1. to move on, over, or through
2. to direct or manage...
3. to ascertain or plot and control the course or position of...
4. to pass over
5. to walk or find one's way
Like many of us, when I think of navigate I think of the captain of a ship.
Someone responsible for the vessel…the crew…and for the overall experience of the journey.
I've been wanting to write this post for days but…
there's nothing cute or pretty about the state of my mind, life or house right now. Therefore, I just keep putting off posting anything while I wait for the "feel good" feelings to resurface and the inspiration to share something fun with all of you to show itself.
I've come to the conclusion that perhaps those feelings aren't going to happen until I just share what's been on my heart.
My house is seriously in shambles and I am about to do something extreme. Dragging the live Christmas tree out to the road WITH ALL OF THE ORNAMENTS AND LIGHTS STILL ON IT for trash pick-up is not out of the question at this point.
The idea of having a bulldozer come and scoop away every bit of crap and piece of clutter from this house, leaving nothing behind except my photographs and journals, has also been an appealing thought. I'm not even kidding.
I'm extreme like that. There was one time I went through my cluttered closet and got rid of every single piece of clothing that either didn't fit anymore, I didn't like or I knew I would never wear again. I was left with 2 pairs of pants and a few shirts.
Or how about the time I threw out an entire collection of non-stick cooking pans because for months I noticed some scratches on some of them and convinced myself I was poisoning my family every time I cooked with them. Finally after months of expressing my concerns and being anxious over it, I decided that by ridding myself of the potentially harmful pots and refusing to cook anymore until we had new ones was clearly my only option.
There was also the time I ripped up the carpet throughout the house because I couldn't stand it anymore and preferred to live on bare concrete floors until hardwood floors could be installed? Yeh. I did that. And thankfully we had hardwood floors about a month later.
"Extreme measures" seem to be something I continue to take when a particular situation has been eating away at me for some time. I will eventually arrive at the moment when I'm beyond overwhelmed and address the issue head-on with irrational decision-making. In fact, now that I'm thinking about all of this (and publicly sharing it all here on the blog), I'm realizing these extreme measures typically always involve a purge of some sort. I'm certain a psychological evaluation would link this behavior to some sort of dysfunction I experienced growing up…right?
Needless to say I feel like my life is completely out of control right now so I'm trying to find ways to bring more peace and simplicity into my world. (and see…I immediately start thinking of more things I can purge to simplify my life). Ugh!
I think purging is definitely something I need to do in many areas of my life…(starting with my garage perhaps) and I believe there are ways in which purging can be really be healthy and liberating. I get that. However, I also know deep down it's much more than purging I need. (and I'm not referring to a psychological evaluation or a straight jacket).
I need to make better choices.
We all know choices have consequences…no matter if your choices are good or bad…all of our choices come with ramifications in some form or another. I've taught my children this…I continue to teach them this and life will continue to teach us all. I've told them the consequences may not happen immediately or then again they might. You may not recognize them for some time or they might scare the bajeebies out of you as soon as you make the wrong choice. And actually, the consequences for making right choices could scare the bajeebies out of you too.
Bottom line is this…there are no guarantees as to what the consequences will be - you have no control over that. You only have control over your choices. That's it.
The place I'm at right now in my life is a direct consequence of choices I have made and choices I continue to make and even choices I don't want to make. Because even when you choose to not make a choice - that's a choice in and of itself.
But I'm not telling you all anything you don't already know or haven't already heard before and we are all where we are at because of choices - either our own or through the choices made by others.
So what does all this mean for me and where do I go from here?
That's where the word NAVIGATE comes into play.
You see, I've come to the realization that there's a big difference between making choices and navigating. Choices can be made on a whim. Navigating is about reaching a specific point…arriving at a specific destination and strategically figuring out the best way to get there. And for me it also means arriving at that point and staying there. Navigating takes some time and effort…and even choices. The difference is that the choices are intentional and deliberate.
Want an analogy? (well you are getting it anyway because I'm usually pretty good at these things).
My decision making, for the most part, has been like that of a captain of a ship setting sail without a destination in mind, a map, a compass, a crew or the tools necessary to successfully navigate the open seas. I just saw a pretty ship and jumped aboard, put on my captain's jacket and away I went. I looked the part and all I knew was that I was heading away from the shoreline and at the time, that's all that mattered. I never had a specific destination in mind…only the hope of adventure to come. My course would suddenly change each time a small storm arose, or if a school of dolphins happened to catch my eye in the distance and sometimes simply by the light of the moon. I've been lost at sea and on many occasions found myself in the middle of a storm - not knowing how to properly maneuver through the crashing waves - almost causing the ship to capsize. I've been battered by the waves and even thrown off the imaginary course I was never really ever on from misguided choices. I've been at sea for years and yet I've travelled nowhere.
Did you like that? I thought it was pretty good…although I can be quite dramatic sometimes, but still.
So where is it I want to travel to?
I REALLY want to arrive at the place of harmony and balance between the passions in my life…which are my children, my family, my friends, and the creative energy that keeps me alive; My passions fuel my desire to make, bake and photo-take. *wink* My passions cause me to want to create pretty things, to do good in the world, to be the best mom I can be, and to become the person I was created to be…which is me. Little. Ole. Me. And to be really good at being ME! I want to put what matters most FIRST and I want to make sure I keep my priorities in line - which are my kids, my well-being, my faith.
This is going to take some serious navigating.
And that's why NAVIGATE is my "One Little Word" for 2014.
I'll be back soon to share with you some of the tools I'm using to help me NAVIGATE!
KEEPiNG iT REAL
I cut the original post I wrote in half and I've created two posts from it.
I guess I really have a lot to say about this one little word!