Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Move With a Purpose

The primary reason I started writing this blog was to give my children a simple record of the things I want them to know and remember long after I'm gone. The days are typically full of petty reminders (pick up your socks, brush your teeth, quit pestering your brother...) and I fear the big messages may be lost. So I write them down.

When they look back on my blog one day, they are probably going to ask, "What happened to 2016?"

The older kids may recall the Year of the Frantic New Careers and Other Changes. The younger ones may recall the Year We Rarely Saw Mom and Dad and Ate a Lot of Pizza.

Short story - We looked ahead at the rest of our 40s and realized two things:
1. We've always wanted to work together.
2. College is expensive (multiply X 6).

And so last year we took a significant leap of faith.

We went from a few part-time jobs (me) and a corporate job (him) in 2015 to a full-time work-from-home communications job (me), a Main Street solo law practice (him), and 24/7 real estate sales jobs (both) in 2016.

In spite of all the challenges of starting over on brand new ventures at this stage of life, everything is going fine and college bills are getting paid. Which is not the important part.

The important part is that sometimes life gets really, really busy and that's okay. As long as your own particular busy is pure and worthwhile.

We were so busy that we spent
our anniversary shopping for toilets.
Hilariously mundane, but at least it
was a date night - with a purpose.
One of my mom catchphrases is, "Come on, people, move with a purpose." Mostly this is just a nice way of saying, "HURRY UP!" But back when we moved (11 times) with the military, I realized one day while shouting saying that phrase that we all could literally move with a purpose. It made me think a lot about how life changes and how we can reinvent or reintroduce ourselves as we arrive at new places. Moving. With a purpose.

At this point in our parenting lives, we are straddling the fence with three adult children and three youngsters. The grown kids have quickly figured out that adulting means not really knowing what you're doing. Welcome to reality, kids! Should you pick up that second major? Should you pursue the out-of-town job or the hard-to-get crush? Should you invest in an unpaid internship or find a paying job? Do you want to live near home or strike out on an adventure?

Big reveal -- there are rarely good and bad answers. Most of the time you'll be faced with good and, well, also good. But you still have to decide.

Which brings me back to all the frozen pizza.

There's a purpose here. Your parents are doing the best we can to do the most we can for as many of you as we can. Just like pretty much all the other parents out there. Pursuing one good thing almost always means another good thing is going to have to give for at least a while.

That's a pretty good secret to successful adulting. Give up the idea that you'll ever have it all at the same time and you'll find some contentment and peace.

But whatever it is that you are having right now, make sure it has purpose. And when you move on to the next thing, move on out with a purpose.

Always with a purpose.

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