I was whining to a friend, asking "What do I want to do?" about my writing and she shot back, "How about asking 'What do I REALLY want?'"
I've been watching a dear, dear friend recovering her Self after years and years of serving everyone. She has been living under the most intense of circumstances - years of caring for her ill mother, in-laws dying within months of each other, and most recently nursing her husband through cancer - (really, if I told you her whole tale, you wouldn't believe it). Now the emergencies are over. The dust is settling and she is slowly finding the courage to ask, "What have I been doing because I thought I was supposed to and what have I been doing because I've really wanted to?" You go girl!
My young daughter rarely spends her money - she is as tight as the bark on the tree with her green stuff. But she wanted a new Barbie in a big way. (Even when I make remarks under my breath like, "Look at the size of Barbie's waist. Do you know that if she were a real woman, she would suffocate because there wouldn't be enough room for her lungs in that tiny waist? And how about those breasts? Did you know...") So we made the long trek off island to ToysRUs; we asked where the Barbie were; we rounded the corner and gasp! We faced a wall of at least 100,000 different Barbies (okay, maybe 100). After about 50 hours (during which I exhibited particularly fine parenting skills), Lilly decided she liked the Collector's Movie Star Barbie complete with authenticity certificate (authentic what?). The price tag: $50. My mother-in-law and husband were with us and Chris said, "I think that's absurd, to spend that much on a Barbie." With visions of starving children languishing in my head, I said, "How many of us spend our lives buying things on sale that we don't want and never getting what we really do want?" Chris' 74 year old mom clutched her pocket book and said quietly, "I've spent my whole life doing that."
I wonder if the moral fabric of our world is being weakened when we settle for less than we truly want - and I don't mean just material things - I'm talking about relationships, goals, even dreams. Settling leads to more settling which can lead to forgetting what we value - and when we don't know what we value, we can get pretty sloppy about our choices. So I ask you, is that why Jason Alexander is making Kentucky Fried Chicken commercials? (Subscribers in other countries, please excuse this American popular culture reference).
Reminder: What you really want always honors your true responsibilities.
What do you really want to do right now?
What do you really want to do today?
What do you really want to do this week?
Why not pause right now and find out?
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Jennifer Louden is a best-selling author of five books, including the classic The Woman’s Comfort Book and her newest Comfort Secrets for Busy Women. She has appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, including Oprah. She’s also a certified coach, creator of learning events and unique life balance products. Her upcoming retreat with Master Coach Molly Gordon is on how to “do” change with grace and confidence. Visit www.comfortqueen.com/retreats
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