I read an excerpt from Jon Acuff’s book Start yesterday, and loved it so much that I felt the need to share it here. I also shared it with my husband, who said in response, “every father of small children should read this.”
Honestly, I felt Acuff’s opinion and advice in the excerpt was very closely aligned with the opinion I expressed yesterday in my Sojourner’s post.
In both pieces, the relevant point is: follow your dreams and desires in a way that is honest about and honoring of the life you’ve been given.
Sometimes that is very, very hard.
This last Sunday, I woke up in a decent enough mood, but after being up for 3 hours with 2 cranky kids by myself while the other adults in the house slept (they really needed the rest!) and the pinched nerve in my shoulder got so bad I could barely lift the baby, I had had it. I felt like I would never again:
play in the sunshine
ride a bike
hang out with friends
write uninterrupted, and without guilt
watch my ONE weekly show again in peace
have quality time with my husband
And so, truth be told, I spent quite a bit of time crying in the shower that morning.
But, in addition to the two little kids, I also have a 16-year-old, so I know for a fact none of the above things are true. When my 16-year-old was young, I felt the same way — that I would never get to be “me” again. But then he grew older, time expanded a bit, and magically, pieces of my life once more became my own.
It’s very difficult to be patient and wait for that moment of “rebirth” into my own personality and desires. It’s even harder to see the calendar pages keep turning and realize I’m still not in the physical shape I’d hoped to be in by now, or have the level of job I assumed I would have by my mid-thirties. To think: I’m not getting any younger, and that If I can’t do this NOW, when can I do it?
Maybe the hard truth is that the answer is “never.” But I don’t think so. As Acuff writes, “Be honest about your present and turn it into a friend.” In other words, embrace who you are, not who you thought you would be, and turn that into something awesome. Once we stop fighting who and where we really are, the doors will open and we’ll find that any number of things are possible.