Wow it’s been three weeks since my last post! That little break was unintentional.
I’ve been feeling life shift the last few weeks and I’m excited about it – spiritually, physically, mentally little changes are happening. It’s an organic movement – it’s the ebb and flow – it’s the natural trajectory of my life. The garden is complete, the work from the garden is also done (more on that this week!). The mornings are crisp and the days are cool. The leaves are turning and the pumpkins are everywhere. I crave books and coffee in front of the fire.
This is fall.
I’m so enjoying the fall, and especially since my schedule has calmed down a bit. The thing I’m most learning in this new season of life is that even if my actual schedule changes to not look as busy – I still keep myself crazy busy. It’s not a great way to go about life. I’m addicted to busy, mostly because I can’t handle having a to-do list. Yes I love lists but as soon as they are made I feel the need to complete them. I’ll take on a task to completion every time. There’s no slow moving through life with me – it’s finish one thing and on to the next. I can’t handle boredom.
Yesterday I was reflecting on the difference between being hectically busy and just being busy. I really think I am the one who sets that boundary. Aside from my work schedule, I create my busyness around me. Sure I have a to – do list but even when I cross one thing off I then add another.
This fall I am learning how to function in a slow but busy life. I’m taking the time to prepare nice meals. When my toddler is acting out for no reason I’m putting down my task and bending down to look him in the eye, kiss his pouty lips and take him up to his room where we can sit and read a book or do a puzzle in complete peace and quiet because I now know that he just needs a moment of calm, quiet and peaceful play with his momma – that task can wait. I’m making myself a cup of tea and sitting down to read for 15 minutes in the middle of my day to recharge myself and listen to my mind and body. I’m splitting big tasks up into little pieces (I’m revamping our office but doing it 30 min at a time) instead of becoming completely engulfed in the task. I know that whatever “can wait” is a mantra often used by momma’s to justify the guilt that can come with not keeping up – and I’m finally understanding that piece of advice slowly.
So I’m still very busy but I’m working on taking out the hectic part of busyness.
Well, here I am entering my last week of maternity leave.
Not ready, I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready to entrust Ezekiel to anyone, but it’s a step that must happen and I know in the end it’ll the best for everyone.
I’m a nurse. It’s not just a job for me, it’s my passion. It’s about the only thing in life aside from my faith, my husband, and Ezekiel that I’ve felt passionate about that hasn’t dwindled. I would love to continue spending every day with Ezekiel, but giving up my passion would be doing myself and my family a disservice.
I’ve done as much as possible to prepare. I’ve built up a freezer stash of meals, baking, and breast milk. I’ve mentally prepared and organized what our new routine will look like.
I’m not so naive to think that my preparation will exclude all difficulties with our transition, but it does exclude a certain amount of personal stress.
So this week, as I said before, I’m planning on just enjoying each day and each moment. Since intentionally pursuing simplicity I’ve gotten a lot better at just “being” and not feeling like something has to be accomplished each day. So the past few weeks I haven’t felt the pressure or stress of having to get things in order, I’ve been taking it one day at a time and slowly ticking things off my to-do list. I haven’t been focused on getting that list done, just on doing what I could each day and some days not doing anything at all. I think that will be my week this week as well. I’ll probably do a few tasks here and there in final preparation, but more than anything I’ll be soaking in every smile, every giggle, and even every tear of Ezekiel’s. Even better is that my parents will be here this week.
It’s going to be a fabulous end to an incredible year.
It’s been a weird week. I’ve been trying to pinpoint why I’ve been feeling so weird. Maybe I’m really just trying to grasp the last few weeks and hold on. It’s probably a bit of that and a bit of stress, but I’ve been so content with sleeping late with Ezekiel, staying in my PJ’s until the afternoon, watching Netflix or reading a book in bed while Ezekiel sleeps. I didn’t even want to leave the house, and only did out of complete necessity. I did a lot of baking and cooking for the freezer but that’s about it. It’s a stark difference to what my norm is – showering and getting ready first thing in the morning, checking things off my list during Ezekiel’s naps, finding any excuse to get out of the house. I can’t say that this week hasn’t been great even though it’s been weird. It’s been a nice change, and probably necessary, I’ve felt my most relaxed this week and I’m going to go with the flow and let it ride out.
Sometimes instead of trying to keep ourselves busy, busy, busy we should slow down and just let life ride.
What are you doing to slow down lately?
The other day I was having a text conversation with a friend who is going to be done her maternity leave next week. We were talking about how crazy life felt already, even before returning to work, because we are “preparing” to return to work. She mentioned how she felt so unprepared, in that moment I told her that regardless of how prepared or “unprepared” she was, in the end everything always works out so just enjoy the last week.
I’ve been thinking about that conversation these past couple days. Yesterday morning I woke up at 6 am and thought about how I should get up and have my “alone” time with my coffee and devotions early instead of when Ezekiel has his first nap so that I could be more productive during the day. I’ve always wanted to start my day before Ezekiel wakes up in the morning, but he isn’t sleeping through the night yet and I’ve always valued my sleep more. This morning was no different, I fell back asleep and Ezekiel woke me up at 8. Throughout the day I reflected on how much I’ve been stressing and preparing to go back to work, all for the sake of being less stressed and more organized when I do return but in the thick of it I’m still just focused on my tasks. I’ve gotten better at living in the moments – I spend more time on the floor reading books, playing peek-a-boo and patty cake when Ezekiel is awake and less time trying to get things done. I rock him a few minutes longer and give him an extra kiss or two, or three, or hundred 🙂 before he goes to sleep and I’m so glad for those moments. Yet in the back of my mind I’m still calculating the length of time it will take me to do x, y, and z and if it’s humanly possible to check off all my tasks on my to do list.
I honestly think I will always be that way. It’s who I am. But I do think there has to be some sort of balance, or compromise. I’m taking the extra time with Ezekiel to enjoy him and invest in him and just to be with him, but I’m not taking the extra time to relax and invest in me.
So I’ve made myself a promise, and they say when you make your goals public they happen more often than if you don’t. So here I am declaring that I will only stress about my back to work to do list for the next 3 weeks. The last week before I return to work is a to-do-list-free week. Monday, October 27th I will put away my to do list, I will spend every minute playing with Ezekiel or relaxing with a book and a cup of tea, maybe watch a few movies, go for long walks and whatever else my heart desires. I won’t stress about the next week because in the end everything works out anyways.
I have been really having to remind myself lately to just enjoy the moments.
With the changing season, I’m becoming more and more inspired to do “things” – crafts, baking, cooking, reading, writing, cleaning and the list goes on. With the inspiration to get things done I also get incredibly overwhelmed and then the inspiration quickly dies as I realize just how much I want to get done. It’s a vicious circle, one that I’ve had happen many times. This time, however, I’m making sure to be one step ahead. Every time I feel overwhelmed I remind myself that life is not about the “things,” it’s not about having the house decorated for fall, or getting the perfect sideboard for my dream coffee bar, it’s not about having all the baseboards washed, the walls painted, and the office impeccably organized.
Life is about enjoying each moment as it comes, living in the present tense instead of dwelling on the could haves, should haves, or will dos.
ESPECIALLY the will dos.
I’m a dreamer at heart and it can sometimes carry me away. While dreaming is valid, important and necessary, making sure you’re enjoying the life you already have is even more so.
So today I am going to enjoy each and every moment and forget about the worries of tomorrow.
Today I choose simplicity. Again.
Here’s what’s been up this week:
Despite utter exhaustion, there’s lots of baking happening, recipes coming soon!
Trying to read more, pray more, and rest more.
Skipping lunch in favor of fruit and tea, every day.
Enjoying home grown food.
Practicing finger foods and resisting the urge to have everything spotless all.the.time.
Trying to learn how to handstand.
Drinking my favorite coffee ever.
Enjoying the last day of beautiful weather before the snow came
Enjoying my Market Collective purchases and celebrating a fantastic new local magazine.
Protecting the tomatoes from the snow.
Marveling at snow in September.
Strolling through IKEA to distract us from teething.
Learning a life lesson: Never be without children’s Tylenol.
Here’s to another week of enjoying the moments and finding joy in simplicity.