Reflecting on our new trading venture this year, we both haven’t been very driven to make it big. Granted, we both have other commitments taking up our focus and energy, but when we explored the whys, a reason we identified is that we are comfortable with where we are at and are not fueled by a big desire to succeed at trading.

This led me to revisit one of the big questions: what is my WHY that energises me?

Last night, Harry and I read our new Wiggles book on feelings (picked up for free from our Buy Nothing community!), and he learnt how to say “happy” and “sad”. He was so proud of himself, he kept opening his eyes to practise those words while nursing to sleep.

Despite feeling generally drained and tired, I noticed that this gave me the excitement and motivation to seize and build on his learning. So I made & stuck up a bilingual feelings flashcard at his table – I was really energised to do this, but I can’t say the same of every other mothering duty!

Motherhood comes with many opportunities for self discovery, and the above is a clue for me as I continue to seek purpose and direction. I get huge satisfaction from helping and seeing people learn & grow – regardless of whether they are my children. I truly get excited!

I think that is a part of my personality/character that has also given me drive in stepmotherhood, and made nurturing children an “easier” job. I am realising that every mother/stepmother has a unique makeup that makes some aspects of parenting easier or harder for them.

To further illustrate from my own example, I’ve realised my anxious tendency to preempt and PREVENT (instead of fix) problems tends to cause me to subconsciously interfere with my children’s days more than I need to. Before Harrison has totally (or even slightly, haha) got to my tiredness, I’ve already whipped out the iPad so I get 30 minutes of peace, instead of giving him ideas to go play with his other toys alone. The latter definitely sounds more ideal to me, but in many ways I easily fall back to my former comfortable problem-solving mechanism. You can never escape yourself, even (or especially) in parenting!

Still, back to trading…as of today, the growth in our crypto portfolio has exceeded the income I would have brought in going back to work. This is a confronting reality for me as someone still practising her new wealth mindset. It is not strictly comparable as growth does not equal cashflow, but to think my wealth grew with me doing LESS, not more, cements my new beliefs which delinks the strict correlation of time/effort and money.

My last reflection is on gratitude. One of the most memorable books I read this year is Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts. It is about intentionally looking at & giving thanks for the graces in your life.

Awhile ago a neighbour commented that I must have lots of friends as she sees many people come in and out of my house. It is funny that I had the exact same thought about her, and the wonderful supportive community I imagine she has! 😂

In our struggles (which are not to be belittled), it’s easy to look longingly from the outside into an imaginary picture of other people’s lives…things you wish you had or were. But what a pity if it dims our eyes to all the good things we do enjoy.

The incident turned my attention to gratitude…all the good things in my life.

We are in a situation now where I CAN be a stay home mum, something we couldn’t imagine financially when Harry was born. We are expecting a baby girl (with 90% certainty the ultrasound technician said) in May — all of Chris’ dreams come true at once. (It is challenging to wonder if my daughter will take after me…)

I am also grateful for opportunities to welcome other children (friends and students) into my home. It is a funny thing to say — for all the joys they bring, I am often tired and frazzled, at times lost in exhaustion wondering “who am I and what is left?”, but I tend to come back to the same answers…

…if I’ve made a difference in a life, beneath everything else, that’s what really matters to me and brings me deep joy that bubbles over.