to me than anything else. But then I always forget and instead run errands and obsess about my skin or my eyebrows and think about stupid stuff. And then that pointless emptiness fills me up and I feel like my life has no meaning. And I don't usually know exactly what having a "meaningful life" even means or looks like. You know? So how am I going to achieve it?  Is there a bulleted check list I can follow bit by bit to tell me what to do? Is there such thing as "Universal Meaningful"? I think that's what people like Martin Luther King or Mother Theresa have found. But we all can't be that or do that, I think, think and over think- which then causes me to say- screw it

I think we all have to come up with our own particular brand of meaningful, otherwise our heart just isn't in it. I think we have to be okay with the silence and hopefully our own version of meaningful will come find us. I can look back at my life and realize different times meant different meaningfuls. Some of my meaningfuls were really pathetic says mostly kind of grown up me. I think I've finally found some meaningfuls that feel really good deep in my bones.

It takes a long time to discover your own meaningful.


And I don't want to forget and be too tired or busy and fill life up with scrubbing toilets and getting pedicures and drinking lattes. They aren't real. Not the real I search for and crave. The kind that makes me feel human. The kind that doesn't have to be explained or sold or bought- it just is. I don't even know if I know what real is anymore. And so here I show up, with you and think out loud. I just don't know how to make time to buy groceries and go to the dentist and live a meaningful life. 


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Dr. Seuss


Maybe you are confused too? Maybe meaningful isn't big and sweeping and fixed. Maybe it is daily and kind and quiet and calm and accepting and honest. It may even be confused and broken, but has a willingness to try. A willingness to fail. All my life I've been like a machine, and I've worked hard to add spinners and bells and buttons and get oiled and grow big. For me everything always has to have a purpose, a measurable goal or an end in sight. But lately, maybe over the last year or two I've come completely apart. There are parts of me lying in piles. Some of the parts have been discarded. Some of it was a relief to get rid of and some of the loss made me cry. I trip over myself- a random bolt or screw and I have no idea where to put it back. And although it is confusing and undone, it doesn't feel broken. It feels like I had to break apart to be put back together again. But that's not the goal- being perfect and together again. For now- the non-goal goal is to learn how to lie here gracefully broken while searching for ways to live a meaningful life.

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8 comments:

  1. Love this Chrissy. I think the parts we shed are meant to be shed. Given to us to sacrifice in order to get to a deeper, more meaningful" us. An us that is edited, less cluttered, a truer version of ourselves that grows more beautiful as we shed those outer layers that are, well, less real.

    Oh how I would love to sit and have coffee together again. Big hugs, xo, Wendy

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  2. Lisa from TennesseeAugust 8, 2014 at 5:34 AM

    Hi Chrissy!
    For me, my meaningful is really twofold. The most meaningful is my children. Raising my children to be the mostly happy, healthy, well-adjusted, only slightly dysfunctional mostly adults that they are is my meaningful. Getting up every day and doing the best that I could that day. Was/am I perfect? Hell no. But I'm good enough. There were days (weeks, and months sometimes) that I was convinced I was a rotten parent, not good enough by far. I remember literally crying to a friend that my son was always angry. I think I was afraid he was going to grow up to be a criminal or something. Now, he is 20, and the most laid back, friendliest, give you the shirt off his back guy ever! My youngest is currently at a new school, as a junior/senior (depending on the foreign language requirement!) The school he left had approximately 300 students grades 9-12, so he knew everyone, every teacher, and was even basically friends with the principal. The new school has roughly 3000 students 9-12, so even going there your whole life, you would not know everyone. Every academy has its own principal. Am I doing the right thing for him? I think so, but I honestly don't know. And my only daughter, my oldest child, more or less moved to Tennessee for me. I feel this area has more opportunity for her and her husband than Ohio did, but they moved away from friends and his family. Should I have not encouraged that? So, I still question myself, and Chrissy, I promise you will too, no matter how old Grey and Parker are!
    My other meaningful is the feelings I leave behind in people whose lives I affect. Did I leave them with good feelings or poor ones? That's meaningful to me.
    As for me, I am so very different of a person than I was say 26 years ago when my husband and I first got married. I definitely am a more authentic person now. I feel like I went through stages, and molted like a bird or peeled away layers like an onion. I spent years at times in a skin that wasn't comfortable. It was too tight here, too loose there. And sometimes losing that layer was painful, but necessary. Sometimes, losing that layer was bittersweet. My first instinct is to say we become more authentic as we age, but then I think....I know several adults, older than I, whom I don't see as being very authentic. But I don't live in their souls, walk in their shoes, so maybe they are being authentic to themselves.
    Okay, now I feel like my rambling is losing direction.(or lost it a while ago!) If you made it here, thanks for hanging tough! Have a great day everyone!

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  3. Well Friend, you've done it again. Hit the nail on the head of my discontent. I have been searching for meaningful and so far have come up empty. I LOVE being a Mom, but that isn't my meaningful. And I feel like it makes me a horrible Mom to say that. I think my meaningful is service to others, I just haven't found a meaningful way to incorporate it into my everyday. I feel like at 43 I should have it figured out & be living it. Thank you for letting me know I am not the only one still searching.
    :Lots of love & happiness to you, sweet momma. xoxoxo Jen
    PS - I loved seeing the pictures with your family, looked like a wonderful time <3

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  4. Oh, I so agree. Searching for "meaningful" and feeling restless and unsatisfied in the process. I side with Jennifer, above, in believing service to others is the goal. Why I don't feel that service to my own children fits in with that, I don't know. So many questions and thinking time, as you said... I think I better get a second cup of coffee. ;)
    Peace,
    Susan

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  5. Thank you for this thought space Chrissy - for putting those questions out there - for letting us all sit with uncertainty together and talk about it. I'm in a state of transition - lots of changes are happening and I feel ______. Not sure the right words but unsettled and worried are some words that come to mind.
    But I do have a thought that might be helpful. In the end, it is the people who matter most. So....you can extrapolate that to every encounter you have with people including the person who gives you coffee or does your nails. You can bring meaning to those experiences too just by realizing that you are encountering another soul and seeing them at that level. I'm not saying I do this all the time, by any means, but the opportunity is there. I had an encounter with a repair person recently that I felt was meaningful because of the human connection. I think meaning can be as simple as "namaste" - "the devine light in me recognizes the devine light in you". And for mundane tasks, I suppose we can find meaning if we think meaningful thoughts while doing them. (Ha - I laugh to myself typing that because I so do not do that at all! But I think monks do, right?)
    Bottom line is I'm not sure we have to do "big" things to have a meaningful life - as a Life is Good T-shirt I have says, "The little things in life are the big things." Namaste to you and all the fellow travelers here.

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  6. First of all, let me say thank you for showing me what YOLO means. I had no clue. Does this mean I'm old? Probably. And, I still don't know how to put emojis on my phone - but I digress.

    Meaningful. I think everything we do is meaningful. The toilet scrubbing, the latte drinking, the errands. All of it. The way I choose to look at it is those tasks help to keep our days humming along. Sure, we can change what that looks like if we're not happy with it, but I think choosing to look at all of it as meaningful helps me get through the muck of motherhood (making school lunches, schlepping to and from practices, doctor's appointments, PTA meetings, etc.).

    I just watched a beautiful documentary last night called CONNECTED. I think you'd really like it. The director thinks big, sweeping thoughts and shows us how we're all connected through time and even social media.

    I don't have any answers for you, but want to tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtful posts and questions on life in general. You are a seeker. I used to describe myself as a seeker, but somehow over the past six years of being a stay-at-home mom I feel like I've found what I've been looking for. My community, my kid, my husband, my home, my art. All of it. Every day I try to make something beautiful - be that food for my family or a painting or a rearranged living room. All of it has meaning to me and brings something intangible to my days. Happiness.

    Recently, I've decided to be The Curator of My Life. A silly title I've silently bestowed upon myself, but it's empowered me in a big way. I'm in control and in charge of my day-to-day. I can bring beauty and kindness into our home. I can share little bits of beauty by penning a note to a friend "just because", posting a picture of cut up purple potatoes shaped into a heart on Instagram, picking flowers for my elderly neighbor, thrifting "cool" shirts for my boy. Every simple act is intentional and meaningful.

    I hope I didn't overshare here, but I've missed talking to you. And then I realized I can "talk" to you here!

    You are meaningful to me. xoxo

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    Replies
    1. What sweet, thoughtful- thoughts and ideas. Absolutely something to ponder. I like your fancy and perfect official title. XOXO

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