A Life Well Lived
What makes a life well lived and what does this mean to you? I had a therapist ask me this very question when we were still living in Lincoln and to be honest I had no idea what that meant to me at the time. I told her I would think about it for a week, and have an answer for her at our next appointment.
During that week, I sat down countless times with a sheet of paper and pen and tried to come up with my ‘perfect’ answer – to no avail. I stared at that stupid blank paper and willed the ‘right’ answer to show itself to me. I showed up at my next appointment feeling like I had failed an assignment and sadly told her I had no idea.
While she assured me that it was perfectly OK to not have an answer, it was important for me to figure out. It became something I thought about daily. When I look back on my life I want to be able to say ‘I had a beautiful life – a life well lived.’ I knew Greyson and being a mom was key to my life well lived but I also knew there was more. As much as I adore being a stay at home mom, I still need a part of my life for me. Greyson is my life, my heart and soul, but I also need a piece of life for Lindsay.
Having anxiety, there are so many things I DON’T do because I simply let my anxiety overcome my want of doing something. I can’t tell you how many times I have skipped social events with the excuse of not feeling well. My anxiety takes over and instead of sucking it up and pushing through, I simply let the anxiety win.
I just recently overcame my fear and hesitation of putting Greyson in childcare for a few days a week for a few hours. I was worried about what would happen if I wasn’t there – again the unknown and the feeling of being out of control. This week I hesitantly headed to a meeting with his new caregiver with Chris and instantly knew I was making the right decision upon meeting her. Greyson will get to make friends, I’ll get to grocery shop or make time for yoga and I know it is the best decision for both of us.
A few months ago, I found out I had earned a trip to Montreal through my job as a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel. I was so proud of myself but the thought of traveling alone and interacting with so many strangers made my chest tighten. At first I was adamant that I wouldn’t go. Too much unknown, and I wouldn’t know a soul there. I also worried about who would watch Greyson (it’s hockey season so finding childcare is always a struggle) and about leaving him for 4 days.
Well, my in-laws happily and generously offered to stay while I was gone and I really had no excuse – so I went online and booked my flight. My trip begins in 5 short days and let me tell you, my anxiety is strong. But I keep repeating to myself ‘what is a life well lived?’ A life well lived is new experiences and going out of my comfort zone to meet new people I wouldn’t meet otherwise. I am an introverted extrovert – I love to be social but in small groups or with people I know. This trip will be an exercise in personal growth, and nothing can change without growth.
This trip is pushing me to experience something new, cultivate new and important relationships and to really practice overcoming my sometimes crippling anxiety. It is a step towards living my life without fear and worry.
Here are some of the things I have ‘worried’ about already: what shoes do I pack, what if the local people are rude because I don’t speak French (even after 3 years of French in high school I think I only remember ‘may I please use the restroom’ which I guess may come in handy), what do I pack to wear, what if I have no one to sightsee with, what if my dress for our formal night isn’t formal enough, what if I get lost, what if no one talks to me…the list could be it’s own blog post in itself. But I keep repeating to myself ‘in the grand scheme of things – these are trivial’ – I have earned an incredible experience and I am going to let go, breathe, and experience something new and beautiful. This will be an opportunity I look back on and say ‘that was an experience that helped to make a life well lived…’