I spend way too much time wondering (and worrying) if I am living my "purpose."
We all have one, right?
I mean, my kids and I just finished watching "A Dog's Purpose," and I, like the pup, Bailey, regularly question what it is I am doing with my life, and if that's even what I should be doing.
What is the purpose of marriage, motherhood, and work?
And, is it really possible to exceed at all three at the same time?
Similar to Bailey, I occasionally find myself meandering through my days questioning whether this chaotic, confusing, sometimes sad, but ultimately fulfilling life is my purpose or whether I was put on this Earth to do more.
Am I here to be a soulmate to another?
Am I here to raise rambunctious little people into calm, secure, successful adults?
Should I be focusing more on my work as a writer and speaker, and expend all of my energy on attempting to entertain and perhaps inspire the masses?
Or, am I here for me, and should I be concentrating on self-care and tending to my plethora of needs?
What usually ends up happening is that when I start to ponder these somewhat existential questions, I typically find my answer through simply living -- just like Bailey did.
While I think it's important for people to have daily, weekly, monthly (whatever works for you) "check-ins" with yourself where you contemplate your values, passions, desires, needs, etc., it's highly likely you won't find a direct answer without just "doing life" as it comes, and taking into your being every experience and interaction you have.
Most of us have a busy life; some by choice, others not so much.
Most of us feel challenged; by others, ourselves, our bosses, partners, children and so on.
And, I would venture to contend that the majority of us are feeling quite exhausted as we anxiously putz through our jampacked days.
But, here's the thing --
After a few lives, Bailey started to understand a couple of things, and one thing he concluded is that his whole life's purpose is to love his companion and just "be" with him, to make him happy.
He realized that, ultimately, the only job of "a good dog" is to stay with the one that you love and remain by their side no matter what course their life might take.
Quite simply, he found his purpose to be -- loving (more than anything in the whole world) those who love us.
So what about this --
What if our most important purpose, as women, wives, mothers, and members of the human race, is to take care of ourselves and others, in whatever capacity feels right for each of us, accepting that such may look different each day?
What if the best directive we can follow, not merely to survive this life, but to thrive in it, is to stop putting unnecessary pressure on ourselves, cease the worrying and lead with kindness and love?
I hear you that there's "real work" that needs to get done, and that you've got client's and deadlines, I know.
But, if you ever have to decide between work and family, choose family.
I hear you that the dishes, laundry, and housecleaning need to get done and that you cannot neglect those chores just because they don't bring you joy.
But, if you ever have to decide between chores and family, choose family.
I hear you that it's hard to recognize that compassion is the answer when you and your partner are in a spat.
But, if you ever have to decide between holding a grudge and family, choose family.
And, please hear this -- because it is something I need to remind myself of pretty regularly --
Life is not a guarantee.
And, I know this, because my father was spontaneously taken from me, my siblings, his family, friends, and this Earth at the young age of fifty-five.
We like to think that there is plenty of time to "find our purpose," but your purpose here is not to break your back, the bank, and your brain trying to find the formula for, and keep up with a challenge-less, predictable "perfect life."
Do you want to know your purpose?
It's to live in a way that keeps YOUR heart beating.
It's to live in such a way that keep's your heart beating FOR those that you love.
It's to live in a way that makes you FEEL.
It's to live in a way that allows you to make others feel GOOD.
It's to live in a way that we are continually engaging in introspection.
Our purpose, it's the same as Bailey's, and the ultimate job of "a good human," is to stay untuned with the ones that we love (including ourselves) and to remain by their side no matter what course our lives might take.
So, while I have an immense amount of laundry waiting to be done, dishes that need be loaded into and out of the dishwasher, a floor that needs vacuuming, toilets that need to be cleaned, rooms that need tidying, articles that need to be written and food that needs to be cooked, I am going to forgo it all in the name of quality time with my tykes this afternoon.
And, I can do that, without guilt, because I am the one that decides my daily purpose and today, I don't choose housework, work work, or self-work.
Nope, I choose my kids, and I'm pretty sure Bailey would think fondly of my choice.