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Musings of a mum: Problem with purpose

30th Oct 2020
Musings of a mum: Problem with purpose

As I sit in my quiet kitchen, perched on the barstool listening to the drip-drip of a leaky tap doing what I believe is my calling, to write. It’s my ‘Ikigai.’ (Google it, it’ll help). Papa bear is watching GBBO with a couple of the Baby bears all snuggled up and the scene pulls at my heartstrings.

Do I pursue purpose, or do I pursue peace with my bears? Baby bear has started nursery and it has been lovely to see him go off albeit, with a few tears. My caregiving load has lessened. As much as I have loved being the main carer of my children (it was my primary ikigai for ten years), watching them go off to school and nursery is life-affirming for me.

Working (and I mean physically working) towards a purpose allows us to live better-quality lives. It allows our work to outlive our time on this earth, a chance to cheat death and live forever. The problem with purpose is that it fuels growth (which is heady) allows the mind to be filled up but blocks out the ability to feel the calmness of peace. So, when I choose to put aside my family time to pursue that which fuels my growth, I’m pursuing purpose over peace, but what of my family?

Big bear and medium bear are back at school. For the first time in my life, I have forced them to talk to me on the way home, extracting details of their school day – I have been a big fan of not doing anything that doesn’t come to me naturally – (the lack of talking allowed me to daydream a bit more). It has given me surprising headways into their lives. I feel closer to them and information now comes out a lot easier.

Looks like I missed a trick for too long.
Baby bear has taken to jumping on me during the prayer. Imagine being a lunge stool in sajdah. There is a race to get to qiyām as he decides to hitch a ride on my way up. It ends up becoming a battle between the knot that holds my garb in place and his defiant weight. My prayers are baby bears fair ride, and I hope God has a good sense of humour to accept my prayer with all the antics of a child who refuses to sit still.

There is a tug of war in everyone’s life between pursuing purpose and pursuing peace. Quite often people cite the ‘work-life balance.’ Its needs to be renamed a ‘purpose – peace balance.’ Because people could be doing a job that is paying the bills and they have time with their family. But that doesn’t always fulfil a human being.

Purpose and peace – I feel – feed each other. The quiet that we find within our families is soul-affirming and it fuels our need to grow. If taking care of family is our purpose, then so be it.

But if we stop growing in that, it is vital to identify the fuel of our growth and actively pursue it, having said that, quite often loving families offer a buffer when life gets tough. Everyone needs and deserves that buffer. That is why it is important to continuously invest in our relationships as we have no idea when we will need it to sustain us or that we may be called to sustain someone else.

May we all, find our ikigai in life.

Aasiya I Versi

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