Have you found yourself thinking at the end of a very long and very exhausting day, “Can someone please tell me how in the WORLD I got here?” I don’t mean that in a negative way so much as a moment of bewilderment and confusion. It’s that WHOA moment when suddenly we realize we’re “grown-ups” with “grown-up responsibilities”, that we are someone’s Mom or Dad or Boss or Husband or a Missus or a Ma’am and we have bills to pay and we like to read the news and drink tea and listen to classical music and shake our heads at those “young whippersnappers” and try to take the elusive naps.
And have you found yourself there more than once? Many times more than once? I did. We did. And quite honestly, we aren’t terribly happy about it. It’s not that life is bad, but we keep asking ourselves “What in the freak just happened?” (A KidHistory #6 reference, if you’re wondering.) And life has become so busy we’re afraid the the ruts are too deep, that the current has carried us too far, not only from our dreams, but from hoping for dreams.
We still have unfinished the baseboards after taking them off 5 1/2 years ago. The kitchen hasn’t been painted (let alone remodeled), the basement bedroom doesn’t exist, the upstairs walls are still a dreadful shade of taupe, and our “baby” – now one – still doesn’t sleep through the night. Never mind that we’re in our 3-5 year starter home 6 years later. We used to hike, camp, bike, go for walks, eat just guacamole and chips for dinner (without guilt), and we talked. We slept at night. We had friends. We traveled and roadtrips were fun. And there is more, more that we can’t even remember yet.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what we’ve been doing. There are ALWAYS trade-offs in life. We have three amazing children. Matt has been progressing in his career and serving as a member of our ward’s bishopric and as bishop. I graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. We have a garden, we are homeschooling, we’re teaching kids to ride bikes and wear underwear, we’re folding laundry and doing dishes and making sandwiches. We are busy people.
But despite being busy, we wrestle with knowing whether we’re busy doing the best things. We have many good things in life, and some better things, but have we let things of potentially lesser importance dominate our lives such that we’ve prevented ourselves from doing the best things?
Are we seeing life in the short-term?
Are we letting the immediate conversation impede progress in our marriage?
Are we afraid to set long-term goals because we can’t wrap our heads around anything beyond next week?
Are we spending money on things that we don’t want/need/love/have room for?
Are we attempting to manufacture a life that doesn’t fit our needs?
Are we laughing enough?
Are we teaching our children the values needed to prepare them for adulthood, not just their next birthday?
Are we doing things just because we’re “supposed to” or because we are trying to keep up with perceived identities?
Is guilt a more powerful motivator than love or hope?
Have we lost sight of Matt and Amanda, both collectively and individually?
Do our children know that we are that we “might have joy”, or do they think we are that “we might be martyrs”?
This brings us to wegoauthentic.com. I can’t succinctly put into words what the point of this blog is, because quite honestly, I don’t think even we know. Hopefully it will evolve and we will evolve with it. I do know that it will be for us to talk to each other and to tell each other what is in our hearts. And that we will remember things we loved, and things we’ve done, and what we want. And we will move on. We will try new things and wonder why we waited so long. And if anyone is out there to listen, we’ll tell you too. And maybe you’ll call us out when we can’t see past the ends of our noses. Or maybe we’ll help you learn something and begin your own journey to authenticity. Or maybe I’ll just use this to ramble and Matt will have someone to tell his stories to that isn’t already late getting to bed.
No, this isn’t an Eat, Pray, Love deal. I don’t believe in ditching life and chasing the “ideal”. Life is now, and we begin where we are. There is not other place to begin. We won’t toss our core values into the trash and pretend they don’t matter. Rather, hopefully, we’ll find those core values and make them matter more instead of letting the passing fancies of the world sway us to-and-fro.
And so, we begin.