Do you ever yearn to go back to the good old days when your kids were small, and you were busy, busy, busy helping them grow and enrich their lives? Unfortunately, that is not an option. Time, and children, march on.

You want life to be full and meaningful again, but you don’t know if that is possible for you.

There is someone who has been with you all along and she is one smart cookie. She is YOU! She wants to come out to play. Will you let her? How can you encourage her?

Often, we have lived the years of active mothering with a lack of awareness of who we are and what we want because we have put everyone else first.

The vigilance required of mothering does not lend itself to present-living life. We’re worried about the kids and we’re constantly tuning into others rather than listening to ourselves.

We need to rediscover who we are! It can be an adventure! So, what to do?

Pay Attention to Yourself

Remember when you were trying to figure out how to best reach to and mentor your children? What did you do? You studied them. You observed their style, their interests, their skills. Well, now it’s time to turn those observational skills to yourself. What lights you up?

Look Back to Look Ahead

Do you think about your childhood very much? I didn’t. Until I was in my most recent round of therapy!

We can look back to look ahead and by looking back rediscover passions. One of the best ways to find out what you are passionate about today is to think about what you used to be passionate about as a child.

When you were younger, you probably wanted to be an astronaut or a princess or both, and it’s only as we get older that we are told to find something more ‘adult’ to be interested in.

For me, it was writing and music. I had urges to express myself that could not be silenced. Then I realized that the life of an artist was more struggle than I was willing to endure. So, I went to law school. Go figure.

But just because we’ve been forced or have chosen to defer those old interests, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, still bubbling – perhaps even boiling! – under the surface.

And just because you might not realistically become an astronaut, that doesn’t mean you can’t still chase a passion for space or travel or for new horizons in studying the cosmos – whatever it was that originally drove you to feel so strongly.

Spend some time thinking about what you’ve lost touch with. What was it that once captured your interest and imagination? What didja usta do? How did that make you feel?

Look Around for New Passions

Sometimes you will find that you have lost interest in the things that once were so amazing to you. If that’s the case, no worries. I lost my ambition to be a flute player with the Chicago Symphony, but I never lost my love of words.

It can be exciting to find new things to be passionate about. Or, you could also try adding a new spin to an old passion. For instance, while I once fancied myself as a broody Irish fiction author, I now joyously write non-fiction articles and books.

Rediscovering old passions is about respect for the past, but it’s also about growth and development and not forcing a square peg back into an old, round hole.

When I was a sophomore in high school, one of my teachers wrote in my autograph book that I was a square peg in a round hole. At the time, I thought it a bit off-putting. Now I rejoice in it!

So, where are you at? Are you willing to take a little look back to be able to see forward? What didja usta do? Pay attention to how you feel when you think about those things. Do they light you up and make you feel excited? Are you on the right track?

What if you look back and find that nothing quite grabs you. If this is the case, you need to create some new experiences to try on, some new pursuits and talents. The world is so full of wonderful things that you will trip across something delightful.

Think back to those busy, busy days. Did you ever tell yourself, “If I only had time, I would…?” What was it? Because now you do have the time. Try it. Check it out. Find out if it can unlock clues to your passion and purpose.

Don’t Do Nothing

We all have excuses. No time, no money, no energy, no opportunities. Look around your community. If you dig around, you will find free resources to allow you to explore the wonder of YOU.

Check out your library, local colleges and community centers. See what’s out there. For goodness sake, don’t just sit around. Get out there and explore. It’s your time. What will you do with it?

What are the things you “usta” do, either in childhood or earlier in your life? Do any of these still excite you? What are some things you have always wanted to do, but never done? What small steps can you take to explore them? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Christine FieldChristine Field is an author, attorney, speaker, listener and life coach. She has four grown kids, mostly adopted, mostly homeschooled. She provides MomSolved© resources and reassurances to moms facing common and uncommon family life challenges. Christine helps moms rediscover their mojo for wholehearted living after parenting. Visit her website and Facebook Page.

Let's Have a Conversation!