I have been on and off the road all month, for lots of wonderful opportunities and experiences. I am grateful for each of them. But right this minute, I’m tired, and I miss my family. I had a conference in Washington DC over the weekend and first part of this week — and brought them with me. I have loved every minute of it and will share more of what I’ve been learning later in the week.
However at one point in the weekend’s events, a wave of need for my kids hit me. I took off early to spend the rest of the afternoon with them. Their Dad had taken them to the National Gallery earlier. He’s an art guy and museums are his happy place. The children sense his love and wonder for art. It may not move them the way it impacts him, but they are learning and appreciating.
When they picked me up, I took a few minutes to introduce them to a handful of my friends and colleagues from the conference. I shared a snippet of what we’d been discussing on global poverty and showed them a map with colored dots each attendee had placed to show where they had come from. There were dots on almost every American state and dozens of other countries.
Afterwards I remarked to my husband that we’d both been able to share with our children, a slice of what we do and why we love it. We have our stresses, we’re self-employed and sometimes that is a scary thing. We’re raising a bunch of seriously intense kids. We’re juggling work and church and community and … You know. But we realized recently, we are living our dream. And that is an extraordinary gift.
What I didn’t realize, was that the dream would be so darned exhausting. I didn’t realize I wouldn’t feel happy all the time. I didn’t anticipate how hard we would work or how much we would all fight and bicker on the hard days.
I’m learning life isn’t about being happy. I’m learning it’s about depth and growth and learning and struggle and passion. I’m learning it’s about stretching and forgiving and love. I’m learning it’s about something more than being happy. It’s about being utterly exhausted, knowing you gave it all you had that day.
Do you think happiness is the goal of life?
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