After spending 10 days in California this past November with my sweet Grandmother, I was able to be refreshed and rejuvenated, which was much needed and long overdue. I didn't realize how important it was for me as a mother and wife, to have time to myself to be refreshed. It was the first trip that I had taken away from my four beautiful children and sweet hubby since we married in 1996. During this time away, I was able to spend most of my evenings in the quiet and I spent a lot of much needed time with my Lord. When I came home from this trip, I felt so different in a way that I never expected. All of the worries that I carried day to day, didn't seem to bother me when I returned home. Something else that touched me during my trip was that I was able to reconnect with two old friends. One of the friends I hadn't seen since 1995, which was also the year my hubby and I met. Neither one of us was married at that point. But many things have changed now, because we are both married and have 4 children. It was so great to sit and reconnect for 5-6 hours, as if no time had passed. It was the two friends that I reconnected with, which showed me how important friends really are in our lives.
In the last week or so, we started back to homeschooling. It was really nice having the break during the Christmas season, but once again some of my overwhelmed feelings have returned. After reading a post on Facebook a few days ago, from Kristi, who was an old friend in high school, I became inspired. The post was about 40 Meaningful Things. Kristi posted that she wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday by doing 40 Meaningful Things for herself. Because I too will be celebrating my 40th birthday in March, I decided that I really wanted to adopt this idea into my own life.
As moms and wives (and some even carrying weight at jobs outside of the home), it is so easy to forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. It is so easy to get overwhelmed with taking care of everyone else's activities and needs that we forget that we have needs also. I was inspired by this Facebook post, because I feel that 40 Meaningful Things is a way to reconnect with our inner self. We can really take the time to think about.....what is important in our lives? Who is important in our lives? Are there people that you have lost contact with that you would like to reconnect with? Are there things that you have dreamed of doing some day....but the day has never come? Well, the time is NOW. We aren't getting any younger and if we continue to wait for the best opportunity.....we may miss the blessings that would come from embracing the HERE and NOW. Are you willing to pass up this opportunity? Or will you stop and take time for yourself, to rediscover who you are and what things are meaningful to you? It doesn't really matter whether you are going to be 40 or not...or even if you are already 40, what matters is to take time to reconnect with WHO YOU ARE.
The following list are some of the ideas that were posted as comments on Kristi's post. Thank you to everyone that gave ideas! Here are some of the ideas that were posted: piano lessons, travel somewhere, quality time with friends, write a book, run a marathon, jump out of a plane, windsurf, start a foundation, do something life changing for someone else, take a dance class, read 40 good books, exercise hard and build great muscle tone, visit family, second honeymoon, quality time with kids, sky diving or scuba diving, take a bubble bath, 40 random acts of kindness, oyster shooting, full massage, and mom & daughter weekend. This list is not complete, but it was many of the ideas that were given.
Here are some of the ideas for the 40 Meaningful Things that I came up with: Be more intentional with friends, reconnect with old friends, have a regular date night with hubby, spend meaningful time with each of my kiddos, make an exercise routine schedule, forgive someone that has hurt me & reconnect, guitar lessons, write a book, pick a night each week to spend a few hours doing what I enjoy(writing, crafts, reading, etc.), random acts of kindness, write a love song, be more intentional about sharing my faith, make a quilt, try a new supper recipe each week, pick one day a month to get together with friends to do a fun activity/craft, finish projects that are started, finish books that are started, try new foods, go on a cruise, take a honeymoon, bible study with some girl friends, be encouraging to others, blog at least weekly, be a blessing to others, a gratefulness journal, inspire my kids more to learn, take part in another half marathon, be better about acknowledging family & friends birthdays, and give God the credit for every blessing in my life.
The lists above are meant to help inspire you, but these lists are in no way complete. I am hoping that after you read this post, you would add at least one 'meaningful thing' to the comments below. After talking with Kristi about her post, she expressed that the whole idea behind the 40 Meaningful Things is that it will turn into a lifestyle of capturing those important things and not just a one time event. How great would it be if everyone took the time to reflect on things that are meaningful and enjoy life, instead of letting it pass by without experiencing the JOY that is truly possible! Life is busy, but it is also extremely precious! We are never promised tomorrow. Don't wait until something drastic happens that opens your eyes to what is important. Enjoy each day for what it brings and reflect on those moments that are meaningful in your life! May God bless you as you seek to discover what is meaningful in your own life!