It’s a simple question, but it usually merits an answer that’s anything but. I’ve found that the answers fall into two categories:
Because I have to.
–This often involves things like working to provide a living and cleaning toilets. It can be paired down and adjusted (getting a better job, for instance), but it doesn’t go away.
Because I want to.
–Pretty much everything else
falls into this category.
But how often to we try to shove our Want To’s into our Have To’s? How often do I see soccer rolling around again and think: I have to sign up for that AGAIN. Then I brace myself and grit my teeth and dive in to the chaos of drill sargent mom trying to get all the kids in the car because we’re going to be late and where in the heck is that blasted cleat I told you to always put them in the same place and why, for the love of Pete, did you not take them off together?!
I had a moment this week where I though, why am I doing this? I don’t like it. I’d rather be hiking or gathered around a campfire roasting smores. Or reading a book. So why aren’t I? The short story is because I’ve made Want To into a Have To.
Now, I’m not saying soccer isn’t great. My oldest loves it. What I am saying is to stop and ask: why?
As much as possible, our lives should be filled with the things that spark joy. The things that make us feel bigger and smaller than we are. The things that fill the dark spaces inside us with light. Find that light and saturate yourself with it.