From Elaina: Years ago, when my youngest went to kindergarten, I decided that I “should” think about re-entering the work force. At the time, I was only teaching two exercise classes a week and felt that I had more time to give to a job. I took a job as an office manager for a friend who had a business out of her home. My boss was lovely. The hours were super flexible. She even let me bring a sick kid to sleep on her couch while I worked. The only problem was that I didn’t enjoy the actual work. At the end of that school year, I was trying to determine what my next step would be. I happened to be reading a daily inspirational book. One of the meditations was absolutely meant for me! It talked about having a choice in front of you. The meditation was to really sit with your choices. Envision each choice down to the minute detail. Bring it out to the absolute completion of each choice years down the road.
I sat down and envisioned two paths. One path had me being an advocate for some unknown cause. I was the next Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King, Jr. In that scenario, I affected big changes in this world, but all my passion went to my cause and my family did not get all of me.
The second scenario was a quieter life. My family was my main focus and got the majority of my time. Any work I did was secondary and revolved around my family’s schedule.
As I sat with these two scenarios, it became clear that one path spoke to my heart more. I definitely felt led to pursue one of the paths. There wasn’t a right or wrong choice. The answer was in trusting my gut reaction. As you already know, I chose to focus on my family at that time. I was able to increase my hours at work so that the money was enough for what I needed.
Now that my youngest is in college, I had the same question. I sat down and thought about what I really want at this stage in my life. My goals used to be so lofty. I was going to be an astronaut. I was going to be famous. I was going to conquer the world! Now my goals are more simple. I want to connect with people. I want to have less stress and responsibility. I want to live a simple, happy life.
The point is, we all have choices to make at different stages in our lives. When your choices are in front of you, sit down with them. Use your imagination to draw them out. Then, trust your gut on what the right choice is for you at that moment.