Intention

I have found, as the dust has cleared in my life, that I want to live with more deliberate intention.

Who am I? What do I value? How will my values inform my decisions?

I feel like I’m asking myself these questions for the first time. I spent my early twenties trying to find someone to live my life with. I spent my mid-twenties falling in love with that person and deciding whether or not he was “the one.” I spent my late twenties trying to have my first child with him. And I spent my early thirties continuing to build my family. Sure I learned a lot about myself during that time, but most of what I’ve been doing–how I’ve been living my life–has been reactionary. I haven’t been making conscious decisions based on who I want to be, so much as reacting to the circumstances life has thrown at me.

Now things are relatively stable, there aren’t any wrenches being thrown into my carefully laid plans (at least not at the moment), and I can be more deliberate in my choices. As I mentioned before, I’m not in any great rush to figure any of this out. I’m taking my time, considering different possibilities, remaining honest with myself about what I can and cannot do. I’m not looking to hang my hat on anybody’s else ideals, though I’m curious and want to be informed. I’m researching different possibilities: determining what will work for me, and what probably won’t.

I want to make conscious decisions about every area of my life. I don’t want to be living a certain way just because I never took the time to consider how I was doing things, or how I might do things differently. I’m looking closely at what kind of mother I want to be. What kind of wife, teacher, friend and community member I want to become. I’m considering, honestly, what kind of carbon footprint I want to leave, and whether or not what I want is realistic. I am exploring my relationship with food, investigating what my choices really mean and exploring ways I can do things differently while still respecting the other aspects of myself, and my family.

I want every aspect of my life to, eventually, be a reflection of who I am and what I think is important. It’s my dream that my children will know who I am from my actions, not my words. That they will be able to look to my life and see a reflection of who I really am.

I know I have a long way to go. In some areas my actions reflect my values, but in more ways they do not. Right now I am making a lot of choices based on convenience–a lack of time and sometimes even laziness. I know I can’t overhaul everything we’re doing, but I can take baby steps towards the changes I want to see in my life. What I appreciate about my attitude now is that I’m not judging myself for the choices I’ve made so far. I’ve done the best I could under past circumstances. But those circumstances have changed, and they will continue changing. I hope I will only have more time and energy to make conscious, informed, mindful decisions as my children grow older.

I want to write more about this, but it’s very late and I’ve been trying really hard to get to bed earlier; being more sleep is something I’m very deliberately trying to incorporate into my life. If that means blogging less, than so be it. This is the kind of give and take I’m figuring out right now, and right now blogging has to give sleeping can take.

Do you find yourself making choices with more intention as you get older? What does living deliberately look like in your life?

5 responses

  1. You’re in my head. I am trying to think about life and decisions in the same way—how does this fit into the big picture of what I want for my life, whether related to my self, my marriage, my children. Every little decision can be made so much easier seeing it through that lens, but its hard to always remember to take the time to do so.

  2. It’s so easy to get into the habit of doing things out of habit or because it’s the easier path. I think no matter what stage we are at in life, it’s important to try to incorporate living intentionally. It would give our lives more meaning…

  3. I love your posts because they give me lots to think about, but I’m not mentally in a place where I can comment in the way they deserve – you’re so thought provoking! Have you read ‘notes from a blue bike’ by Tsh….crap, forget her last name….it’s about living intentionally. And awhile ago I recommended the Desire Map but I hadn’t read it – I’m starting now, on the kindle, and I think it would be right up your alley with where you are at and what you’re struggling with right now.

  4. This is super interesting to me. I guess I assume a lot of people work on this in their twenties or at least dwell on it a lot – the whole who am I thing. But it makes sense that lots of women get to this later, because of becoming a mother early. Living intentionally is a great goal.

  5. What a great post. You should reread it once a month, just to remind yourself of your “intentions.” I think that there are two things that make me feel the same way. One is being someone’s parent. I want to be a good role model. Also, as you said, we’re at a point in our lives where it’s not so much scrambled to get somewhere…instead we can just live the way we want/hope.

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