Do you have goals? Do they feel chaotic? Mine do!
Oh…. Where do I begin….? This post is not a rant or a moan but more of a reflection about how we can all get lost in everyday life and its craziness, losing sight of goals, friendships and who we are and I am talking from personal experience!
The past few years have escaped me and I don’t know how! It’s like I don’t know what’s happened or how it happened. I’ve been so wrapped up in finishing a degree, trying to be a good mum and advancing my career… I’ve just not had the time to see the people that I love and do some of the things that I enjoy.
My earlier experiences as a single mum helped me explore who I really am, tested my character and helped me develop into the person I am today. As a parent, we go through constant changes because our children are always evolving. Having to adapt my personality has really helped me on my life journey. I’ve become more flexible, open minded and much calmer than in my younger days.
Early in my journey as a single mum I knew that I didn’t just want to be a mother and I wanted to continue to develop myself and feared that as “a mum” I would lose who I am or who I’m supposed to be!
The fear of losing myself in motherhood has actually led to positive development for both me and my daughter. I became much more secure and confident in myself and this led to developing healthy ambitions and dreams and taking steps to reach them. To this day I am not exactly sure what those end goals are, as they often evolve. Initially I just wanted to make sure I earned enough to pay my bills, feed my daughter and have a little fun. As many of you know living in London is expensive and when you suddenly become a single parent it can be a shock to the system and your finances!
I guess over time my ambitions have evolved because people around me have helped me see my worth and realise my potential. I guess when you are scared and stuck in a routine and a certain way of life, it can be difficult to see anything else and it can feel like there is no way out. It can be hard to strive for your dreams but let me tell you – if you push past those tough and dark times many things can change and suddenly you start to dream bigger and then those dreams slowly become reality. As an example, after my daughter turned two a holiday was not even on the radar, it was simply unthinkable. After a few years of struggles I started to dream of holidays because our life was slowly changing and now they are part of our reality.
However, at 33 I need to work harder. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but my when you feel that time is working against you and you have no time to make mistakes I feel you can get caught up on goals and take no time to appreciate what you are learning and achieving. Personally, my wins often go unrecognised. Now, I find myself needing to be more specific about the different type of goals and aspirations that I have, so that the chaos can be managed and goals realised, not stumbled upon. The questions that I have been asking myself are:
What are my career goals?
I find that without clearly stating my career aspirations or where I envision myself, I’m a little lost and enabling work chaos to rule my life.
This year I have really struggled with the work-life balance concept. Work has taken priority over many family celebrations and leisure activities. We all start our journeys at different stages of life and my career journey started much later than most… I’m really enjoying my job and it is really developing into a career. The only downside is the time that I’ve spent working has not gone unnoticed- even my daughter has complained (rightfully so!). If I’m totally honest with myself, my original goal of earning a bit more money so I could manage has now developed into becoming a manager and possibly a leader but leading what/whom? In my field? Women??? So many questions!
The small steps and achievements at work have given me some of the attributes that I need but at what price? My daughter has been unhappy, I’ve been shattered and not necessarily happy but I feel like I’m learning and taking small steps to be where I want to be. My question is how do I balance this? How do I work towards my career goals whilst being able to enjoy motherhood and friendships?
What are my goals as a mother?
Initially, I just wanted to make sure that I provided for and educated my daughter, morally and emotionally and of course show her how much I love her. As a parent, I’ve always had a very good structure but now, the older she gets I feel that I need something different and a little more adaptable… but I’m not sure what?! I want to make sure that the time I spend with my daughter is well spent, quality time. I want to make sure that I notice all the changes that she’s going through, and I need to make sure that she knows that even though I’m busy she will always be my first priority.
What are my personal goals?
Five years ago, I would have said to age beautifully- hahaha!! If only I could go back and tell myself to “grow up”. Ageing is such a beautiful process (one for another post). Now, I want to make sure that my friendships remain a priority; that the people in my life know that I love them because when you surround yourself with people that make you feel good and inspire you, life becomes a much better place. I feel very lucky that my few close friends understand my journey.
One of my passions is gyming. I’m not going to lie, it started when I wanted to lose weight but when I really get into it… it felt amazing. I really haven’t had the time to get back to that level of dedication and I do feel sluggish, heavier and not so great! Again, time has been against me…
Lastly when your holiday allowance is 26 days how do you travel the world? I have a thirst for discovering new places, countries and cultures… can you see my problem?! Oh, and let’s not forget the value of the pound is not what it used to be and inflation is on the rise… grrrr
I started this post aiming to capture how time and chaos go hand in hand and that without any structure it is difficult to flesh out ambitions but whilst writing this post I have come to realise that I do have a vision. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter how chaotic it might seem because at almost every stage I am aware of the changes that I need to make.
Being aware of when things are not going the way you need them to and making small changes to get where you need to be is how you can stay on course to achieve what you want. Learning from the mistakes and the struggles will not only ensure that you get somewhere but it will give you a sense of achievement.
Just remember- during the low periods – you can get up, learn & do better next time
love, Julie x