A new friend came over for a playdate last week, and she said something to me, almost in passing, as she was leaving that has stuck with me and I can’t get out of my mind.
She said to me, “You’re such an inspiration.”
And I was surprised and caught off guard by her comment. It’s definitely not something I was expecting her to say.
Here’s why, this new friend has a PhD in theology (or some other really, really smart thing) from Notre Dame and is now a professor there. She completed her grad work while also having 3 kiddos that are pretty close in age to our kids (our middle sons were best friends in preschool last year and we first met this summer when we got the boys together for a playdate).
She is sweet and laid-back and engaging – our conversation flowed easily about parenting, working from home with small kids, school, and more. But our time together last week was nothing out of the ordinary. My house was tidy but definitely not spotless, I had managed a shower but didn’t have any makeup on, our kids played well together but I did have to deal with a bit of an attitude from my oldest daughter. I can’t remember anything specifically I said or did that was inspirational.
If anything, she was inspiring to me, sharing about meeting with new freshman who are overwhelmed and crying in her office, sewing the dress she was wearing, working from home with little ones and trying to meet writing deadlines, solo parenting her kiddos this summer while her husband worked long hours writing a grant for his work at Notre Dame. I mean, she’s a professor at Notre Dame! That on it’s own is awe inspiring!
And yet, in the midst of our ordinary playdate and easy conversation about real, everyday life as wives and moms, we had both found something inspirational in each other.
Isn’t that the way it should be though? Women being encouraged and inspired by other women and their ordinary, extraordinary lives?
And it made me realize something so important. Let me tell you a little secret: You are an inspiration. You truly are.
If we could sit down over coffee while our kiddos run and play around us, and share our lives and stories with each other, I can pretty much guarantee that we would be inspired by each other. And I bet you’re already inspiring someone in your life, maybe without even realizing it. You are an inspiration.
We are all inspirational in our own ways, and have so much to share with each other and with the world. We don’t have to have a certain job or title, look or dress a certain way, have the perfect home or perfect kids. We just have to be ourselves, pursuing the things in life that we are passionate about, the things that make our hearts and eyes light up. A woman living her real, authentic life is inspirational.
So let’s be intentional about sharing our inspiration, and receiving inspiration from others around us, as often as we can.