Figuring Out My Why
This past weekend I travelled with a friend to Dallas for Bloggy Boot Camp. This just happens to be the third event by The SITSgirls that Iâ€™ve attended and Iâ€™m so glad I went. (You can read about my second trip: Getting to Bloggy Boot CampÂ Charlotte, here.) I always leave their events smarter and happier and more focused.
This trip I spent the “down time” going over my notes andÂ Figuring Out My Why. I needed to, I really did. While there, I had some moments of clarity and now I’m so grateful I took the time for myself. I love this conference and everything I get from participating in it.Â Maybe Iâ€™ll become a serious SITS fan, like a Phish fan, following them around the country and going to all of their events. Soaking up the knowledge and energy. Ummm, probably not, but I canâ€™t say it didnâ€™t cross my mind.
Iâ€™ve got a lot to share in terms of what I learned, about the amazing people I met, some invaluable influencer insights to improve my scores and stats and some amazing best practices for blogging. But at the end of the day (or four days in this case) it all comes down to my why. Why Iâ€™d put myself out there: travel, take time away from my family, forge new friendships, and develop relationships with other women and men doing the same thing I am.
I do it because I love writing and sharing stories and learning new things. I do it because I have (secretly) always wanted to write a book. I do it because I cannot honestly encourage my kids to follow their dreams if I donâ€™t take the time to follow my own.
And thatâ€™s the bottom line for me. I talk to my kids every day about life, the things they are doing and want to do; the things I do and want to do; and I need to be able to encourage them to take chances and put themselves â€œout there.â€ I canâ€™t encourage them if I donâ€™t take the time to encourage myself.
She is my whyâ€¦
She, who loves soccer, gymnastics, cooking, making jewelry, art and her friends. Who will talk my ears off, but loves being around me so much she will follow me around the house to be sure I don’t miss a single word she says. She will sit beside me reading just so we can be close. (I’ll be honest, it’s a pretty great feeling to be that important to someone.)
He is my whyâ€¦
He, who always follows the rules, loves everything sports, is a math wiz, and wants to be a professional LAX player (and asks me once a week why it doesnâ€™t pay more). He is truly bothered that he can’t play each and every sport available to him. “Why can’t I play football and soccer in the fall?” “Who says I can’t play basketball and hockey in the winter?” (I do, because 6 months + 80 hockey games = no time for basketball!!)
And he is my whyâ€¦
He, who loves sports, airsoft and video games, and is so crazy about hanging with his friends that we regularly have a houseful of boys. Who is almost as savvy with his electronics as I am. Who is now my height and reminds me of it daily. Who is growing up too fast (as they all are, but I see it in him first) and has already started the process of independence and pulling away.Â
It would be a shame and I would be a poor example for them if I didnâ€™t do something tangible that I love on an almost daily basis. They need to see me do â€œimportant for meâ€ things so someday they may be able to consider my actions as an example of how to make their lives better by doing something, even a small something, for themselves.
As a mom, as their mom, I hope they get to do what they love every single day of their lives.Â If for some reason they donâ€™t, I hope they remember what I did to incorporate my dreams into my day-to-day and know that they can do it too.
Have you thought about this? What do you do to set an example for your kids so they know you are making efforts to be happy with your life? Have you spent time “Figuring Out My Why?” Do you talk about your dreams with your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for taking the time from your day to visit “So, I’ve Been Thinkingâ€¦”
I love your reasons why you blog and write. Truly all three seem totally worthy of me and I feel so similar about my two little girls. But am glad you got to take a break and go to the conference this weekend and helped clear you mind that much more.
Thank you Janine, I’m glad I went too. I would recommend that conference to anyone, it was great!
Oh, I love everything about this! I love that your beautiful children are your why. You are setting a fabulous example for them not only by dreaming big but by incorporating those dreams into your day-to-day. And I’m so jealous you got to go to Bloggy Boot Camp! I really need to get on the ball and make plans to attend a blogging conference soon!
If you can go to one of the Boot Camps – DO IT! It was so worth it!
Well said! I need to dig down and get the courage (and take the time/ submit to the commitment) to do what I truly love to do. You’re right, it IS about our kids and the example we set. I can get so caught up in the everyday tasks of dealing with their ‘now’ that I sacrifice setting the example to lay the proper foundation for their (and my) future. Thank you for the reality check!
Thanks April, I know if you set your mind to it you will commit and be successful. And you will love yourself for it.
I really, really needed to read this and I plan on sharing it all over the place because this is EXACTLY why! Your kids are beautiful and I love what you wrote about each of them. I love that you said that about how can we tell them to follow their dreams if we don’t follow ours? I just love that so much.
Thank you! For sharing and for your kind words. I appreciate both!
Stephanie, I actually read this post last night before I saw your comment on my post about it but I hadn’t yet gotten a chance to comment, because the kids would not let up on me until bedtime! Anyway, I loved it. I was so inspired. Your photos are beautiful and both that and the photos bring your kids to life. And I am so jealous I didn’t go to Dallas too. I think it would have been a blast and even though I’ve been blogging for awhile, I still have a lot to learn. Next time!! Let’s blog convention hop together! And my husband is a Phish fan and it’s fierce.
We can definitely convention hop. Maybe Philly in 2014? We can drive, Michelle and I have no business on planes anymore. It may be a blog post but right now its just a bad bad memory!
I loved this! You’re absolutely right – doing what we love sets a foundation for our kids. I think this a good reminder to all of us. I do know what my kids’ dreams are…but I don’t know if they know what mine are. Food for thought for me, thank you Steph!
Thanks Michelle, when you spend as much time as we did awake for 4 days you do, for sure, have some time to think.
This is AH-MAZING. Am totally going to share it right now. I think about this a lot, actually, especially when my girls are complaining about how long I stay on the computer. I think that one day they will look back and realize that they appreciate me doing something I love. It will inspire them. At least I hope so. Excellent post in every way!!-Ashley
Thank you Ashley! It will inspire them and its setting a great example. They see you happy and laughingâ€¦and thats fantastic!
And, yes, I’m assuming you and Lisa are both laughing a lot writing your hilarious posts!
This actually brought me to tears, Stephanie. Because every word you wrote is my truth too. I love blogging, and after 11 years of being a stay at home mom I needed to do something I love outside of being a mom. My daughter recently wrote in my birthday card how proud she was of me for writing, and how she secretly loves my blog. She is my why. My son too, but he’s not quite as expressive as his sister 🙂
That’s so great – I love my daughter for her expressiveness, too. I think its a great quality to have. That birthday card must have brought a tear to your eye, what a compliment.
Now that one made me cry! the great thing about your writing is the emotion is stirs within me- That is the sign of a great writer! of which you are! so stop thinking so hard and let it flow….
It’s all about you.
Heheheheâ€¦thanks Mikki, your support and encouragement means a ton!
I think that if the dream is important to you, then it’s important to your kids. You as the happy, fulfilled mom will be able to give them so much more. But using your kids as you “why” is the best starting point for that ever.
I agree Ilene. I also think it’s just healthy for them to realize I can have something that really is exclusive of them. They can be part of my motivation but I’m not dependent on them to accomplish my goals.
Your why is mine too, for blogging.
It’s a nice feeling to have figured some of it out. Should help to keep me focused.
Beautiful. Just beautiful. There is so much in this post- so much… My kids know my blog is my passion, and that I sacrifice my time and energy to fulfill a dream of mine. I pray they see the mission as well as the mindfulness of it all. We are truly inspiring our children to work hard, dream hard and reach toward our goals. I agree, there is a beautiful balance in both worlds. They intertwine beautifully with each other. 🙂
You are so right Chris, I hope they see it as an inspiration and I hope I am able to be mindful of the balance – it can get away from me sometimes.
I love this post! I hope one day that the kids know that I did it all for them. At times it feel very overwhelmed with all the blog technical stuff. I got home from Dallas and just took the week off. It really was great to do that! My “why” is my two boys-thank you for the inspiration!
That was smart. I didn’t take the whole week off but I spent some time reevaluating. It’s important!!
We should all really discover and embrace our why as much as you have done. This is beautiful!
Thank you! If we don’t think about it, it’s pretty easy to lose focus. For me, at least. Thank you for coming by and commenting!
This is a HUGE question. I don’t think most people spend any time figuring out the why in life and finding peace and meaning in their lives. Of course, kids need to know we care about these things and are working toward these things. But, it first means we have to address them despite the drudgery and business of life! Lead by example, but talk about it, too! (Visiting from the MM LinkUp!)
Oh, I’m so glad you stopped by. It is a huge question and it’s not easy to work through all the day-to-day, love that you get it!
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I love each and every one of your whys. I love that you went to Dallas! I am so jelly!! 🙂 I wish I could bottle that SITS energy and keep it in a bottle for daily consumption 🙂
This is very touching and sentimental, I love it.
Your ‘why’ is perfect. I need to “Figure Out My Why”.
This is amazing! I have never really thought about it, but writing and being a SAHM, has been one of my dreams for years. You put it so beautifully about how can you encourage your kids to follow their dreams if you are not doing the same! I think it is about time to come up with my why! Have a great weekend!