Friday, January 2, 2009

#24 - My Year

During my winter vacation in warm and sunny Arizona, I had time to sit by the pool and read - not just a book or two, but all the magazines that had piled up over the months. In one of the many articles I perused about food, diets and exercise, a question was posed - "What am I really hungry for?". Without thinking, two words popped into my head, meaning and purpose. As you all know, it's not always the call of belly hunger we're answering. Although the article I was reading had to do with food, strangely, my answer wasn't for a warm chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream.

Laying on my lounge chair people watching, I thought about those two words. Did I really feel like my life had no meaning or purpose? Do other 40ish year old women feel this way? Does my "non-hungry" eating stem from these feelings? I'm not really sure, but I can share that in discussions with friends with college and post college degrees, shuttling our children and pets, running to the grocery store, overseeing homework and after school activities, and doing charity work here and there, leave us feeling a little under used and under appreciated.

I can only speak for myself, but perhaps it's my talents and brain that feel a little under used and under appreciated. Until about 4 years ago, I had a job [outside the house]. I started working full time in my junior year in college and only took off twice - once when we moved to another state during my husband's fellowship year [at which time I also gave birth to our son], and about 3 years later for 6 weeks when I had my daughter. Life was definitely more stressful and demanding, but I also felt smarter and more interesting, and excited, and stimulated and stimulating. I don't want to say that during this time my life was more meaningful and had more purpose, but those objectives that I pursued on a daily basis definitely seemed more quantifiable and apparent. Being a Mother, Wife and Hospital Administrator felt normal. However, right now I can't and don't want a career to be my main purpose, but I do want to find "purpose"... with balance.

That being said, my new year's resolution is going to be to pursue those feelings that I had while working. Those feelings, of having a purpose and meaning, are felt strongest during times when I'm inspiring others to achieve their goals. When I inspire them, I feel strengthened and stimulated and excited and inspired to be better and do better myself. I'm going to find a way to achieve these feelings in a new career. I'll admit, I'm a little scared that I don't have the talent nor the aptitude, but there's only one way to find out. This is MY YEAR.

So, Happy New Year to you all. May all your desires be fulfilled, your resolutions accomplished, your dreams answered and your hard work rewarded. My wish for me is that for you too - to feel emotionally, spiritually and physically "FULL".

"Everyone is gifted, but some people never open their package"


Anonymous said...

As I was reading and enjoying (as always) your most recent blog, I thought of how many others were probably doing the same. You may not know it, but you are already working to help others. Keep up the great work!

Bobbie's Babbles said...

I wish you weren't anonymous so that I could tell you that your comment was thankfully received.

Anonymous said...


The search for meaning and purpose is applicable to both men and women. Many intelligent, thinking guys I know who reach our age struggle with that issue, and all of us feel as if we could be doing more with our lives. It is this ambition that keeps us going, but there’s a difference between the desire to do more and feeling inadequate because we can’t do everything.

A friend of mine once said to me that when you are climbing a mountain, every so often, you need to stop and look down to see how far you have come. If you are always looking up, you will never feel as if you have accomplished anything.

Over the holidays, we watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” with the kids, and it’s an apt reminder that no matter who we are, we touch many lives in ways that we don’t even realize. The positive influences that we have on those around us, even if they seem trivial in the scheme of things, are what give our lives meaning. In terms of defining “meaning”, society places great qualitative value on certain altruistic activities like healing the sick, feeding the poor, educating the young, caring for the elderly, giving away a lot of money, and all of those things are certainly laudable. But even the most mundane actions of our lives can have a positive influence and are what make the world go around and validate our role in it.

Good luck with your search. There’s nothing wrong with appreciating all that you have accomplished and not worrying about the level of value that the outside world places on it. The only one whose opinion matters is yours.

Bobbie's Babbles said...

I wish more men read this blog. They would understand us women better and we women would get a male point of view. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Bobbie...Now that's what Im talking about for 2009....I have already begun my journey...Thank you for always believing and insisting that all women have the capability to achieve, and the sky is the limit.
You are the ANGEL that flys above.

Bobbie's Babbles said...

Thank you for those kind words. I wish I knew who you were so that I could tell you personally that your comment was thankfully received!