Sometime in the depths of my diapering and sleep deprivation years, someone gave me the idea to start a Someday File. I wish I knew who she was, so I could say thank you, but honestly there are years that were a blur and this is nestled deep in that time. But…thank you sister.
A someday file is a physical thing. Not a “file” in your brain that can quickly be lost or tossed. It’s a real-honest-to-goodness-got-it-at-Office-Depot paper file folder.
It is the place where all the good ideas and trips and things that seem like an impossible dream go to live for a while. Those young momma years can seem like a life sentence.
There feel like there are two phases of life … before kids… and kids. Before kids, Pete and I tried new restaurants with five star reviews and quiet ambiance. With kids we ate at Chili’s and hoped the general noise would drown out Sarah’s crying that the hostess gave her a yellow and a green crayon and now she will never be able to draw anything beautiful. Before kids, I read books with physical and political weight. With kids, I hoped the dentist office would be running late so I could get all the way through an article in People magazine about the Royal Family before getting called back. Throughout my parenting years, and especially in the early ones there were dreams, and hopes, and desires that felt hopeless and impossible.
A weekend writers retreat.
Theater season tickets.
A profitable career.
What are we supposed to do with all of that?
Well, it turns out, I was supposed to file it.
Yep, physically grab that idea, dream, hope, wish, or plan and file it in the Someday File.
In my folder there are magazine articles about girlfriend getaways to Sedona. There are profiles of women who started impactful businesses. There are notes I jotted down of books I would like to read… and ones I would like to write. There are pictures of overwater huts you can sleep in (but not with a 2 and 5 year old). There are seminary brochures.
My file is thick. Over the years I have added and taken away. I have flipped through that folder and seen things that have mattered to me for many years, and flights of fancy that give me a chuckle as I toss them out… because no, I really don’t need to take up Celtic drumming.
The beauty of the someday file is that filing those notes and reminders is not saying no, I can’t, never, it is telling yourself…someday.
Someday is so very different than a no. It allows an idea to have value and a place in our heart or mind without generating any bitterness for the fact that it is not today.
Someday recognizes that it is not true that life consists of two phases… before kids, and kids.
There are more phases of life coming … after kids launch is one of them.
One of the beauties of approaching the After Kids Launch phase is that it is time for me to start opening that file with new eyes. Someday is drawing near. There are dreams and hopes and whims and fun in that folder that I am taking out and setting on the calendar. I have attended the writers retreat. Pete and I can plan nights to try those restaurants. I am taking the steps to start building the career I want for this next season. I’m also a little heavier handed with my tossing things from this file. I’m not the woman I was when some of those items were filed. My 45 year old self has different priorities and dreams than my 32 year old self and seeing that evolution brings me gratitude for who I am today and the journey of this last season of life.
I will continue to add to the someday file. There are things I want to do with Pete in his retirement. Dreams I have for my grandchildren. But there is joy and and freedom and a flitter of anticipation in my stomach because in many ways, someday is drawing near.
So for all my mommas out there knee deep in little people, or feeling run over by teens, take yourself over to Office Depot and buy yourself the cutest file folder that tickles your fancy. Tuck it away just for yourself, and start adding those dreams and whins and ideas. They matter. You matter. Shift your no’s to a someday… because you too will blink and someday will be here.