I’m on the airplane right now, flying home from a weekend away with some girlfriends. The type of weekend that you can make a million excuses for why you shouldn’t go – your kids, your work, your home, your routine, your sleep, your health. But then you go and the weekend is filled with incredible conversations, feedback, trust, realizations and you fill your cup in more ways than originally intended. I for one live in a constant state of “this or that”. Weighing the opportunity costs if I choose to go one route and avoiding things that take away from my routine and ultimately, my control. But lately I’m seeing and feeling this freeing experience of just NOT considering one or the other. Instead, letting opportunities be what they are instead of worrying what that means for something else. It’s funny at 36 I feel like I’ve already lived so many phases of who I am (with hopefully many more to come) – from childhood, to adult years, to marriage, to motherhood, to moving. I’m learning so much about who I am, how I process and handle things, how I choose to react or enjoy or appreciate moments with each new phase of life. I feel like I’ve entered a phase of patience and appreciation for the process and it is a good phase to be in.
It is really incredible to have a group of friends where you feel 100% safe with having open conversations. It can be about nothing but having someone validate your thoughts, provide feedback, push you to better yourself or help you strategize something on your mind. It’s in those moments I gain confidence in myself and my choices. This short weekend, that I was anxious to commit to because of busy schedules, fuels me as a mom, a daughter, a friend, a business owner and a human. I give myself to each of these versions of myself every single day and they all demand certain fuel. Let’s call these my 5 pillars…
The mother – balancing life and the home, managing emotions of 3 kids, keeping spirits high and feeling all the things for our entire family. Constantly making sure that they feel loved and cared for.
The daughter – the awareness of time and age, supporting my siblings, checking in on my parents and constantly making sure I show the importance of communication and love for my family.
The friend – committing to new friendships, communication, checking in, giving your time, creating community, building a foundation of family in a new place.
The business owner – pushing myself to be better, creating community, providing influence that matters, managing a team, being creative, trying new things, providing for our family, building a sustainable brand, staying relevant, keeping you engaged.
The human – checking in with myself, self-care, positive self-talk, doing good for my body, taking care of myself for my family.
All of these 5 versions of myself have to be taken care of every day. Somedays it means turning off other obligations because a girls’ trip will feed two versions of myself. Sometimes it means stepping into my motherhood and letting go of the rest. I’m learning that each version of myself demands something different and sometimes that means neglecting something else. And that is ok! It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It doesn’t mean you care less about another version of yourself. There is no opportunity cost for nurturing your life and those around it. It’s the process and the experience of LIVING.
I swear I write these posts with no real intention of where they are going to go. The title “learning as we go” was written on my notepad two weeks ago, which I usually do when something pops into my head and I don’t want to forget it. I have a running list and certain titles sort of swirl around in my mind for a period of time until I figure out what they mean. I think we are often on this journey of “figuring it out” and there is no ultimate answer. There is not one or the other, it’s just the next right thing for what you need, what your family needs, etc. Maybe tomorrow it looks different, but I’m learning that by choosing one doesn’t mean you’re abandoning another. It means you’re living and experiencing and choosing. And that’s everything. I write these posts almost as a little note to myself – a way to keep pace on how I’m feeling at certain phases. A way to tell myself, you’re doing good, Liz.
I do this thing where I think about myself as a little girl and then as an older lady. I think about what is really important to me and then writing this post leads me to these pillars. What I know existed in me as a child and what I know will be what I’m most proud of at the end of my life are these 5 versions of me. I encourage you to find yours. Maybe they are the same, maybe they are different. Maybe you have one pillar and maybe you have ten. But learning to nurture each of these versions of myself is important. Learning as I go means committing to the process, even if certain phases feel hard in the moment. They are all part of our journey.