In this week’s podcast episode, I discuss how to find your passion when you don’t what it is. Being a mother, and a stay-at-home mother at that, my life was consumed by kids and family. When someone asked me to just “follow my passion”, honestly, I couldn’t begin to tell you WHAT it was, much less follow it. If you’re in similar shoes, check out this episode to figure out how to find your passion to follow it.
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April Grant 0:05
Welcome to the other side of 40. My name is April Grant, and I’m here to help women make positive changes with their lives after the age of 40. Let the other side of 40 become your community to find inspiration and support to start the next chapter of your life.
Hello, and welcome to the other side of 40. I’m so excited that you’re here with me this week. It’s just me. I’m doing my first solo episode. So hopefully I can make this well worth your while. In my story, I’ve done quite a bit. I started with school, I was a great student, I went to you know, I graduated with honors from high school, went into the Honors Program at UCLA, then went to law school at UC Davis, and I had a fantastic time. And my goal was to become this high powered attorney where I could travel all over the world, and really get experiences unlike anything I I got before or what I was getting here. When I had my son, it was a third year of law school before graduation. He was born in the February before I graduated. And I just really had to reassess what I wanted. When I looked down into his eyes, I knew somebody, a mom, running all over the world doing all these things, was not going to be the right fit for me. And I need to make some real serious changes. But the problem was, I had spent so much time on this one path to get this law degree become a lawyer.
And it was halted suddenly.
Now, granted, there’s all sorts of things that could have happened. But I went to I graduated and I took the bar, I did not pass. And then before I had time to take it again, I had to go back to work. Because unfortunately, you can kind of starve but little people can’t starve. So you got to make sure they get food in their mouth. So I decided to go back to work. And really focus on just I mean, honestly, at that point in time, I just wanted to make sure I had a steady paycheck. And I could keep food on the table. But once the last school bill started coming in, that was a different story. My son’s father and I got married a couple of years later. And we have we have a good relationship. And we are working towards paying off that ginormous debt that I have. But now, or I should say recently, I kind of woke up like I think I mentioned in the intro, I had this epiphany. I woke up one day and realize this isn’t really what I wanted. I have a great husband, I have a good career. I have great kids and my career, my career is pretty much kind of a stay at home mom work at home mom slash mom. And I know there’s a lot of you out there that can feel me on that. And I am extremely blessed to have had that opportunity to stay home with my children. Where I know there are a lot of mothers who would love to and can’t. I do not take that for granted at all. But now I look at my children, they’re a little bit more self sufficient. They’re taking care of themselves. And I go online and it’s not really FOMO it’s not a fear of missing out. But I look in all these people seem to have the turn determine what their passion is. And I look around and I try to figure out well what’s my passion? The type of life I wanted to live as a lawyer is not really the passion that I have anymore. I don’t have that passion to do that. And I don’t miss it. I don’t regret it. But how do I find out what’s new? And that was a hard thing to swallow. Because part of me and I won’t just say me you know societal pressures friends, family, what do you need to take the bar? What are you gonna do this? What are you going to go back to school? When are you going to you know, practice law. You could get a job doing this. You can get a job doing that. I don’t want to. That is the ultimately when I, when it all boils down, none of those things sounded more appealing than being home with my children. But I know I want to do something. So I spent some time. And the first thing I had to do is really take a look at what I was doing. What was I into, even though I was a stay at home slash work at home, Mom, I was never a homebody. I’ve always been involved in multiple organizations, I volunteer at church, I help wherever I can, whenever I can. But as I looked around, at this point, this time, I took a look and realized, not all of these made me happy anymore. They made me happy when I started them. And I was excited to go, I would get all it, you know, especially being a stay at home mom, you don’t really get to dress up much. So you had a reason to put on clothes and makeup and go somewhere and meet adults. And it was fun. And you know, the tasks, you guys got the teamwork, because again, being a stay at home mom, he spent a lot of time talking to children, which is not exactly exciting. So the opportunity to speak to adults, about adult things was a welcome break.
But now, I sit around and I think about how much I like these different organizations. And there’s nothing about the organizations that change. But my drive for them are completely different. I no longer have the passion for a lot of them. And I really had to assess what was the problem. So some I looked at like the organization, some of them, they kind of changed their their goal, their initiatives. And I wasn’t sure that it was a direction that I feel comfortable pursuing, or just right now. I mean, everything’s about right now. It’s not about the future. It’s about how does this vibe with me today. And some of them is a people, some of it was just a time that the amount of time I would spend working on projects and feeling stressed out, trying to get things done across the board. It was just weighing on me just the physical nature of having that extra responsibility was weighing on me and not in a way I’m excited to get it done. It was more of a Oh, I did it. Okay. Oh, you have more work for me. Great. Okay, so I really had to sit down and assess whether or not those organizations were something that I’d be even interested in anymore. I don’t know what the future will hold. I’m still technically a part of all of the organizations, I just am no longer in a position where I have a heavy weight of responsibility on me. And that makes me comfortable right now. And I wanted to really get that break, so I can build my own thing up. And I think that was the turning point. For me. I’m spending lots of time and stress, trying to build up other people’s organizations. And I’m not building on my own. I’m not using those skills, talents, gifts, to do my own thing. And I think that was one of the major issues that kind of hit me, where, what was I doing? Because it wasn’t fun for particularly anyone. And it was more often about me than it was about them. So I wanted to do more, I wanted to do that next thing I wanted to put more into it, I want it to be over the top. I wanted to give X, Y and Z to the cause. And even though I could scale it back, that was not the impression I wanted to leave, I didn’t want to leave with a scaled back version of it. So I decided that I really just wanted to do whatever I do for myself, put the effort into myself versus putting my effort into someone else. So after I took some time to assess which organizations I want to stay a part of and how I wanted to To stay a part of them, I had to, I actually had the freedom to take the time to figure out who I was, again, I hadn’t really sat down and think about who I was in forever. I’m not even sure before I went to law school, I actually thought about who I was, and what made me happy. It was just something that I was, it was a goal I was working towards. From day one, I can’t even remember ever wanting to do anything else. And the only reason why wasn’t this impassioned goal of saving the world, it was, I wanted to be a lawyer or singer. And I had a conversation with someone close to me. And they told me that singing was a lot of work. They fail to mention being a lawyer with a lot of work. So
maybe in my mind, it was, you know,
the work was a lot farther ahead. You know, singers start when they’re young, and they’re, they’re working a lot at a very young age. Whereas working as an attorney,
you work hard later.
So I didn’t really think much about who I was going to become, besides, I’m going to be a lawyer, which technically I am, I don’t have a license to practice. But I’m a lawyer, I can take the bar in any state. And so I’ve started to really sit down and peel back my own layers, which is where a lot of therapy has come into play. A lot of I’ve, I’ve done everything. And I’ll continue to do everything meaning
that some naturalistic things.
So I did, I talked about the energy clearing, on the last episode. I’ve been Reiki, I’ve done chip therapy at home Bible studies, I believe, on a personal note, I believe that we all kind of work together. So I don’t think any of it is good or bad. I think it all works together for the good, if that’s what, where your heart is. And I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to figuring figure out who I am. Who am I, that’s not the mother, who am I that’s not the wife, who am I, that’s not the lawyer, or the to be lawyer. And I think I spent many years in the to be lawyer stage where it was I’m not doing it now. But I know I will. And I think I’m getting to the point where that’s not it either. Even if I do take the bar, I don’t know if I’ll actually practice, which is fine with me. And again, I’m blessed to be able to make that choice. And then my next step is I’m going to figure out what I want to do with all of this. I have a couple of projects going on, which I really appreciate, and I really enjoy. I’m not sure which direction they’re going, or how big any of these things will be.
But I’m just trying to figure out the
path that I’m trying to take. But the other thing that’s keeping me in a clear headspace is saying no, as women were asked to do so much. And immediately when someone tells you, if you just say, I’m a stay at home mother, that seems to imply that you have nothing to do.
being a mother is a full time job.
It really is. And you can do part, you can do it in many, many, many different ways. But for some reason, when you say you’re say at home mother, a lot of people feel that. That means you have free time to help them with their project.
And it gets tiring.
Ultimately, you really just have to learn how to say no, unapologetically. And remember that no is a complete and total sentence. And the first thing we really want to do is say I’m sorry, but but you’re not particularly sorry. This person has asked you to do something. You didn’t volunteer for it. You shouldn’t have to apologize for not wanting to do it. If you want to do it, you’ll volunteer, believe me. A lot of women that have servant’s hearts, so they’ll want to go help, they’ll want to do things. So there’s no reason to apologize. Apologize. means that you somehow did, we’re in the wrong but you’re not in the wrong to not want to do something that someone else wants you to do. We have our autonomy, and we have our space. And we should love and crave our space and our peace of mind. And a lot of answers are, in the last couple years have just been no.
And sometimes I’ll get an occasional will why.
And unfortunately, they don’t particularly like my response. It’s typically I don’t want to,
and I don’t have a further reason,
it just doesn’t feel good to me,
it doesn’t feel good in my spirit to commit myself to that cause. And if I wanted to commit myself to that, cause I know where to find you. And I know you’re a part of it. So I’d be happy to go over there and help you when I or if I’m ready. And I think we really need to assess how much we do because we feel compelled to help someone else versus the fact that we want to do it. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s not a bad thing to not want to do everything for everybody. And you think of it this way, if you know, when you go back to the self care, you know, we’re in this whole self care movement. And personally, I don’t really have a quote unquote, self care regimen. Occasionally I’ll take a bath, occasionally I get my nails done,
and they feel good. But I don’t think of that, particularly
as my self care. But having the mental space and energy to just breathe is myself care. And myself care requires me to put my mask on first. You know, when you think about it in the,
in the airplane.
And we talked about that last week as well.
Or, yeah, last week,
if you if you’re an airplane, they always say put your mask on first, before you put on someone else’s mask. And the reason for that is if you stopped breathing in the midst of trying to help someone else, then not only did you not say that other person, but you didn’t save yourself. So if you put the mask on person, you have the opportunity to save someone else, or help someone else. And when you just keep saying yes to things that you don’t really want to do.
That’s you giving the mask
versus you holding the mask
I’m not quite sure why or how it seems to be very societal, very cultural, very gender specific, where we, as women are often told
we should want to
not just that, it’s, it’s something that needs to be done. But we should want to do it, we should want to help. And we should want to be part of anything in all these things. And on one hand, I think you should want to be part of something, something, whether it’s church or personal group, whether it’s just hanging out with your girlfriends, I think
I think having a
group of people having a group of women having a group, a community
is extremely important,
important for us to have that community to have that bonding time to have that girl time. But it doesn’t always mean you have to
It doesn’t always mean you have to put in extra effort, or plan or schedule or
you know, take up your weekends.
When I would reassess how much time I was putting into the different organizations, it was probably a good 30 to 40 hours a month between them. And none of them were giving me a financial benefit. And what was being sewn back into me
was extremely limited.
So I feel so much better.
So what I want you to take from this particular episode is figure out whether you know what your passion is, and whether your passion is something you just do on the side. I know a lot of people say work your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life. And yeah, maybe or maybe you just like to go quiet. On Saturdays. And you know, if you get out there on Saturday and kayak on the water for two hours, then you can come home and feel rejuvenated. And you didn’t work. And you didn’t pay any bills with it. But you feel good, and you feel warm and you feel loved. Figuring out taking the time to figure out who you are. I know when you’re in the in motherhood, we lose ourselves. And we lose ourselves always trying to do for our kids, for our husbands, for our spouses, for
And you may have lost who you are as a person. And I found that getting rid of a lot of the outside noise helps you figure that out. And yes, that’s hard. And please don’t get me wrong. I am not someone who’s saying, Oh, it’s super easy. I’ll just cut everything out tomorrow. It’s not that easy. It takes time, it takes strength. It takes courage, it takes reading, a book that I recommend is called boundaries. I don’t remember the author at this time. But there’s a book called boundaries. And it’s specifically about setting boundaries for yourself
And it’s super helpful in helping you determine how to speak to other people. And how for you not to feel the guilt in saying now
then once you clear everything off the plate,
then you could definitely go into figuring out what you want to do. Now that you got everything off now, what can you put on your plate that makes you happy? What makes you happy? How does it make you you happy? And is it a good happiness? I mean, there’s a lot of ways to make you happy, that doesn’t mean it’s a positive one for you. And you just need to figure out what the positive ones are. So that they feed you. They like the whole idea behind the self care is to rejuvenate yourself. So which of your passions rejuvenate you whether it’s taking an art class, or cooking? Or I don’t know, I don’t have an endless list, I only could think of what is going through my head. And from once you make that decision that that’s direction you’re going to go make sure you continue to say no to new projects that that do not align with the direction you’re going. If a random project pops up, and you just really don’t want to do it. No, I don’t. Because it’s amazing. Going through it when you’re when you’re sitting in there, and you’re talking to the person and they make you make it seem like you’re the only person in the world who can do it. And then as soon as you step away and you’re not that person anymore, you see that it gets done every single time. So it’s not the weight is not on you to carry it all the weight is on you to carry you and make sure that you are taking care of for the health of your family and yourself. So with that, I’m going to sign off I hope you enjoyed my little episode. And I hope that you will find your passion and if you can’t take some time to clear your headspace.
Have a great day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai