Life Maintenance

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When dreams come true, what’s next? Contentment, joy, and appreciation are important parameters which should always guide the day. I’m finding this to be more true each day, as I now have more mental space, time, and energy to cultivate contentment now that it no longer competes with desire.

Say you get married to the love of your life and have the children you’ve dreamed of having. Or, you’ve landed your dream job. Or, all of the above and more! Whatever your circumstances, you will one day find yourself realizing that you are in the sweet spot of having everything you need AND want. For the time being, there’s nothing else that you want. What should we do with that extra energy that was spent chasing the dream? Well, it’s time to be grateful and get to work on maintaining such great gifts.

As a child, I spent my days longing. I had so many plans for adulthood. And right now, I feel that I have achieved those goals. I’m often left in wonder at 1) How did I manage to do these things? and 2) I’m so glad that I managed to do these things. I count myself favored, blessed, and lucky. I also count myself as a tenaciously hard worker who does not take “no” for an answer.

So, here I am, in my own personal sweet spot (YAY!). And so, as a “recovering overachiever” I now find myself in a new type of middle ground, stuck between: “Should I make more new plans?” or “Should I just stay here and live my life one day at a time, without plans?”

For the first time, my inner drive and motivation are leaning heavily toward the latter. I want to put my efforts and energy into maintaining what I do have, instead of being distracted by what I don’t have. As a force of habit, I sometimes still find an inner struggle to chase after more; a discord exists between who I was (a go-getter) and who I am now (a sweet-spot-reveler).

Still, I work to acknowledge that my personality and priorities have shifted. I’m in a new phase of my life, one that requires my attention and efforts be used in a different way. Instead of working to maintain a long distance relationship with my boyfriend, I need to focus on building and serving my relationship with my husband, honoring who we both are now. Instead of thinking about starting a family one day, I need to give my energy, focus, and love to my child whose needs are ever-changing. While I am stating the obvious, I am finding that I have to remind myself that my plans have come to pass. Instead of dreaming the dream, it’s now time to enjoy the dream.

So, we don’t have to succumb to the past voices that got us to where we are today. The voice of “do more” and “try harder” serve great purposes. But once the purpose is fulfilled it’s time to shift gears. What is the point of having achieved a dream if we let it fall apart? Wouldn’t it be terrible to let something go that you spent years working towards, because you got distracted chasing after the next big thing?

In music, there is a daily maintenance routine in which the musician focuses on maintaining their current skill level. It’s not too easy nor too hard, it just is the time spent working on keeping that which they already possess. I’m excited to start treating my life this way. I think it is a beautiful testament of love and devotion to my life dreams.

If you’ve achieved your dream, I encourage you to consider ceasing the search for another dream and taking some time to enjoy your life as it is currently.  

3 thoughts on “Life Maintenance

  1. I love this!! Have honestly never thought of life this way — probably because I’m still in the “dream stage” haha. But now I’m so excited to get to a point where I can just revel in what I have! It never occurred to me that could be the most exciting part.

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    1. Yes, it is so exciting! I appreciate you saying that, because it’s easy to get distracted by the idea of doing something new. Instead, we can dig deep and thrive in the current season – even if you haven’t finished achieving your dreams!

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  2. Spectacular wisdom for the “recovering overachiever.” I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished- it is time to enjoy the fruits of you labor…

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