Fall is my favorite season. Lower temps and lower humidity usually mean fewer migraines and more energy. Fall has also always been my season to grow and nurture new ideas and possibilities. My husband I were married in September, and this month we’ll celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. On our tenth anniversary, we spent a night away in a hotel, reflecting on the beautiful life we built together. And we did some planning on how we want to feel over the next decade of marriage. We came up with #nextten, to remind each other and ourselves, in those moments of deep frustration (with each other, our kids, and even ourselves) and those moments of sadness (that I experience much more often than my husband) that we get to choose how we want to feel.
You might be wondering what this has to do with organizing. Organizing for me is not just about a tidy space or a less chaotic mind, although both of those are at the forefront of the work I do. Organizing to me is also about designing a life for yourself that brings you joy and fulfillment. When I look back at my life to this point, I already ask myself what kind of mother, wife and friend I was. What did I contribute to this world? Where did I spend time? Did I make decisions out of fear or out of hope? I think of these things constantly. Perhaps too often. The downside is a feeling deep in my bones that time is running out. That our existence here is so fleeting. The kids will be out of the of house before we know it. Our bodies will one day not be able to do everything they can today. But the upside is a voice in the back of my head reminding me of how I want to live out this life, today, and every day.
For us, the first ten years of marriage included three moves across two states, finishing my master’s degree, having two children, and a few career changes. We experienced loss and we have been challenged as parents in ways we never could have expected. And we have had SO. MUCH. FUN.
As we embrace this next decade of marriage, we are making deliberate choices about where and with whom we spend our time, the values we are raising our kids with, and our contribution to this world. And continuing to have lots, and lots of fun.
That whole “fun” part can be hard when you are not particularly spontaneous, and when you like things planned and organized. But we love to laugh. We love to travel. We love to eat out at great restaurants. We love family days with our kids. So we find joy in the little things every day. We plan a big trip away with the kids every year. We exercise and eat well (and do A LOT of not eating well). We are enjoying this #nextten, while also thinking about the life we want to build in the chapter after this. While we certainly have our bad days and challenging moments, we have each other to remind us with a simple shift of perspective, we can easily get back on track. And what a track it is!
I’m so curious, what are your big plans for the #nextten? Do you carve out time every quarter or year to write down and discuss how you want to feel and what you want to achieve? Are you designing a life that you love? I’d love to hear, so please leave your comments below!
P.S. I took the sunset picture above during a romantic trip to Costa Rica. No filter was needed.