On Jan. 1, I said to myself, “This is my year.” I didn’t know why I believed that, but I wholeheartedly did. And do.
The year has started out well. Lots of good things happening. But I got a phone call this morning that made me realize the good things are happening around me, not because of me. And as I talked with my friend on the phone, I realized the fire that has always raged inside me had dimmed and was barely a hot coal.
This has never been an angry fire. It has been a passionate fire. A fire that inspired and empowered. I am a person of action, but the last couple years have changed me. Made me stronger? Yes. But caused me to back away from the things that kept my fire burning. My writing, mentoring, networking. The things that have given me purpose beyond that of my family and close friends.
So today, I write. Because being creative is what really makes us our individual selves, right? It separates us from the others that we get lumped in with. Usually other moms, which is a wonderful group to belong to, but it strips us of so much of ourselves.
Once you’re a mom, you are JUST a mom in the eyes of those around you. You are no longer a lover or an artist or a force. You are a mom and that is good, but is it enough?
In the beginning of motherhood, you can’t imagine life as anything other than caring for these little people you’ve created. But as they grow and become self-sufficient, we struggle to find ourselves again. We likely have more time in some ways but less time in others. Driving kids to and from activities seems like a full-time job. We, like small children, often struggle with transitions. So even though we have an hour before we have to do anything, sometimes just sitting and watching an episode of Dateline is all we can handle. But what if it’s because we’ve let our fire dim? What if it’s because the passion that fueled us before kids just isn’t raging anymore? What if letting that fire go out is actually settling?
Here is my challenge to all of you for 2024: Light that fire again. What kept you going when you were younger? Was it art? Music? Activism? Whatever it was, do it again. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a week, do it. Create, inspire, empower. Whatever you have to do to make the time, make it. Prioritize your fire this year. I truly believe 2024 is MY year and it’s my year to not settle. I will settle for nothing less than being my authentic, fiery, inspired self. I will live a life that cultivates my passions and shows my children that their passions are important and are what makes them unique.
Make 2024 your year to stand out as more than a mom. You are a writer, a dancer, a teacher, a painter, a sculptor, a lover, a creator, a force. Be a force this year. Scare the people around you with your ferocity. Stoke those flames and make them rage and remember who you were when you felt the most empowered or unique or special. We are women of action. Make 2024 YOUR year. Godspeed, my friends.