Letting go doesn’t mean giving up, but rather accepting that there are things that cannot be.
My husband is off this week to work on some projects from home, which has given me more focused work time while he takes over with the kids. This is the first time I’ve had several hours and even a few days in a row to focus on my writing and new e-course in nearly 5 years! It is so refreshing and although I love staying home with my babes, breaks for my creative work are vital to my health and happiness.
I’ve been looking forward to this week. Calculating how many work hours I might have. Thinking through how much I can get done. Adding to the list and checking off errands that always seem so daunting with young children (you know, like the dreaded DMV). And our family has enjoyed a really nice flow the past few days. My husband has helped so much around the house, making breakfast, playing with the boys, doing laundry… He even surprised me one day while I was gone working at the coffee shop. I came back to find my entire art room/office/kid’s classroom space completely transformed! I had been feeling really disorganized since the move because I’ve had yet to figure out my workspace or how to store my supplies in a closet with no shelves. In addition to making a new table and hanging up my special things, he built an entire shelving system, painted a chalkboard wall and created a fun workspace for the kids, too. A special guy…for sure.
My eyes filled with tears when I saw it and I instantly felt this wave of new energy that was released from his kindness.
Oh to be organized…and to have a place that is inviting me to write – what a blessing, indeed. I was feeling creatively charged…
And then…sickness hit. Nooooooooo! Not this week. Not during the week where I have all these plans to be away from the kids and do my own thing and not be tied down to the duties of this 24/7 hour gig! And not the week we are getting ready for a 12-hour road trip! Yes. My kids have caught a stomach bug. It’s the kind where it wakes you up in the night. And you’re on constant alert because any slight movement or cough makes you wonder if now is the time to reach for the barf bowl or to take cover. I love snuggling with my 2-year-old at night, but being in perfect alignment to his projectile vomit sure takes the joy out of that.
So now, my lovely week of work that I had so perfectly planned is not turning out quite like I expected. I’m sleep deprived. My words are coming slower. My baby wants to be in my arms all day and I can’t help but see my work hours dwindling.
And today, after the second time of being in the line of stomach sickness fire, (this time it got in my hair) – I broke down. I even looked at my husband with desperation and cried, “I just CAN’T do it!”
After a hot shower, a good cry and a supportive talk with Chris, I remembered something. We are in transition. My role as nursing the littles is changing. A portion of my creativity is shifting towards my work. A portion of my husband’s creativity is shifting back to the family. Transition can be hard (on all of us). And it’s usually right before the big moment of shift, that it can sometimes be the toughest. We’ll have setbacks. We’ll have moments where reflection is needed. We’ll have breakdowns that make us kick and scream, “I can’t do it!” And we’ll have to look more closely at our lives and make sure the things that we are still thinking, saying and doing are a compliment to who we are becoming today.
Me yelling “I just CAN’T do it” was simply my moment to say stop. To step back and take a break. To look at the plans and expectations I PUT ON MYSELF and my family, and to remember how to soften and stay flexible with the ever-changing life stuff that is just part of life. Plain and simple, this was my opportunity to accept that this IS how things are. The kids are sick. Adapt to what is. And move on.
So I hugged my babies a little longer today. I took that hot shower that helped me get out of my head and check-in with what this present moment is offering me. To hug my babies a little longer and tighter today. To slow down. To simplify my plans. I let go of the vision I had in my head to sit quietly in a coffee shop – uninterrupted – for 8 hours. And instead, I got a nice morning walk by the lake, I enjoyed 2 quiet hours at the coffee shop, while daddy nurtured the kids, and that was enough for today.
It seems that when I stop resisting and judging, and keep opening my heart, mind and spirit to what IS, is when I see life really unfolding as it should be, in its perfectly imperfect way.
For Thirty Days of Giving Thanks, I’m thanking my beautiful children, my husband and even the sickness for giving me the gentle reminders that although I can’t always control how things turn out, I CAN do this. Things may not go as smoothly as I’d planned. But being a mother and the gifts in the every day, throw-up and all, continues teaching me how to step aside, accept and let life do its thing.
Your Personal Reflection:
How often do your perfectly planned out plans end up not turning out how you envisioned them to be, only to leave you feeling depleted and frustrated? Today, see if you can let go of the expectations you put on yourself and on your life. Step out of your own way, and see what happens when you accept and embrace what IS.
Is there someone or a situation in your life that is offering you an opportunity to accept what IS? Share your appreciation for this person or this moment today.