“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” -John Galt
When people ask me “how are you?” or “what have you been up to?” I invariably answer with anecdotes about my children and updates on my husband’s job. Often I am asked the follow up question “what about you, what are you doing for you?” People seem to struggle with the fact I don’t have any “Me Time.” Some can’t imagine how I can be happy without an individual pursuit (“of my own”) outside my home. People seem to think I don’t have a “life.”
To all of those people, sometimes I’d like to say, “if you don’t get it, I can’t explain it to you.”
In reality, however, the explanation is simple. My pursuit, my purpose, is nurturing, feeding, and supporting my family. My values center around providing a certain standard of care and a powerful foundation for my children. I am happy and fulfilled in my home.
I could be a teacher, but I already am. I could be a nurse, but I already am. I could be a chef, but I already am. I could be a taxi driver, a personal shopper, a book- keeper, housekeeper, or a barista, but I already am, on a small scale. I could go out in the world and work for money or just to serve others. Right now, though, I don’t need more money than I have and I am serving others where I am. I’m fully committed to my work.
I don’t deride people who need something else or even want something else from their lives. I do want for people to understand and appreciate that when they ask about me they will hear about my family. I am consumed by my work and it’s not because I’m a 1950s throwback. I am not a repressed or oppressed woman kept in my place by a societal construct of gender roles or a controlling husband. My nature is to nurture and I live a life aligned with my values and desires. I provide for my family the education, structure and support on which they build each of their accomplishments. I share in their joy and success as my own. That is why I share their stories as my own when I am asked about my life.
In the end, I think most people would list their relationships as the most influential aspect of their lives related to their happiness. Rather than their job, possessions or other pursuits, which are important, but secondary to healthy, fulfilling relationships. So, why is it so hard to understand that I’m happy with a life spent building, strengthening, enriching, and deepening relationships?
We all have limited resources, time, energy, etc. I’m lucky, in that I get to choose how to use mine.
This message was inspired by http:// yourmomhasablog.com/2014/04/23/the-me-time-myth/