Evelyn, my one-year-old, is wearing two pairs of shoes at the moment.
Not two different shoes on her two feet. Two pairs of shoes.
One pair is her own: those soft-soled toddler shoes that look like something Robin Hood would wear. Over those, she has her sister’s sandals. Her shoe situation is as long as her arms, basically, but this does not bother her at all.
Evelyn loves shoes. More shoes = better shoes. She does not care that this is an abnormal method of shoe-wearing.
A lot of rules just don’t apply to toddlers.
Well, Evelyn would disagree. There are always rules like: No ice cream, and I will hold you as we cross the street, and We do not wear shoes to bed. Stuff that keeps her safe and healthy.
We adults have mastered all the safety guidelines, but the rules haven’t disappeared. Honestly, I think we make up more all the time.
We seem to be swimming in a whole sea of rules, and they aren’t really serving us.
Maybe we want to live slow, quiet lives, but the rule is: BUSYNESS IS REQUIRED.
Maybe we want to pursue simplicity, but the rule is: DON’T SAY NO, OR YOU MIGHT MISS OUT.
Maybe we want to live with less, but the rule we keep hearing sounds like: YOU NEED NEW
BLACK SKINNY TROUSER WAXED MOTO JEANS. NO, WE DON’T KNOW WHY, EITHER.
Maybe we want a cup of tea, but the rule is: YOUR TEA IS NOT AS PRETTY AS ALL THE TEA ON INSTAGRAM. (The rules are getting kind of judgy.)
Maybe we want contentment, but we run smack into this rule: COMPARE! COMPARE! DID YOU SEE WHAT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING ON FACEBOOK? I KNOW, RIGHT?
But we can rewrite the rules.
We have to know who we are, we have to know what we value, and we have to be willing to make choices that honor both. We can do that.
We will live with purpose, and on purpose, yes we will.
That means being our own authentic selves, with our own personalities and passions and loves and limitations.
It means recognizing that in this season, in this place, with these people, we each value certain things. Compassion? Creativity? Courage? Contentment?
Maybe even something that doesn’t start with ‘C.’ Relationship. Justice. Growth. Transparency. Grace. Forgiveness.
You get to decide what matters, and you get to organize your life around that.
The world has a lot of ideas about who we should be and what we should value, and they’re all just swirling around us.
I don’t want to be dragged in by the currents. Maybe I want to swim upstream, maybe I want to float, maybe I want to get out of the water. But when I let myself be pushed along without thinking, I wind up mired in the muddy banks and the shallows, every time.
That isn’t where I want to live my life.
And okay, yes, my own choices still land me in the muck plenty often — but grace meets me there, and I get to wash clean and try again.
This month will be for sharing those out-of-the-muck stories. It will be about encouragement for when we choose to swim upstream.
I’ll be writing every day in October on rewriting the rules. It will be 31 days of living on purpose. Of Purposing.
I’ll have surprises for you popping up all month, too. (If you poke around a little, you might find hints up later today.) I can’t wait!
If YOU can’t wait, either, start here:
Living your values.
Keeping your WHY in mind.
And avoiding a diet of distraction.
You don’t even have to wear two pairs of shoes to join in.
P.S. – Everything is fresh and new around here for October! If you’re reading in a reader or via email, click through to see our new design, from Marta Studios. And did you ever see this photo, taken by Lauren Natalie Photography? It’s one of my favorites.
P.P.S. – My kids made something for you, too. Come visit!
We’re still working the kinks out over there, but heck, we’re still working the kinks out over HERE, and we’ve been here forever. Make yourself at home as we figure things out.