Several years ago, I was in my early 40s, newly divorced, laid off from my teaching job, and feeling aimless. Some of you might be able to relate. I looked for the silver lining, viewed that time as a hiatus, a chance to slow down, to enjoy my kids, and to travel. (We visited family in Mississippi and Sacramento. That's travel, right?) Then, when I got back to the real world, it was time to get focused.
I attended a career workshop designed for adrift attorneys. I'm an attorney-- adrift ever since I passed the bar. Anyway, one of the assignments was to draft a mission statement for my life and work. Mine was very eloquent; I labored over each word. I wanted to find just the right ones. And, our instructor said it should be just one sentence. But, she screwed up-- she didn't give us a word limit. So in 100 some odd words, here is what I came up with.
My Mission in life is to find a deeper spiritual understanding of my true purpose, to find balance in work and family, to send my children into--
Oh, heck! Blah, blah, blah. Something about empowerment, fellowship, happiness. Blah, blah. One hundred-ish words.
Fast forward about eight years. As another birthday rolls around, I am (obviously and gratefully) older, still divorced, and somewhat employed. I've experienced loss and joy, and more loss and more joy. I'm mostly okay with the silver in my hair and all of those other things that come with being crazy close to 50. My kids are good. I'm good. It's all good.
Today, my mission statement has been refined to its essence. It is:
If it doesn't feed my soul or my children... I ain't doin' it.
I'm just sayin'.