It all started with a bolt from the blue, “Why didn’t you take care of yourself?” “Me! Did I have the time? I was meticulously taking care of everyone around me, including you.”, I fought back tears. It set me thinking. I never had time for myself. Maybe I never prioritized my needs, let alone dreams and wishes. I’m sure my thoughts will resonate with many. So when did the shift happen? From chasing butterflies … to chasing dreams … to stereotyping ourselves under various roles that life thrust on us?
your roles do not define you
The roles you play in life do not define you. Life is precious. Do we give it our due respect? Can we treat as separate, the lucrative labels attached to us, and who we actually are? Sometimes our loved ones, and sometimes absolute strangers, attach these labels. Judgments such as “sweet”, “gentle”, and “caring” stick to us for life. I might sound blunt, but do you face situations where an event or people around you demand you to be firm or act differently from the people’s expectations we carry? Yet you take it all with a pinch of salt because you want to be a “good mom” or a “good homemaker” or a “good employee”. Remember, it’s just a trap to reduce the burden of people around you and increase yours. Your life is your life.
Live your life until the last breath. Completely and fully. Your dreams are personal, and no labels must come between you and your dreams. How do you reconnect with your choicest dream? Sometimes they are evident. Other times, they need to be dug out from the forgotten past.
The first step could be to make a list of all your wishes and dreams say once in a month and chalk out a strategy to inch towards the ones that tug on your heart the most. I know, saying it is easier. Who has the time? But remember, you have only one life.
Identify what matters Most
To identify the dreams closest to you, try to travel back to an age when you were not bothered by how others perceived you. Maybe when you were 6 or 7? Try to remember what you absolutely loved doing then. Maybe it will guide you towards the dreams hidden well below the mountain of responsibilities.
You can easily identify them by the feeling of lightness that you experience or the smile that travels up your lips when you think about it. Aha! That must certainly be a wish to be given your time and energy.
find the time
Once you identify your passions, fix a time slot to pursue them. I restarted learning vocal music at 45 to connect with myself. Dedicate any amount of time; half an hour a day, alternate days; even once a week. But do it diligently. You will surely feel a whiff of positive energy and would eagerly look forward to the part of the day. It will break the monotony and maybe even drive away your blues. Gradually, increase the allotted time and juggle your passion with the absolutely necessary tasks.
Re-prioritize some of your chores to fall into the category of being done once or twice a week so that you get more time to pursue what you always loved to do. Try it. Gradually, it becomes a self-sustainable habit that would help you inch towards your desired dream.
Take the first step today and search for yourself. The adorable, unique creation of God, who was born to do something that only he/she would do and become. Let me know how and which wish you dug out from the dusty trunk of the past, how you promised to do justice to it, and what difference did it make in your life?