Stop doing

The idea that we are all doing too much is not new, but it seems a hard one to learn and hang on to.  I take pride sometimes in how impossibly busy my life is, but it’s wrong to leave no breathing room.  I need to stop feeling so overwhelmed, stop saying yes to every obligation that comes my way, stop letting life sweep me along, and start making the choice to stop.

I’ve never been an organized person.  I grew up in a chaotic environment, with two intelligent, educated parents.  The posters and signs that insisted clutter is a sign of creativity and productivity, I internalized the idea that it’s ok to be a mess.  But the older I get, the less I can handle anything out of place.  I think I’m starting to embrace my neurosis.  OCD is actually in fashion now.

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The Bugs Dance

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There is a spot just off my patio where the bugs dance.  There is so often a tiny swarm of them in this spot that it seems natural for them to be there, just another inconsequential part of the scenery.  But today I fully see them and the beauty of their dance.  The movement of the bugs seems beautiful to me with its fluidity.  They are often around this season, but winter will come again, and they will not be here.

This season of my life is busy.  It feels overwhelming some days.  But there is coming a season when I will no longer have young children needing me all the time.  We will run out of days that they need dropped off at school, there will no longer be friends’ birthday parties to take them to, and no more soccer practices to sit through.  Frequently, I look forward to that, but today my throat is tight at the idea of this season being gone.

 

Loving Myself

There are so many things that God says to me, through the bible or through teachers and preachers.  What I have been hearing lately is how much he loves me.

I struggle with love for myself.  I can fake confidence.  I actually have pride in who I am and what I have accomplished.  I truly love my children, and many others in my life.  But I cannot say with confidence that I love myself.  I’m not even sure how to do it.  I try to take care of myself, get enough sleep, eat healthy, spend time in prayer and meditation, exercise, yoga.  I thought that it was enough to treat myself well, but there seems to be something missing.  What does it really mean to love myself?

caught up

I don’t normally have trouble sleeping. There’s no struggle for me to keep my eyes closed even if the sun is out.  But, every once in a great while, I just don’t want to go to bed.  It’s not that I don’t want to sleep, I’m just enjoying what I’m doing too much.

I’m frequently in the middle of a good book.  Sometimes I pause before plugging my phone in for the night to check in on facebook, and two hours later realize I better get some sleep.  And tonight, I’m writing.

I don’t want writing to be something that I must do, another item to check off my list.  But it is a choice I must make, an actual effort to sit down and make words come together.  I suppose that’s like everything else in life.  If it is to be something of value, it will take time and energy.  Otherwise, what’s the point?

Daily Prompt: Passionate

When a topic or an event has great meaning to me, I can become quite passionate about it.  I lean toward the extreme, to think that something can only be one way, to think that my truth is the only truth.  It has been a long time since I have felt really passionate about anything.  I have spent a great amount of time learning to be open minded about others’ opinions and beliefs.  In the process, maybe I’ve lost some of my passion.  Passion is one of my favorite experiences, second only to peace.  How can I get that passion back but still be open to new ideas?

via Daily Prompt: Passionate

Reading; Fiction vs Nonfiction

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I haven’t been reading as much fiction as usual.  Maybe I’m burned out on it, or maybe I need the self help books more right now.  If you have not seen the study about how reading affects our brain, I recommend looking it up.  It’s fascinating research.

I read because some days that is the only way for me to have a sane moment.  My life is chaotic, I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before.  There is so much to do everyday, so many ways in which I have to be present in my life.  Getting into a work of fiction is my escape, a moment of peace, excitement, anticipation and joy.

 

Learning to be alone

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I have been on my own for over three years.  There has been some dating, but today, there is no man in my life.  It takes some practice, some intentionality to enjoy being alone.  I cling to hope that there may be someone to share this life with some day, but that cannot be my focus.  How can I be productive, and achieve my goals if my main goal is to find a man?  Being alone is difficult, and I have a strong desire to change my situation, but so much of life is difficult.  If we spend our time attempting to change what we cannot change, we have wasted our lives.

I gave up dating for Lent.  It has been a successful experiment.  I have intentionally not looked to see if a man has a ring.  I have left the house, knowing that if I run into someone I’m interested in, I have to put them off for a little while.  It has been liberating.  By intentionally keeping dating out of my head, I’ve had a few very fascinating conversations with nice looking men, that may be single as well.  Because I wasn’t worried about impressing them, I said what I was thinking, which is often quite amusing.

Grieving My Divorce

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I read an article today written by a mother who lost a child.  (disclaimer: I am not attempting to say that losing a child is like going through a divorce)  Her pain resonated with me.  It’s not just the loss, it’s the inability to express the loss.

I am a christian woman, I should not be divorced, but if I’m going to be divorced, I must explain to every person who asks or acts remotely curious that it was his fault (biblically) and that I know God is working it out for my good.

Well, it’s all a big, fat load of crap.  I’ve been divorced for almost ten years now, almost longer than I was married, and I still don’t see how this is good.  Divorce is a horrible, bitter, ripping apart of your soul.  There is no good in it, that’s why Jesus says what he says about it.  There is no going back.

Back to the article with the grieving mother, the truth that she was expressing is that life is beautiful in spite of the pain, and sometimes even because of the pain.  Being a divorced, single mom is not the life I envisioned, not what I would choose for myself.  But it is beautiful.  My life is not possible despite my pain, it is possible because of my pain.  Only the pain of my circumstances brought me low enough to look to him.

love

Falling in love is one of the greatest experiences we have in life.  The joy and pleasure in the experience override any other feeling at that time.  There is, at least for me, an almost complete lack of logical thought while in the height of passion of a new love.  The problem with love is that the emotional high fades.  There will come a day sooner or later that it won’t be so wonderful, that the little quirks or faults of the one you love will no longer be so tolerable.  The stress of daily life will soon grow over the beauty of the relationship, if nothing is done to hold it back.  Like the garden that is left to the whims of the weeds, love cannot flourish without effort.

Busy

When I explain to anyone the nature of my life, the obligations I am trying to fulfill, most people are impressed if not shocked by the weight of my burdens.  I hope that I do not take on so much just to impress people.  What I am doing in my life now is only to be able to give myself and my children the best possible future.  The problem with it is my constant stress and my inability to really excel at so many things at once.  Something has to give.  So we eat McDonald’s, or sandwiches for dinner, the house is not clean and we haven’t done anything fun as a family in weeks.  I am not failing as a mother, just not doing as well as I’d like.  But I’ll keep praying for wisdom, maybe one of my obligations needs to be dropped.   There will be joy and laughing again in my house.