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Before we get started with this episode, I wanted to give you a heads-up: I've created a WHOLE NEW LINE of Chasing Wonderment Merchandise in honor of the podcast! They are product that (hopefully) remind you to chase after your own wonderment. They are also a great way to spread the message of chasing wonderment, because you can carry your tote bag, or wear a hat... I even have two REALLY cute backpacks! Click here to see the whole collection — and thanks for shopping small business! ☺️
Now... on the episode!
First off, I could NOT be more excited! 😆 So, I want to tell you a little bit about what Chasing Wonderment is. To me, Chasing Wonderment is more than just a business. Yes, it is a business, and I absolutely LOVE creating, and I really hope the things that I make are beautiful, functional things that remind you to live well.
BUT. To me, it's also a ministry. And it's a mission. And, hopefully, it will become a movement. I would love to be able to encourage you to become a wonderment chaser. To become someone who lives life to the absolute fullest. And so, the idea behind Chasing Wonderment is that you get to go after a life that is full of the things that you love.
Now, I'm not talking about things in terms of physical things, like money, a bigger house, or a better car... (I'm not saying there's anything wrong with dreaming about having those things, either!) but what I'm talking about is: "What are we making space for in our lives?"
Are you making space for the things you WANT to be in your life, or are you just doing things because it's what you're supposed to do.?
Because it's really, REALLY easy to get sidetracked. Everyone and everything is ALWAYS telling us how to live. There are new fad diets every two days, there are gym workouts that you're supposed to do for the perfect body, and you're supposed to have the perfect tan. We hop from one thing, to the next, to the next... often without thinking if we really want that "thing" in our lives.
To top it all off, we get BOMBARDED by guilt. We are told that we aren't good enough, that we're making the wrong choices, that our house is supposed to look a certain way... And just when you think you've got it ALL figured out...
The standards change.
I mean... seriously. Have you ever experienced that? It's like in the health community; ten years ago soy was a Big Deal. Like, "Oh my goodness, you HAVE to eat soy, it's SO good for you..." and now people are finding out that soy is NOT so good for you. And so now everybody is talking about getting off it and staying away from soy. Some people say that eating dairy is good for you, while other groups say eating dairy is bad for you. There are SO MANY conflicting standards.
So how can we chase after our OWN kind of wonderment?
The answer is person-specific. My idea of wonderment is going to look totally different than yours. MY idea of wonderment is a nice cozy house, with my little munchkins running around, having enough space to play, create, and to be able to live a life of freedom. I have friends that their idea of wonderment is to basically LIVE outside. They live in campers, they absolutely love the great outdoors, and they never want to go inside except maybe to sleep (if they absolutely have to) 😆. So, our ideas of wonderment are going to be VERY different.
Big Picture Thinking:
One of the best ways to start to chase after your wonderment is to look at the big picture. Some people get so caught up in doing the next "thing" that they forget to ask themselves if they really enjoy DOING those things. I have heard lots of stories of people who do the same job day, after day, after day... and they think they're STUCK in it because it's what you're "supposed" to do. They got the degree, they did the work to get themselves to that position, and now they have to stay there until they retire.
Small Picture Thinking:
On the reverse side of looking at the big picture is looking at the small picture! This is where I struggle. Some people are REALLY big dreamers (that would be me)... and we forget (or don't want to DO) the work/steps that it's going to take to live well. I tend to have all these really big dreams, but then I put off doing the work to get myself there. Because... "it's gonna take forever and I don't have patience" or "it's a really big dream and it's never gonna happen, so... I'll start tomorrow."
Neither of those things are particularly healthy for getting us to a better life. Looking at the BIG picture, and looking at the SMALL picture:
You need to do a little bit of BOTH.
The next thing would be to take stock of what HAS to be in your life.
We all have a lot of non-negotiables. For me, they are raising my kids, and looking after my hubby. Those are things I can't NOT do. My kids will not survive if I don't feed them a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. We just need to understand the things that are non-negotiable.
So write them down. Know how much time they require so that you can better fit in the things that you love around the crevices of the time that's already spoken for.
Also, PLEASE understand: some of these non-negotiables can be worked through.
You might not love your job, but you probably can't just quit (I mean, you need to have the income!). BUT. You also don't have to stay stuck there forever. Maybe you need to let go of the guilt that you've worked so hard for a degree and then you find yourself in a job you actually don't love. You don't need to stay there just because you went to college for it.
Come up with a plan to leave your job, and then DO THE WORK. Put the work in during your off hours. If you want to start a side business that will eventually become a full-time business, you're gonna have to do the work in the off hours. If you want to leave your job for a totally different lifestyle, then start to DO the work. If you want to go camping around the US, then come up with a job that you can do while you're on the road (from wherever), and start to create that NOW. So that maybe in three, five, or ten years... you can be there.
When I first began chasing my wonderment (even thought I didn't have a fancy title for it at the time!) I woke up one day, and thought "I'm MISERABLE!" (and I was). I started thinking about it, writing it down in my journal, and praying about it. the more I wrote, the more I realized; I had EVERYTHING I had ever wanted... I had a family, I had a beautiful home. I had adorable kids, I had always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom with a side business... I thought "What is wrong? Why am I not happy?"
(Part of it was some health issues that I was going through, and I was able to start working through those.) But the OTHER part of it was that I was looking at life in a totally wrong way. I was constantly thinking "what do I have to do next?" and I wasn't really enjoying it because I was making space for ALL the wrong things. I was making space for things that I didn't really WANT in my life, or, I didn't want them to be a big part of my life.
So, for me, taking a few steps back, and really looking at the big (and small!) picture got me heading down the right path. I asked myself this question:
"Am I doing the things EVERY DAY that make a life well lived for me... or am I just doing the next thing because it's what I'm supposed to do?"