Skip to Content

Personal Priorities and Dreaming…..My Path Out of Survival Mode

If you’ve been reading my blog for long, you know that I rarely have guest writers. It’s a personal thing, this blogging gig, and just like my physical babies, it’s hard for me to share. 

As part a book launch team for Crystal of Money Saving Mom, I’ve had the opportunity to “meet” some amazing women. Phoebe Burch is one such woman. When Phoebe (not to be confused with my Phoebe) shared what Say Goodbye to Survival Mode meant to her on our facebook page, I knew more people needed to hear her story. Since she isn’t a blogger, I’ve invited her to share her story here in our little space on the internet.

How did I get here? Simply Surviving

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” by Crystal Paine. When I started reading this book, I expected to find a way out of simply surviving. What I got was so much more. As I read through the chapters, I found myself asking, “How did I get here? Why am I living my life in Survival Mode?” Perhaps you can relate to my experience and the answer I discovered.

As we grow up, we dream of all of the things we want to do in life, all the things we want to be. We imagine and can see the life we want vividly in our minds. But, are we currently living that life? I imagine for most of us, the answer is no.

Some of you may have just changed your mind or decided on something different, bigger and better. Some of you, like me, had outside circumstances or situations prevent you from getting the life you envisioned. The life I wanted more than anything was to be a stay-at-home mom to three wonderful children…..white picket fence, two-story home, 2.3 cars, etc. What I didn’t expect was the trial of infertility that altered my life and my dream. Fortunately, I did eventually have a son, followed by a daughter 16 years later. But, the struggles with both initial and secondary infertility left me shaken. The optimism, hope and enthusiasm that I once had about my dreams and aspirations was completely gone. I was faced with the reality that sometimes you just cannot have what you want, no matter how hard you try. I knew there were other options available to become a mom such as adoption, but that wasn’t part of the dream.

Many of you have likely also had a life event or circumstances that prevented you from having the life you imagined. The list of “things” that perhaps got in the way of your dreams is endless. The question is how did you respond? My response/reaction led me to years of struggling through life with no focus. What I did not realize until reading “Say Goodbye to Survival Mode” was that I had given up on dreaming. Lack of a dream….that is what led me to survival mode.

In her book, Crystal Paine explains 9 simple strategies to get out of survival mode. In reality, all of us have heard most of them a million times. She discusses to-do lists, routines, etc. But, her focus on creating a “personal priorities list” and building from that list changed my way of thinking. It provided a reason for lists, a reason to say “no” to be over committed, a reason to establish goals and to be intentional with both finances and time….. a reason to dream again.

If you too have struggled with losing sight of your dreams, I suggest you read this book. I am now excited to develop new goals and to establish a plan to achieve them.

Thank you so much for you sharing your story, Phoebe. Some of you may know that we struggled with unemployment for 4 years. After about 3 years, we had lost the ability to dream. It’s not that we didn’t like our life, but we had been so wounded it was hard to hope and dream that our life would ever not have that hurt. We used a lot of same things that Crystal suggests in her book to get out of that dark place.

Do you still dream? Or has life wounded you and stolen your dreams?

This post is shared at Wellness Wednesday,

Thanks for sharing with your friends!

Friday 24th of January 2014

Sounds like a worthwhile read!


Friday 24th of January 2014

Best wishes to you and your dreams! What an amazing story, thank you for sharing!


Friday 24th of January 2014

what a beautiful story! thanks for sharing Angi!