Sometimes I can’t remember what really makes me happy, what I really want to accomplish in life, and what I’m working towards. I mean, I’m a mom, wife, business owner, and so you’d think those titles would be enough to keep me satisfied, but sometimes during the day-to-day quiet moments, I start to feel crazy like, “What am I doing with my life?” Do you ever do that? As a mom or caretaker, it is easy to have these moments when you question yourself because your life is so much less structured than it was in a corporate or scholastic setting. No grades, no performance reviews, no boss looking over your shoulder saying, “Good work!” It’s hard to know how to measure your success.
So, in moments of uncertainty, this is what I do . . . are you ready? I imagine my funeral! Gruesome, right? Just hang with me. I think, “What would I want people to say about me at my funeral? Who would I want there? What do I want it to feel like?” Asking these questions reminds me what I really value, because when all is said and done, I value some things more than others and those are the things that make me, ME. And what makes me, ME is where I should be spending my time every day; it is how I am able to be my best self.
"What makes me, ME is where I should be spending my time every day; it is how I am able to be my best self."
So now you want to know what my funeral will be like, don’t you? (Or what I hope it will be like . . . And yes, you are totally invited.) This whole “live like you want your funeral to be like” idea came to me after attending my great-aunt Leola Green Merrill’s funeral while I was a sophomore in college. She had four very accomplished kids, and a huge group of grandchildren who were darling, well-dressed, educated, and well-spoken. At her funeral, the church was packed with people who loved Leola and remembered her for her outspoken wit and her dedication to the arts, her faith, and family. They remembered the loving things she did and said, such as how she would call people at church when they got a new assignment to tell them how great they would be. Darling, right? Or how she would invite the neighborhood kids over to rehearse their speaking parts for church programs. People also mentioned things like what a fabulous public speaker she was and how in love she and her husband were.
I decided right then that I wanted a funeral just like Leola’s, so I better start living in a way that would help me be the type of person who leaves a legacy like hers. So when I feel like, “I don’t even know who I am!” I think of my funeral and I ask, “Am I a woman who reaches out to my local community on a level that is meaningful to them? Am I a committed wife and mom? Do I use my talents in a way that helps benefit others?” And most importantly:
“Am I living every single day to develop the attributes I want my family to remember me for?”
I’m reminded that the things I work on every day will make me the person I want to become. Do you ever struggle knowing where to place your energy as a mom? I hope in this chapter you find the tools to help you emotionally and spiritually progress while you are taking care of your little ones.
Find time every single day to recharge yourself spiritually. Set the goal to do this every day for a week for just 10 minutes, and then adjust the time as you feel you need it.
This is an excerpt from Andrea Faulkner Williams' book You've Got This, Mama. Take a look at few other activities that will be in the book like: 6 Tips for Postpartum Healing or How to Make Mom Friends.