We’ve given our all to mothering. We’ve invested our energy and creativity into family life, which has shaped and grown our hearts and our minds.
Time and toddlers have marched on. The days of up-to-your-elbows mothering are drawing to a close. The minivan now hauls more than the soccer team as Mom moves on to find life after the intensive seasons of mothering.
How’s it going for you? Are you easily transitioning into new interests and pursuits?
Or is your journey more like mine – filled with stops and starts, wrong turns and rerouting?
Who are you now, Mama? What interests and passions have lain dormant while you invested in the sacred calling of motherhood?
I find it amusing that I railed against the empty nest as hard as a railed against embracing motherhood. I had a really hard time transitioning from career woman to full-time Mama. One day at a time, I made peace with it and wholeheartedly mothered.
Then I found myself pushing back when they started growing and leaving home. Were they making wise choices? Were they ready? The real inquiry for me was this: Was I ready? It was a process for me to accept the inevitable.
But here we are! A whole new season of life is opening up for exploration and discovery.
I found myself giddy with anticipation!
This is the time when we can focus on ourselves, without guilt or hesitation. It is the time to unpack and reignite our passions and fuel our mojo.
Note: What do I mean by mojo? I choose the definition from the Cambridge Dictionary which encompasses excitement, interest, energy, and enthusiasm. When we are functioning in our mothering mojo, we are successful and full of energy!
Has it been a while since you felt enthusiasm? Indeed, are you trying to identify what lights you up?
It was Albert Einstein who said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.”
When you were younger you were probably curious about a hundred things, some of which matured into passions. Maybe you loved a film so much that you had to watch it every single day. Maybe you loved an author so much that you read everything they wrote. Or maybe you were fascinated with dinosaurs and sure you were going to become an archeologist?
Whatever the case, there are very few kids or teenagers in the world who feel ‘meh’ about anything. As a kid you either love it, or you hate it. That’s what it meant to be passionate at that age.
These days, though, the reality is quite different for most of us. If you’re like most people then you will probably find yourself doing things half-heartedly, not all that excited about anything.
So how do you reconnect to those old passions you once had? How do you reignite yourself?
Living the unignited life is like being ready to cook a gourmet meal while the pilot light on the stove is off. You know what you need to do.
Remember Your Old Passions
One of the best ways to find out what you are passionate about today is to think about what you used to be passionate about. When you were younger you probably wanted to be an astronaut or a princess or both and it’s only as we get older that we are told to find something more ‘adult’ to be interested in.
For me, it was writing and music. I had urges to express myself that could not be silenced. Then I realized that the life of an artist was more struggle than I was willing to endure. So I went to law school, which was never really a passionate interest.
But just because we’ve been forced to bury those old interests, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there still bubbling under the surface.
And just because you might not realistically become an astronaut, that doesn’t mean you can’t still chase a passion for space, or for travel, or for new horizons – whatever it was that originally drove you to feel so strongly.
Spend some time thinking about what you’ve lost touch with. What was it that once captured your interest and imagination? How did that make you feel?
Sometimes you will find that you have lost interest in the things that once were so amazing to you. If that’s the case, no worries. I lost my ambition to be a flute player with the Chicago Symphony, but I never lost my love of words.
There is nothing wrong with finding new things to be passionate about. Or, you could also try adding a new spin to an old passion. For instance, while I once fancied myself as a broody Irish fiction author, I now joyously write non-fiction articles and books.
Rediscovering old passions is about respect for the past but it’s also about growth and development and not forcing a square peg back into an old, round hole. (When I was a sophomore in high school, one of my teachers wrote in my autograph book that I WAS a square peg in a round hole. At the time, I thought it a bit off-putting. Now I rejoice in it!)
So, where are you at Mama? It’s your time. What will you do with it?
It’s time to reignite mom!
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