A few years back I kept having this overwhelming feeling that I was not reaching my full potential. I guess you could call it FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).
Everywhere I looked it felt like people were successful and hitting their goals, except for me. It was discouraging and I couldn’t see past it; the grass looked SO much greener on the other side.
But then I had an epiphany -- I was going to do, what I now call, a Life Inventory.
I was going to prove to the world that I really was awful and that I wasn’t close to accomplishing any of my goals. But through this process I learned, in fact, the opposite was true.
As I walked through the phases of my life, it became clearer to me that I was actually accomplishing most of what I had dreamed about! The road to achieving these goals didn’t look pretty or quite like I thought it would, but there was progress. I was so focused on my final destination that I wasn’t enjoying my journey.
Some of my life goals were to be happily married, become a mom, run a successful business with multiple streams of income, live debt free, have a stable home, afford a private education for my kids, and to be able to give and donate to random acts of kindness.
Let's go on a personal journey where you will see that so many of my dreams are being fulfilled. You'll see that the road was anything but pretty. Sister, at times it was downright ugly!
*Time Machine Sounds* It's my final year of high school. If it weren’t for two teachers who didn’t want to see me back again the next year, I still might be there. My principal was a gem too. For whatever reason she thought it would be a wise idea to tell me “you'll never amount to anything.”
In 2003, at the tender age of twenty, I found myself in a toxic marriage, pregnant, and in the Air Force. The odds were definitely stacked against me, but I know now that it conditioned me to be the badass woman that I am today.
A few years later in 2005, I was a newly divorced young mother, living in my parent’s basement, making $11 per hour. Living the dream people… living the dream.
In 2007 I met my future husband for the second time. We had tried to date in high school, but I know now he was meant to come back into my life at this time. Only a year later we were married and he adopted my oldest child as his own. Our family was beginning to take shape.
2009 brought more difficulty our way. My husband was deployed to Iraq and I would bring our second child into the world without him by my side.
My husband came home from Iraq in 2010. We were so thrilled and excited to be together as a family of 4. But as fate would have it, that would be short lived. The civilian job we had planned for had been eliminated. Not what we had planned for. The fear set in... how would we support our family.
After searching for over a year and a half, my husband finally found a job in Texas in 2011. I also found myself pregnant again. He thankfully was able to negotiate a later start date to allow him to stay until after I gave birth. How did I find myself living alone again with three children? We were living in separate states for four long months.
Eventually I joined my husband in Texas and we enjoyed a few years where things were not going crazy. Well, except the fact that we had 3 children. We loved Texas and really loved the people. However my Bapa (Grandpa) began to fall ill and after much prayer, we found ourselves working towards a move back home to Wisconsin.
In 2014 it was time to move again and guess what?? YEP, I was pregnant AGAIN! Have you noticed a pattern yet?! When we got back to Wisconsin we could not find housing near my husband’s job. So the children and I lived with my parents. It was not ideal for any of us.
In 2015 we finally found a house and moved so we could be a whole family again. I started my own business and life was going well. Until once again a wrench was thrown into our lives. Our home that took us a year to find was being sold out from under us. What the junk? Again?!
We found "The Unicorn House" in 2016. This was that house we really wanted as a forever home to raise our children in. We prayed and begged God to allow us to get this house... and we did. It was the perfect forever home, except...
My husband made the decision to rejoin the military and left in June 2017. We had to sell our beloved home. Unfortunately, The Unicorn House was sold in October. I kept having to remind myself through the tears, your time, not mine, God. We rented a place across town until December and then on Christmas Eve, we moved into our current home in Tennessee. In 2018 I apparently thought I didn’t have enough on my plate, so I decided to jump at a business opportunity. It turned out to be pretty darn successful! This business changed our lives in every way possible in just a year!
In 2019 I launched this blog and website, "It’s A Business Tool Kit," relaunched The Binder Boss, and I'm STILL Making Nail Polish Great Again! as a leader for Color Street.
Do you see it?
I wanted to be happily married. I am. Marriage is hard and we’ve had our share of adversity, but I truly love my husband and know that we are stronger together than we ever could be apart (and boy did we prove that, on several occasions).
I wanted to be a mom. I think those four crazy kiddos that rule my house would allow me to check that off my list.
I wanted to have multiple streams of income. Yes, yes, yes and yes! That has happened!
I wanted to be debt free. This is a work in progress, but folks, we are almost there, including those pesky school loans!
I wanted a home for my children. What I’ve learned is that the physical home doesn’t give my children stability-- our love and resilience does. We might have a long-term home someday, but for now they have stability with us.
Our children are the proud recipients of a private school education. I can’t even wrap my mind around this. I’m sure they don’t care as much as I do, but through God’s grace, my children are at an amazing school that has helped tremendously with my sweet girl's academic struggles.
Finally, those random acts of kindness. Oh girl, I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing this has been. We can do it and it blesses me every single time. It’s also teaching my children to see people, to take action, and to live a life of generosity. I even got to take my GiGi out on her 92nd birthday to pass out cold hard cash to random strangers on the street. Now THAT was a blessing!
When I think back to that principal who said I would be nothing, I now laugh. Really? Nothing? I am everything I am meant to be.
When I was still in the military, I had the opportunity to go see this principal. I was dressed in my military uniform and I hadn’t even come close to accomplishing all I have now. But you know what? I was still a success. I can still see the look on her face when I showed up in my uniform. I really hope she learned in that moment to never underestimate a student again! What I know now is, school wasn’t my thing. I was a creative brain and an entrepreneur. Putting me in a box and telling me to color in the lines made me rebel! I wanted to learn about the things I was interested in. I wanted to dream, brainstorm, and invent.
Take this challenge. Go write out your Life Inventory, especially if you feel that you haven’t accomplished much. Write down any defining moments. I bet you’re a lot closer to accomplishing your goals than you think.
I don’t think I will ever be ready to say “I’ve arrived.” However, I can say that my journey and my unique story has shaped me. I’m better because of the bumps and twists and turns. I know I have a lot more life to live, so I better buckle up!