A few years ago when I turned thirty--okay fine, six years ago--I wasn't so happy with my life. Financial setbacks, career roadblocks in a failing economy, and general emotional baggage were really weighing me down. I had spent the majority of my twenties, working, studying, struggling and just generally getting by with enough energy to drag myself into my car each day.
As college graduation approached (I went part time while working for years) I knew that era was coming to some sort of end and I was ready to live the life I really wanted. Oh, sure I'll wake up and start that right now, right?
Well, I really did. I even read that super cheesy book, The Secret. Overall, a pretty ridiculous read..even for self-help lovers, but there was one exercise in that book that really clicked for me. The intention board.
Yep, I sat down like a kindergartner with my scissors and glue and cut out images of what I wanted all areas of my life to look like. Where I wanted to live, the things I wanted to do, and even what clothes I would wear. I remember there was a picture of an adorable little girl eating an ice cream cone--an admission to myself that yes, I really wanted to start a family and soon. I put my completed poster where I would see it every day when I was getting ready, and I'll be damned if I don't have nearly everything on that board right now.
It's not some magic formula or mystery. Once you own what it is you really want, you have already set the wheels in motion to get it because you aren't going to do anything else that contradicts your new goals. The things that you are doing are building towards what you know in your heart that you really desire. I had to decide that I would be rather be single forever than put up with anymore emotionally-stunted, chemically addicted morons who didn't want the same things I wanted. (My girlfriends are SO picturing my ex boyfriends right now) I met my husband two months after my little glue stick project and I was very up front about who I was and the life I envisioned. Lucky for me he was honest with himself too, and our visions matched.
Our visions have both changed a bit, but we've evolved together and last night we found ourselves unexpectedly having one of those "where are we in life?" conversations. With the addition of another living being coming very soon, we've had to ponder how it's all going to work, both financially and logistically, while still maintaining our sanity, our marriage and our sense of self. We assessed needs, wants and what baggage it was time to shed.
So here it is, the new intention board. What I want life to look like in six years. Not terribly far from where we are now, but I'm owning it. You hear that, Universe??
We have some financial ickyness in our past. We've come a long way in the last three years, especially as we function on one full-time income. We've reduced our debt by a gargantuan amount and we are serious about thrift. We don't buy expensive things. . . but we fritter. Four dollars here, four dollars there, lunch on the run. It takes a lot to undo the bloated mentality of the 90's credit card culture. Sometimes we just need to make the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and live with it.
Reducing our human cholesterol. A bag of donations by the door always. Too much stuff. Stuff gunks up what's really important. Such as...
Raising our children to be sane, healthy, and compassionate in a ever-increasingly materialistic and technology-obsessed world. It's harder than it sounds. I'm just as guilty as the rest. Unplug, people, and get out a puzzle.
Build our community. We're still sort of new in town. I've been pregnant half the time, and it can be very isolating. I want our table to look like this on Sunday afternoons.
Get serious about that crumbling pile of bricks in the country. We want this to be the view out our window.
It's time to put those designs skills to good use and renovate our forever home. Beautifully. There's no shortage of elbow grease ready and waiting for this structure.
With an outbuilding of course, as I am going to take this artist life for a ride and turn it into a full-time endeavor that supports our life and family.
And a garden. That we grow ourselves and make this:
Because I want to be the healthiest I've ever been at age forty--not skinny, botoxed, medicated, or trendy--HEALTHY. Because life is sweet. And my kids deserve healthy role models and active parents who will be around when they are adults.
This is what I want. Let the record show. I used my digital glue stick. Maybe, you can see how I'm doing along the way.