I often reminisce about my carefree childhood. A wardrobe of princess dresses and tennis shoes proved that trends were never considered. The food I ate consisted of PB&J with a corndog on the side and never required the counting of calories. How I spent my time wasn’t about getting to the next level but centered around activities like being outdoors, writing stories, spending time with family, and singing loud enough for the world to hear.

I was accepted. I was fulfilled. I was enough.

I’m not sure when doubt outweighed those truths. But when adulthood welcomed me, it rejected who I was, and I became dissatisfied. Messages of the world hijacked my heart, mind, and body, and I became a pawn in society’s game.

Pressure came down hard on me, my kids, marriage, and career. I was convinced that improvement was necessary and vital to feel fulfilled and headed in the right direction, so change and growth were pursued with full force.

But one day, I was tired.

Tired of my weight, my kids’ not measuring up, marriage flaws, watching competitors rise to the top, and the list went on…

Improvement was greater than contentment. When I realized the weight of this statement in my life, I knew I needed to put growth on hold.

Yes, improvements are valuable, but trying to transform every aspect of my life is not only unattainable, it also adds extreme stress and dissatisfaction.

My inner self needed nurtured and assured. Standing on a scale, reading children’s milestone requirements, and spending hours listening to business podcasts were leaving me dry. These habits wouldn’t go away on their own; they needed balanced or replaced.

I started to shift my perspective and look for the beauty in what already existed. My children may not know their ABC’s, but they can manage their emotions. My marriage may not be a prize worthy example, but we are always laughing! And my body feels good despite the changes it’s been through giving life to my son.

Putting growth on hold is scary. What if we get further behind? How can we truly be happy before we get where we want to be?

All I know is we can always move forward, but we are only in the here and now once. Let’s celebrate the beautiful day, our powerful, feminine bodies, and our imperfectly perfect families.

Growth can wait, but loving the present cannot.