It’s Thursday, and so I’m Crafting my Life! Last week I wrote about tribes, and how I’ve found mine. This week I am going to make a statement about what I stand for, and what I hope that my tribe stands for. Please understand, I am not looking to exclude anyone. I am sharing my Truth, and I hope that at least part of it resonates with you.
I believe that parenting my children is one of the most important things I will ever do. In order to parent, I need to spend time with my children and relate to them on their level. I also need to carefully consider my decisions, and try to make the best choices I can. And I recognize that what is right for me may not be right for someone else.
I believe in balance. I have a family, I have hobbies, I engage in volunteer work, and I have career goals. I am not any one thing, and I would like my life to reflect that. This does not mean that I get all of the time to myself that I would like, or that I am free to pursue all of my interests. It does mean that I can set my priorities and focus on more than one area at a time. Balance may never be completely achievable, but it is a worthy pursuit.
I believe in flexible, family-friendly work. Working full-time is a valid choice. Staying home full-time is a valid choice. So is working part-time, working from home, or setting up an alternative schedule. Policies like flex-time, job-sharing, and maternity and parental leave are valuable in creating a workplace that honours workers as whole people. Work, family, and outside pursuits do not have to be either-or. And I think we need to advocate for better policies if we want them.
I believe in dreams. There is practical value in pursuing the things that you really want. There is no particular magic involved, no leap of faith or belief in spiritual forces necessary. By engaging in dreaming you are simply letting yourself fly free, to imagine what could be. Yes, there is dumb luck and unfairness in life. But there is also a whole world full of people who have worked hard and made things happen. I see no reason why I cannot be one of those people.
I believe in passion. When you find that thing that you could do all day, every day, it’s a gift. Pursuing your passion is not silly or vain. Passionate people who are committed to their goals are the ones who change the world, and this change benefits all of us. Your passion doesn’t have to be your career, or your whole life’s work. But it is absolutely worth following, whatever it looks like.
I believe in community. Whether that community is a family, an organization, a group of friends, or a virtual space. We need each other. We gain value from sharing our lives with others. Not everyone will be a perfect fit for us, and we may not belong in every community we encounter. As we find and cultivate the communities that we do belong in we are making a better (and friendlier) world.
I believe in creativity. By acting creatively we can make a tangible difference in our lives. It is our chance to step outside of our normal world, where we spend long periods in front of a computer screen or clean up toys 47 times a day. We make things. We experience flow and encounter the tangible world. We play. And we re-discover parts of ourselves that we’d forgotten were even there.
I believe in simplicity. Our world is very consumer-driven and go-go-go. This is not all that good for us, or for our planet. It results in hectic lives and the abuse of our natural resources. I am not about to ditch my suburban home and go live off-the-grid in the wilderness. But I do seek to set priorities, understand what matters, and evaluate the impact of my actions. Time is money, so spending less money is one way to gain more time.
I believe that change is hard. Really stinking hard. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, yes, I want to follow my dreams and live a passionate and balanced life.” It’s quite another thing to actually do it. I do not roll with the punches well. I like order and routine and predictability and tradition. Deciding that I want to re-invent myself is not a decision I make lightly. But sometimes, you have to do the hard thing.
I believe in optimism. There was a time when I was very bogged down in what I ‘ought’ to do and who I ‘ought’ to be. That thinking really doesn’t help anyone, least of all myself. Being miserable because an internet stranger may not like me or because I didn’t get through the day’s to-do list does not help me improve next time. It’s OK to look on the bright side. And I have found that by doing so I am better able to motivate myself and get things done.
I believe in kindness. Because kindness changes everything.
I believe in the value of this space. In the value of sharing my journey with you, and hearing about your journeys in return. This has been an incredible gift to me. Know that if you come here I consider you a part of my tribe and a part of my community. And I am so, so grateful for it.
What about you? Do you have any statements of Truth to share? Please do!