The older I get, the more I try to live my life with purpose. I just celebrated another birthday and it has me really looking hard at my life. I have been pondering the same questions I think we all do as we get older.
What have I done?
What have I learned?
How have I made a difference?
Life has not turned out the way I had imagined it would when I went off to college almost 20 years ago. Somethings have surpassed my expectations and others have fallen extremely short. I had such grand plans for my life. When I graduated, I was either going to work for a big newspaper as a photojournalist or be an advertising executive.
Upon graduating, which I did in 3 1/2 years, I took a job in advertising. It was amazing and taught me so much. One of the biggest things it taught me though, was I was not meant to work in advertising!
In the last 16 years I have had several jobs, all in the graphic design and marketing field. Three years ago though, I began the best job - being a mom. I am so blessed to be able to stay home with my daughter (I still work part-time from home and do freelance photography and graphic design on the side). My daughter has brought me so much joy and fulfillment. Fulfillment which I never felt in any job position I have ever had.
My husband and I waited to have our daughter. We were not always sure we wanted children. We love to travel and do things on whims, which with having children is not as easy. We both agree though, that we feel complete now that we have her. All the sacrifices are so worth it. We give thanks every day for the gift of her.
So to answer my questions:
What have I done? I have a college degree. I have worked continuously in my field of study, in one way or another. I may not have done anything ground breaking, I didn't win a Pulitzer for any of my photos or Clio for any advertising campaign I designed. My career path has afforded me the ability to work from home and take a lot of pictures of the cutest model ever :).
What have I learned? I have learned that above awards do not even compare to my greatest accomplishment, being a mom. I never thought being a mom was what I was meant to be when I grew up. I have learned that the most important thing is family. I work to live. I do not live to work. I want to enjoy what I do, but I don't want my job to be my life, except for the job I have now!
How have I made a difference? This one I am still pondering. I hope I have made a difference in the lives of my family. I guess for now though, that is all that really matters.
If at the end of it all, my sole purpose in life was to be a good mother, daughter, wife, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend, I am completely fine with that.
Each morning upon waking, I say my prayers and thank God for the life I do have, for the new day I have been given and for all the possibilities that the day holds.