Do you battle the “what if” life? I sometimes glance at the mess piling up around my feet and hear the screeches of children fighting as I try to discuss a math problem while frantically thinking of ideas for lunch and wonder what on earth I have gotten myself into? I mean, really! What am I doing? I’m trying to do a million little things at once and I don’t think I’m doing any of them well. My life looks so messy. I ask myself if this is fulfilling and if this is truly my calling. Then the doubts creep up on me and I lapse into the dangerous daydream of “what if?”
- I had a corporate job?
- we had waited longer to have kids?
- we had both worked for a while?
- we had fewer kids?
- we had more kids?
- we didn’t homeschool?
- someone else shouldered the responsibility of teaching my kids?
- I had time to go to lunch with friends (or at least make new friends)?
- I had more help around the house?
- I had time to work out?
- I had time to cook the meals that I would actually like to eat?
- I had more time to volunteer?
- I could be more involved at church?
- I could pursue hobbies?
- I could actually read an entire book in one sitting?
I look at all the wonderful things that I could be doing. I wonder what life would be like. I wonder how life would be different.
Then I have to step back and focus on the here and now.
How do I put the “what ifs” behind me?
I count my blessings, examine the privilege of what I do daily, and remember that this season, while exhausting, is a fleeting one. In a few years my life and my time will look drastically different.
And mostly I question my heart. What are the cause of these “what if” questions?
Usually it comes back to pride or selfishness. I look at my stay-at-home homeschool mom job and I feel very unimportant. I sometimes wish for a job where I was more visible or at least my results were more immediately noticeable. Or maybe I wish for more time for myself to spend on my own pursuits rather than unselfishly dividing my time between 6 other people. Yes, it’s usually a problem within my own heart that has caused me to question my worth and the purpose of my “job” on a daily basis.
I realize that I’ll probably always wonder what if?………but I’ve started to change that question into “what now?” I’m moving forward and remembering that I can choose today to live with an undivided heart – one that is fully devoted to the here and now. I can’t change the past but I can impact the future.