Contribution and finding my new bike

 

ID-100176056.nongpimmyPersonal roles

Having spent 37 years pouring my heart and soul into being the very best wife and mother that I could possibly be, my purpose in life seemed to end with the ending of my marriage. This happened at a time when my younger two children were spreading their wings. My main two roles in life and the driving forces of my being were suddenly gone.

Work roles

With my world crumbling at my feet, I found that getting up every day for work gave me a sense of purpose. Having meaningful work to do everyday helped sustain my sanity the first year after separation. It also provided me with my sense of normality, as a link to my previous world, and the comfort of a regular routine.

About a year ago I had an epiphany. I realised in that instant the real meaning behind my work had been to provide for my family and that was gone. I resolved that I would change the direction of my life. The drawback to that decision was that it would take some time to logistically change directions and for a while it became a plodding painful process to keep getting up to go into work as my work no longer held meaning for me.

That turned around when I re-framed this current period as my ‘transition to my new life’ and set myself some goals for my transition. One of my transition goals became ‘dignified management of our business’ while-ever it was retained. In that change of focus my daily work shifted sharply from being something that provided me with comfort and stability to one that provided me with an avenue of contribution. Without realising it at the time, my own needs had moved up from the self-focussed ‘I need protection and comfort’ to ‘I need to contribute and give back to society’. In the period since, I have channelled my days at work into being a fair, kind and balanced leader. In return I have received a feeling of accomplishment and contribution.

Community roles

Prior to my marriage ending I had been active in the community by voluntary involvement in an environment group. In my distraught state after my husband left me, I resigned from the group and not not returned. During my cocooning period of reflection when reviewing my beliefs, my mind drew a blank when I reached world affairs I had previously been vocal about. I became concerned my underlying beliefs had disintegrated and I was apathetic and uncaring. I now understand that in my state of crisis, I had to focus on my own survival as a priority. I had to heal myself before I could again begin to help other people.

About a year ago, I found that I had begun again to read articles about national and world issues. It was a defining moment for me. Gradually that moved to reading books, exploring websites and contributing by making comments on other’s blogs. That gave me a feeling of making a contribution, even in a small way. This has fed a growing strength inside me of my need to ‘give’ shifting slowly away from my basic need to ‘receive’ comforts.

My new role

One of my prime instincts within me is a need to care for others. This need was satisfied in my roles as wife and mother. The hole left for my nurturing instincts by my marriage collapsing was deep and painful. I felt my very purpose in life had disintegrated. Whilst I have since channelled those caring instincts into being the best mother, grand-mother, daughter, sister, friend and leader that I can be; I know that is not enough. I know that I have to move on to helping people less fortunate than myself.

Last post I wrote “With the best of intentions of picking myself up, fixing myself up and getting back on the bike; I have come to realise that it is not me that needs fixing, it is the bike.”

My old bike (my drive) was being the best wife and mother that I could possibly be.

My new drive will be to find my voice and promote human welfare.

That will become my new bike.

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ImageCourtesyOf[nongpimmy]:FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Foundations of comfort – time and focus

 

 

ID-100239270.Prawny

I have been focussing on self-healing towards achieving a state of well-being and in that regard I have recently read another book on life-work balance. The author gives examples of how to ensure well-being by practicing meditation, tuning into nature, reducing stress, going for a walk, getting an extra hour’s sleep at night, and a myriad of other techniques.

It became obvious to me that some suggested activities the author was applying to her corporate executive lifestyle had helped me juggle my own mother – wife – career previous busy lifestyle; and these were the same or similar techniques that had provided me with comfort during my personal crisis. The parallel had not struck me before.

Then, as I was reading how the author suggested setting an alarm to ensure making enough time for important things (like sleeping); the penny dropped.

This is not what I want.

I do not want to have to set an alarm in order to sandwich my life in between ‘busy’ and ‘stressful’ and ‘other’. I do not want to achieve a comfortable ‘work-life’ balance. I want a life balance. I do not want to schedule comforting activities into a busy lifestyle. My ‘foundations of comfort’ are not what I want for my comfort, they are what I want for my life.

With the best of intentions of picking myself up, fixing myself up and getting back on the bike; I have come to realise that it is not me that needs fixing, it is the bike.

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ImageCourtesyOf[SalvatoreVuon]:FreeDigitalPhotos.net