Success on my own terms. A little self-indulgence.

My friends just shared a link for an audio course from a guru that we all love and admire—it’s about defining your success on your own terms. When I lost my major income source this winter, I suddenly had the thing I had been praying for—SPACE. I had just wanted space to do these exciting and creative things. But since I had been a working mother (and we are talking 2-3 jobs here, people) and raising three kiddos, that opportunity was illusive. And then suddenly it wasn’t. In fact, it has become my new job. (which is exciting but doesn’t pay very well. And I don’t really care because it feels essential to my survival right now).

More of this. Please.

If it seems like I am writing or living this life as if my life depended on it, it’s because it does. And I have no idea what the final product will look like or what all of this will turn in to. I am trained as a clinical therapist and I live in the middle of nowhere. But something tells me that am called to interact with people on my own terms. Literally, on my own property out here in the middle of nowhere. And, again, I have no idea what that even looks like.

Here’s what I know:

  • I love writing. I love sharing what I write, but mostly I just love writing. It helps me make sense of all of this.
  • I’m a super passionate person and I haven’t felt that way in a while. Like, light-shit-on-fire passionate. I want to do that.
  • I love hosting and centering around a theme or concept or event. You might not know this, but Matt’s and my wedding was a DIY affair out here on the ranch for over 300 people. Seven-piece live country western band, pig roast and sagebrush and roses. THAT is good stuff.
  • I love being at the ranch. It is hard to drag my ass into town on the days that I need to do that. Once I get there and I’m working with the students at my schools, I love it. I’m good at it and they need it and it’s wonderful! But I don’t want to drive into town to feel that way. I want it to be out HERE.
  • Speaking of kids, nothing helps me be more mindful than the needs of children. And when I can immerse myself in it, it is magical. More of THAT.
  • I love an adventure. I redefined myself by moving to New Orleans for college where I knew no one and then again to Chicago (also solo) and living and working downtown for five years. If I’m happy at home, it’s probably part of a larger adventure. Check.
  • My love language is quality time. Quality time with myself and my husband and my kids and my girlfriends. Just flat out quality time. And for what I’m lacking in income right now, I’m certainly making up for in this department.
  • I am so deeply longing for spirituality and meaning in my life that I am looking for it (and finding it!) everywhere. This probably isn’t sustainable, but it’s even on Matt’s XM radio every time I get into his truck (thanks for that gem last week, Howie Day). It is borderline crazy. But when I’m lost, I look for guideposts. And I only have to see to the next roadside marker. My eyes are peeled right now.
  • I am inspired by the creativity of creating something out of nothing. Capitalizing on the resources available to make something new. In cooking, my sister-in-law calls it “roulette dinner” where you make whatever is in your cupboard into something delicious. I am fascinated by crafts that repurpose old furniture or metal or other available trinkets and turn it into a one-of-a-kind creation. I’ve joked for years about staring the “Crafty Cricket” in my garage. If you know my dad, you will know that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree on this fascination.
  • I love living “off the grid” (or thinking about living off the grid) and homesteading. To me, homesteading means staking your claim and building your own place in the world. I could do that ALL DAY. And not just my physical environment. I like to stake my claim and build my own place in the world by decorating my house and cooking and building a business and writing. Homesteading my life.

I love that one of the things my mom said when Matt and I were moving out to the ranch was, “Good. Now I don’t have to worry about you guys anymore.” Blink. Blink. Blink. I had just lost my job. But I know exactly what she meant and I felt the same way. Isn’t that insane?? I would add that I absolutely know that we are going to be (even better than) alright. That’s what I know.

This post is self-serving and gratuitous. And absolutely a cry for help! If you can help me make sense of all of this, please contribute to the commentary in my head.