This is me! Not whiskey in a tea cup, but more tea in a whiskey bottle!
On the outside I come across as outgoing and social. I’m fun at parties, can talk to anyone, and I’m pretty much the funniest person I know! But on the inside I am actually quite a loner who would rather stay home reading a good book (or pinning) than go out and have to socialize.
Despite knowing this about myself, I still somehow seem to have a problem doing the latter when the former is an option. I have no idea why it is so hard for me to say ‘no’ to social engagements. I’m not overly concerned about disappointing people by not attending their event and I most often seem to regret going once it’s over, but at the time I somehow seem to trick myself into thinking it will be more fun than it usually is.
And this is not the only area of my life with which I am at odds. Pretty much everything I do seems to be one extreme or another;
-I am mildly vain but too lazy to do anything about it (i.e brush my hair, wear sunscreen, exercise, etc.)
-I want to eat and live healthy but mostly conclude that if I am not eating an organic, raw-vegan diet grown from my own garden and doing hours of yoga and meditation a day then I might as well have a hamburger and a beer and try again tomorrow (or Monday, or next month if tomorrow is Monday).
-I want to spend time with my kids but I can always justify throwing a movie on for them so I can have some time to myself (it never works btw).
The list goes on and on…
I recently finished a nutrition course that suggested the best way to make changes is with simple steps (basically the exact opposite of my ‘giant leap’ approach). So instead of taking an extreme jump and not making it over and over again, you make small and simple changes that can be attached to habits you already have like doing jumping jacks before you brush your teeth or drinking a glass of water 5 minutes before eating. Simple right!
But I cannot seem to figure it out. Maybe there is just too much chaos and not enough routine in my life (although I do eat and brush my teeth everyday!). Or maybe I am just too stubborn with my ‘all or nothing’ attitude.
So I guess the moral of the story is that I have no idea what I am doing and even though I have a general idea of where I want to be, I’m no wiser about how to get there…
I have been finding it hard to get myself back into writing. I have come here so many times and just didn’t have the words. I am fighting myself again worrying about what things are supposed to look like instead of what the purpose for this blog was all along.
I would start to write and get blocked thinking about what people might want to hear (my whole 2 followers…thank you!) instead of what I want to say.
Why do I make things so hard for myself? I am truly my own worst enemy.
But the reality is I am not doing this to paint an unrealistic picture of a perfect woman with a perfect family that has everything all figured out. Nor am I doing this to highlight the stresses of raising kids or home schooling or anything else.
I am doing this for me. For my accountability. Because it helps me. Because it brings a sense of purpose to the chaos. Because it keeps me in the present when I have such a tendency to fade into the past or get caught up in the prosperities of the future.
And maybe whomever reads this will like it, or maybe they won’t, but I will keep going to keep my sanity and remember in the process that if it were easy it wouldn’t be worth it!
I woke up on the morning of our 21st move in eight years excited about finally getting into our own house and also a little nervous about having to actually commit to living life like a (modern?) eighteenth century homemaker. But there was no turning back.
A few days later, as I parted my way to the composting toilet in the middle of the night, I began to seriously question some of my life choices.
After returning back to bed with an emptied bladder and a racing mind, I started ruminating various exit strategies, none of which were extremely realistic.
My mind began to wander to intense reflection of the events that transpired in the recent past, bringing us to this exact point. And then it hit me. The undeniable truth of it all. You asked for this!
Rewind to the previous year-ish…
you wanted your husband to be home every night / now you are tripping over his shoes
you wanted to live more sustainably / you are peeing in a composting toilet
you wanted to be off the grid / you are living without power
you wanted to spend more time with your kids / you are homeschooling
you wanted to be closer as a family / you live in a 700 sq ft garage together
How does that saying go???
So after a good laugh cry, I realized that there was only one thing I could (try to) do.
If I am:
annoyed at my husband (and his shoes being left right in front of the door)/ be GRATEFUL he is home with us and happy with his new career
regretting drinking that 3rd glass of water before bed / be GRATEFUL for an excuse to get out and see the stars
fumbling to prepare supper in the dark / be GRATEFUL for candlelit dinners with my family
struggling to divide my attention between my kids / be GRATEFUL to have these extra moments with them
seeking solitude in our chaotic ‘box’ / be GRATEFUL for the memories we are making
(I am also a lot more specific when I am ‘asking’ the universe for something!)
When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
I wish I could go back in time…back to the beginning…to the early years.
I wish I could tell myself to enjoy it.
It will pass.
You can do it.
My situation back then was, in a word, somber. Not always. Not a term I would have used out loud then, but I remember that to be how I felt a lot the time. Trying to keep up with two small and intense boys (on my own most often), always waiting, lonely but never alone, and completely and utterly EXHAUSTED!
I remember the thought of having to get up and do it all again to be enough to send me into a mild state of depression but the redundancy of it all allowed me to maneuver on auto-pilot, wishing for time to travel to a place where I felt composed and in control.
…when I look back I can see remnants of the life I want(ed), but it was impossible for me at the time to see the forest through the trees.
And now I am sad disappointed….
I am disappointed that I was never able to put myself in that place. More worried about what I thought I should be doing and never taking the time to just ‘be’.
‘Be’ with my kids in their utterly chaotic and wild world.
‘Be’ with myself (and my fears and insecurities).
‘Be’ in the space I was occupying at the time and ‘be’ with each and every person that was in that space with me.
And now those little boys are gone…grown and blossomed and I will never be in that world with them again (be careful what you wish for!).
This poem crossed my path a while back and is a beautiful reminder to me of how quickly it all passes.
Now when I find myself in a state of depletion, I try to bring to mind that time will pass and before long this difficult moment will transform into something new. And even more so when I am embraced in a moment of inspriational bliss with my children, I need remember that too will pass so enjoy it to its fullest.
I will persist…I will fight…I will concur my urge to yell and be consumed by the negativity and desperation of those difficult moments.
I wish I could go back in time…to a year ago…to yesterday…to this morning…to remind myself you will never get this time back!
But regret I will not. And now, if I am wishing, I wish for the strength to appreciate this moment, to remind myself to not waste the new moments living in the past…but to learn and move on and do better tomorrow, today…NOW.