Mapping My Future with “My Life Map” #BHBC #spon

If you asked me what I wanted to be when I was 5, I would have said a veterinarian. When I was 18, that changed to a teacher. Now at 29, I am happy in a job measuring technology issues. Just last night, however, I told Greg, “I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up”. Throughout life, I’ve had a number of jobs, dreams, and life situations that got me to where I am today. Each experience led up to the present and the present will lead to the future. Kate and David Marshall have the perfect book for me (and others) trying to figure out the “what’s next” question in  My Life Map: A Journal to Help Shape Your Future.


Photo Courtesy of Penguin Books

This journal serves as a tool to look at where you’ve been and what you hope to do. It’s good for people at all life stages (because, obviously, life changes from day to day, year to year). There are prompts throughout the book that have you look (workbook-style) at experiences, patterns, and ambitions. It’s a great tool for doing some self-examination and finding a purpose in the next steps.

 “When should you start mapping your life? Start at any time, at any age, whether you’re in your twenties or in midlife contemplating the second half of life.” (page 8)

I appreciate the types of questions within the prompts about the past because they got me thinking about parts of my life I wouldn’t necessarily have thought to include in an exercise of thinking about my future. For example, the prompt “What was your favorite room in the home you grew up in? Why?” got me thinking about how this room made me want to be a teacher. (My favorite room was our attic play room, a space where I could “teach” my stuffed animals arts and crafts, songs, numbers, and letters.) I wouldn’t have thought about the connections unless I was asked, and I am glad I was asked! It also is serving as healing from some of the significant experiences in my life (losing my best friend to cancer, dealing with an abusive relationship) and helping me think about how those things will drive my next chapters.

(How much do I love this included quote? “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” – Oprah Winfrey, page 31)

This book will be a great guide for me as I figure out the next steps in my life—do I want to crunch numbers every day for the next 40 years, no, but do I know for sure what the next big thing is? No! My Life Map will hold the secrets of my hopes and dreams—including family, friends, learning, work, service, and playing. These things will eventually (throughout the years) come to fruition if I continue to aim for my ambitions.

What are you waiting for? Are you ready to take a stab at mapping your past, present, and future? My Life Map: A Journal to Help You Shape Your Future is available for $16 from Gotham Books (and will definitely be on my holiday gift idea list).

Disclaimer: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

When You Grow Up

This week’s Life With Levi breastfeeding blog hop has been opened to all bloggers as an open theme–“When You Grow Up”.

Dear Lil Burghers,

When you grow up, I hope that:
* You amaze your teachers with your smarts (but that you don’t become so cocky about it you end up bored or in trouble).
* You make friends and that if time or distance ever come between you, both realize two-way communication is the key to a successful continual relationship.
* If you lose someone near and dear to you at a young age, you handle it with grace, but know I will be here to hold you. Loss happens, and it is part of God’s plan to help you grow, trust me.
* You fall in love with the person I’ve been praying to be sent your way and realize all the other relationships and crushes (broken, wrenching, or sweet) were just part of the path.
* You never lose faith.
* You follow your dreams, and accept that dreams change. My dreams changed (like whoa) but led me to your Daddy.
* You love and laugh lots.
* You cherish time with those you love.
* You never have regrets and leave the past where it belongs.
* You read lots.
* You hug often.
* You enjoy your college years/young adult life but don’t rack up a hefty debt.
* You respect others opinions but know that the only one who can judge you is God above you. Daddy and I embrace this.
* You avoid talking politics at the dinner table. You avoid letting differing opinions sway your friendships.
* You stand in awe at the ocean, the mountains, the canyons, the lakes, the deserts.
* You don’t fret over your body and enjoy yourself some dessert.
* You love like you love today. Never lose the giggles!
* You know you’ll always be Mama’s babies.

As each day passes, I shed a few tears because I know it won’t be long until you leave our nest, but I am excited to see what wonder the future brings. Follow your hearts and dare to dream.
Mama Burgher