It’s been one of those weeks that I have a lot I want to write but I don’t know where to start! So in true overwhelmed Ashley style I just didn’t write.

I decided that writing something, anything, even if those thoughts are disjointed and all over the place is better than not writing at all.  Writing for me is a way for me to connect my thoughts, to find clarity and inspiration and creativity.  It helps me process what I’m feeling but not able to fully form into thoughts yet.  This space has been less about my thoughts and more about ways to live simply, and of course gardening.  I’ve struggled with that a bit and it’s a reason I haven’t blogged super consistently since going back to work.  There’s a lot I want to talk about but I wasn’t sure how it would fit into the “living simply” theme of the blog.  Would people want to read it? Would people bore of it?

Here’s the thing – living simply does not just mean that you live with minimal possessions.  It also means that your mind, body and spirit are honoured through minimizing the overwhelming facts of life.  Just like physical clutter distracts me and affects my overall mood, emotional and spiritual clutter also take away from my well being – most times even more so.

This year has been a year of me wading through the clutter in all parts of my life.  With the huge life change of becoming a working momma I have been so focussed on making it all work.  Often I’ve been so overwhelmed with it all that it’s all I can do to make it to Ezekiel’s bed time.  By the time I’ve got him tucked in I’m ready to tuck myself in.  It’s been exhausting.  Top that with the pressure of being financially responsible for my family – I haven’t been properly caring for myself.  When people ask how I do it my response is: “I don’t know really, but you do what you have to do.” Over the summer I have been working a total of 200 hours per 4 week period – that’s like working an extra week but not getting that extra week to do so.  It was INSANE but it brought me financial peace.  The rest of me was not experiencing that peace, but the financial part of my mind was free.  It was easy to budget life and I never had to think twice about buying this or that.

It was nice.

Yet it was not nice at the same time.

I spent a total of 1 day a week with Ezekiel.

That’s not enough.

Recently my job started enforcing the part in our nursing contract that says anything over 155 hours in a 4 week period must be over time – but they are unwilling to actually pay the overtime.  So that puts me back 45 hours in a 4 week period.  It’s a significant amount of money – it’s also a significant amount of time.

I’ve been so incredibly stressed out about it.

No more financial peace – but this week I’ve come to a few realizations with the help of God knocking me over my head.

#4 realization: We can survive on my full-time wage.  It takes a way a bit of the spontaneous spending.  It will take a bit more precise budgeting and there will have to be some sacrifices – but IT.IS.POSSIBLE.

#3 realization: 45 hours extra with my kid is HUGE and absolutely 100% worth the financial sacrifice.  We are at the age of turning 2 when exploring freedom and independence is important.  I want to be the one mainly shaping the way he learns to respond to this point in life.  I want to teach him gentleness and kindness while allowing him to be able to explore that independence.  I want to teach him that outbursts aren’t necessary or ok, I want to teach him patience and love, I want to teach him that politeness is important.  I want to help him explore, I want to help him learn, I want to see his joys and his triumphs.  I want to celebrate him.  Now I have more time to do that and it actually brings me to tears.  This life is so worth it.

#2 realization: 45 hours extra to take care of me.  This one is even more huge.  This past week I’ve been able to slow down and realize just how unhealthy I’ve become.  Not that I’ve been eating superbly terrible but I’ve been compromising here and there because I’m to tired to do anything else.  My body is in the most amount of pain it’s been in since I was pregnant.  I can’t get a hold of it.  Walking 4 km puts the pain over the edge.  I struggle with how much to push myself to gain endurance and when to rest to let my body adjust.  I don’t know if this pain is a natural progression of my condition (Marfan’s) or more likely – a result of not taking care of myself.  What I do know is that it’s time to take back control and I now have the time.

#1 realization: God is in control and he’s never going to let us fall.  End of story. Full stop.

So here I am taking back the simple part of living that’s not just physical clutter.

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