Last weekend when we were driving home from Las Vegas, the husband and I had a lot of time to talk. Two out of three kids slept for at least part of the drive, and we talked about dreams and plans and goals we hadn't talked about for a long time.
We currently live in the town the husband grew up in, and although it's grown by leaps and bounds and feels more suburban now, it definitely felt like a country town in his childhood. I think because of this, he has a major draw to urban living and a desire to try out big city life. We spent a long time talking about the if's and when's of this life change, and if it's something we really want. After a lot of discussion, we tried to determine if it was really a dream worth chasing, or more of a "wouldn't it be fun to..." thought that usually doesn't amount to more than a thought. The husband admitted that it wasn't anything he'd look back on and have great regrets about not doing, but he does like to daydream about the adventures we could have experiencing city-living.
This conversation has pushed me to think about change. As I've looked back on our almost 9 years of marriage, I feel like a lot of the changes that we've been through have been due to circumstances rather than changes that we've instigated. I wouldn't consider either of us people that fear or dislike change, but I also don't see many times when we've actively sought big changes. Although we talked about the benefits of some things remaining the same (job security, financial stability by staying in our home, etc.), I have felt somewhat bothered by the fact that we seem so passive in our life. But then I've had to remind myself that we're actively making the choice for these things to remain the same. We revisited what some of our goals are or what they could be- a life full of jet-setting to broaden the world-view of our children? College funds and rainy day savings? Seeking change for change's sake, or being content to roll with things and adjust to the frequent changes that life brings? I hope this is making sense- I've been sorting through these thoughts for the past 10 days.
I think the conclusion that I'm beginning to come to is that I don't need to make major life changes to feel like I'm taking a more active role in my life. Just because we're not researching city lofts and urban dwelling with kids doesn't mean that I can't make meaningful changes in how I approach living. I'm realizing that much of my frustration in feeling that I've been passive has to do with the reactive state I find myself in so frequently lately- reacting to messes made or sibling fights or sassy talk- instead of being proactive in teaching and disciplining, or even heading it off in the first place. The passive is where I've been far too often lately, cleaning up behind my kids instead of staying a step ahead. And it's not just parenting- I think it's spilling over into a lot of aspects of my life. I've been too busy putting out the fires of various kinds to feel like I'm planning ahead. It's starting to get to me.
When I woke up and saw Sarah Jane's new printable this morning, it was complete perfection. I plan to print it out pronto. I need to live my life on purpose. I need to stop being on auto-pilot, just reacting to the situations that come my way. I need to make plans. I need to dream a little. I need to realize that the intentional decisions, however small they may seem, will amount to big changes when I make them every.single.day. I need to remind myself that change often doesn't happen over night, and when it does it's usually the kind of change that I don't want. I need to change my approach to living instead of my circumstances.
I am grateful for the life I have. It is messy and crazy and beautiful and blessed. And change is good. But I think change is really good when I'm changing myself instead of wishing to change everything around me.
Back soon with more to share. You know my head is never quiet long. :)