My family recently returned from a vacation to DC and Charlotte. One of those jam-packed trips filled with sightseeing and visits with family and friends. Also one of those trips where we may have walked a few miles too many and seen a few too many famous sites. We might now need a vacation from our vacation. But, we were making new family memories, even with sometimes tired and grumpy kids (and possibly parents too). All in all, it was a successful family vacation all the same.
Upon arriving back in Flower Mound, Texas, we started talking about where we should go next, because isn’t that the first thing we all do after a great vacation? Time to start planning the next one! It is a great way to have fun things to look forward to in life, especially if you love to travel the way we do, but I do still try my best to savor all the little moments from my past trips as well.
There were a lot of fun (as well as ridiculous) ideas floating around regarding where to go next, but the one that really stuck with me was San Antonio, especially when my daughter asked why we live so close and still haven’t been down there recently for a visit. That made me pause. We’ve been back in Texas going on two years at the end of 2018, and why haven’t we been back to San Antonio? The city of so many firsts for us: where we started our marriage, where we bought our first house, where we got our first dogs, and most importantly, where both our kids were born.
The truth is, even though I have many close friends and many great memories of our life in San Antonio, I haven’t wanted to visit because I still miss living there. I also hadn’t wanted to visit until we felt more settled in our new home environment. I had hoped on some level that our last move might bring us back to San Antonio, but at this time, we were meant to be in another city in Texas. However, as what often happens, the longer we’re in our new city, the more settled and at home we all feel here. Plus, making new friends and experiencing the fun things this area has to offer, definitely helps too.
So, imagine my surprise when an opportunity recently became available in San Antonio! Crazy timing, right? Just when our family is feeling settled and happy and content, the opportunity we were looking for two years ago suddenly opens up. What to do?
As it turns out, the timing just wasn’t quite right anymore. But, it also reiterated in my mind that I’m happy right where I am. Yes, I still had to grieve the loss of my dream of living in San Antonio again, but I now realize just how far I’ve come, and that I’m at peace and no longer grieving this loss. I’m happy where I am in life here-and-now, and although I still want to be open to new life adventures and experiences, the timing also has to be right to take those giant leaps into the unknown!
This unexpected opportunity also got me thinking about other opportunities that have recently shown up in my life. I’ve been asked to guest blog (flattering but I want to keep full control over my writing as I hope to publish another book in the future); I’ve been invited to be part of a new meditation app (interesting concept, but not really the direction I want to go professionally, and personally I still prefer my daily quiet meditation); I’ve been approached about speaking locally at different events (these I tend to accept depending on the topic, even though I really dislike public speaking. Does anyone really enjoy it? But, I know it’s also good to get out of my comfort zone every once and a while!).
What’s my point in sharing all this? That there will always be opportunities and choices in life, but you have to be very clear why you are or are not accepting them. Some of that gets flushed out by timing, in that sometimes it works and other times it just doesn’t work at all. Sometimes you just intuitively know if it fits into your life or not. But, what about those times in the middle, the ones that are a little more arbitrary, the ones that are really hard to decide one way or the other? In those instances, I urge you to sit with those opportunities. Think about them. Talk to others about them. Journal about them. Process them in therapy with your therapist.
Why is it so important to take the time to mull over these opportunities and choices in life? Because we’re often not just trying to gain clarity for that one opportunity, it often goes so much deeper than that, to our values, to our life goals, to our hopes and dreams for the future.