The Two Words I’m Using to Change My Life

This piece, my first for Medium, will be short.

But it will be complete.

I have struggled for a long time to have the kind of life that I love. When I was in my twenties, it was easy. I was blessed to be without debt and I chose jobs that allowed me to travel and serve others. They didn’t pay much, but they gave me what I needed. And they brought me joy.

Today, I have so much that I want. In many ways, it is too much. My home is beautiful. It is always a mess, and it needs a decluttering. The mortgage means we forego the vacations I wish we could take.

My children are wonderful. But they were conceived with the assistance of expensive fertility procedures and one brought with him a few years of early, expensive medical bills. This further expanded and contracted our life.

My job as a scientist is rewarding, but my dream is to be a writer. I have some work in this field, but it has been a slow grind for minimum wage or less. My husband works a job that he loves but that keeps him gone six to seven days a week.

Overall, it’s everything I’ve wanted. And it’s enough to paralyze me.

Between the birth of our two youngest sons, we made a plan to sail around the world. We began to work on our passive income streams. But it was hard, and we had setbacks. That latte or other, larger purchase was a reward for living yet another day in a life that we didn’t want. Goals slipped, but we didn’t get happier. We continue to move forward, but slowly.

This year, I want this to change.

Two words are the extent of my goals this year. I know a lot about what we want and where we are going. We can’t get there faster without a change, but we can’t change things until we rededicate ourselves to attempting our big ideas. Within that lies my two word mantra: Finish Something.

Set a goal. Break it into steps. Work on them. Repeat.

I cannot promise to complete it every day. But this reminder to finish brings me back. It lets me have a week off of work fighting stomach flu with my kids and then return to this goal without feeling like I already failed.

When I feel like a failure, my steps become small. I use microtasking to get the win of a finished page. A finished chore. A choice that keeps money in our dream savings account and not given to the restaurant delivery boy.

When I am inspired, I can push through. I can try and rearrange my schedule to work without interruption.

This year, my goal is to have fewer finished projects. To get more of the things that will help us live the life we want completed. To get the things that are holding us back out of the way.

I don’t know if my life will be greatly different at the end of the year. It is my hope, however, to feel less paralyzed when I am done.

I am starting by finishing this essay.

I am a writer, mother, scientist, and seeker of a meaningful life. Not necessarily in that order.

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