I have a tendency to live in the someday. And, it has only gotten worse since becoming a mother. Someday I will write that great American novel. Someday I will go to Europe. Someday I will run a half-marathon. Someday I will go to the bathroom uninterrupted.
Over the last eight years, I have spent a lot of hours dreaming of those somedays as I sat in a rocking chair, breastfed my babies, changed their diapers, cleaned the house and made dinner. Again. The thing about those somedays is that they affected my todays because as I was dreaming of something better, I was forgetting that the moments before me were where I needed to be.
You see, one of the struggles I’ve had has been waiting for the kids to grow up and become just a bit more independent, so I could re-enter the world and start tackling that someday agenda. But my mistake has been that I have failed to see that where I was at that moment was exactly where I needed to be.
Last October, my best friend and I traveled to Chicago for an event that has changed and marked my life in more ways than I ever thought possible. We attended the Storyline conference. For three days, I sat at the feet of some very wise and encouraging people–Donald Miller, Bob Goff, Shauna Niequist and Glennon Melton, to name a few.
I went as a writer, wanting to learn more about my craft, but what I didn’t anticipate was how much of what I learned would affect me at my core, and how these words spoken by Shauna would become my mantra:
Do your thing with great love right now.
When I attended the conference, I was in the middle of completing my second novel (the first one will never see the light of day, and that’s okay). I was attending, hoping to be inspired and educated on how to tackle and survive such a big project. When Shauna spoke those words, I first thought of my writing. Leading up to that point, I had been living in the mantra of “be still.” They were words I needed to focus on for that season of my life as I was feeling restless in many areas, but I felt that I needed to stop, breathe and be still for a moment.
The stillness got me through the rest of the first draft of the novel. But those words from Shauna refocused me, not only on my work, but also on my parenting. Too often during these early years, I have counted down milestones, trying to escape to the next season of life. I have wanted to hurry them through the newborn stage, the waking-in-the-middle-of-the-night stage, the terrible twos, the potty training and more. Even as a stay-at-home mom, I have spent so much energy just getting by, waiting and wishing for the somedays.
But as I have focused on Shauna’s words, I have come to realize that while part of my “thing” is my career, part of it is also my children. Not only do I need to do my work with great love, I also need to focus on child rearing with great love. And right now.
To remind me of this, I turned to Etsy. I found a wonderful shop (ClassyCommotion) that took my request and made a custom bracelet for me, so that I can wear my mantra around my wrist to focus me on what I need to do each day. It’s not about someday, but it’s about what I will today because, as Shauna also said:
“You need to omit the word ‘someday’ from your vocabulary. It makes you believe you will be ready ‘someday,’ but you are never totally ready. When you want to start building something, you start it right now. The time we spend justifying our busyness could’ve been spent creating our thing. … Someday is a myth.“
Do I still dream of Europe? Absolutely. While that will have to wait, I’m not going to spend any more time justifying not doing what I’m passionate about. And, I’m not going to let the somedays rob me of the present days with my kids. Someday may be a myth, but when it comes to being a mother, today is where I need to be. And, those uninterrupted bathroom breaks will just have to wait for someday.