Say Yes, Say No

Summer was uniquely overwhelming and exciting, and quite honestly, more than I could handle. I said yes to everything because for the first time in a long time I felt like I could. Those old habits of believing I can do it all, and be it all are hard wired inside of me. All I have to do is open myself up to one thing, and it's not long before I have committed to everything. every.thing. Over committing myself wasn't as disastrous when I was single. By the end I was often in a tizzy, but I was alone in my simmering internal chaos. But add a husband and two spirited little people and overcommitment quickly becomes a recipe for disfunction. I am not a mulitasker and I do not like to have my hands in a little bit of everything. I crave simplicity and single minded tasks. I want to do a few things really really well. And yet it is always fascinating to me how quickly I find myself in situations where I am juggling a million and one passions. I've learned that consistency is not my strong suit, and yet I desire it more and more. I need stability and consistency to be creative. But opportunities and momentum come to be in waves, and in seasons. Even the type of work I align myself with is seasonal. So naturally it makes sense, financially and creatively that I should say yes as it's offered. But I am learning even in the season of yes, it is no very necessary to say no. I am learning boundaries. 

Now that it's October I am finishing up loose end projects which is a big sigh of relief. There is still a lot of bait dangling in my face, but I think I am finally learning. I am turning things down because my heart can't live another interrupted, distracted day with my girls. They are my priority, and I want them to feel this with my actions, not just my intentions and words. Also, I am doing it for me, I want to feel connected and in my own skin again.

We moved apartments last week, thankfully just down the street from our old place. I purged and organized, truly organized. The girls were with Chris' parents in Atlanta so I was able to put the time and effort into being through, which is not something that has every happened since becoming a mother. It feels so good to know that my keepsakes are in one organized bin and my photographs and journals in another. Something about knowing where my most prized possessions are, allows me to sleep better at night. 

I recently deleted thousands of messages and drafts from my email inbox and I temporarily deactivated my Facebook account. I have a hard time keeping up with replying to text messages let alone responding to Facebook messages and or worrying about who is having access to who, what, when, where, why, while I am trying to be as present as possible in the flesh. Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate and respect the beautiful side of social media (I LOVE instagram!) and I've learned that life in the extremes only creates the pendelum to swing back and forth without ever finding balance or home. So claiming that I am anti social media is only going to create the exact opposite emotion a year or two from now. Deprivation just doesn't work. Which is probably why I've spent the last 6 months drooling over the idea of owning a car. Good things are often found in the tension of good and bad, the pro's and cons. So little is black and white. In any case, I just want to be more choosy about where I am online. And I want to be honest with myself and my limitations. If I can't honestly connect and make time for a few hundred people in my normal day, then I probably shouldn't try to do that online. The idea of this, and the pressure of it all stresses me out, and is probably what I dislike about social media the most. The illusion that we can and should connect with as many people as possible, or at worst, just consume them. It's all too familiar with what I already struggle with in real life, overcommitment, and being spread too thin in relationships. 

I miss this space, where my heart once flowed freely and I had no idea if anyone ever read it, because likes and views were not applicable. It also feels healthier because it's more appropriate for full stories, not one or two liners that leave much for assumption and misunderstanding. I suppose I am not too deeply invested in whether or not I am misunderstood (well, I probably am, a little more than I would like to admit) but if I am going to share, it feels to do so a little more wholeheartedly. 

I am hoping to slow down and take my time, that old pastime I knew so well before Bijou was born. Sometimes I am in awe at how good I was at taking my time. Food, transportation, domestic endeavors, all of it. I still walk for miles to get to where I need to be, and I never resist the urge to stop and smell a flower, but all those things that aren't fun, like dishes and folding laundry, it's all just become a big race to see how fast it can be done. How quickly can I check things off the list, get the dinner on the table, get it all cleaned up, and get those overtired kids in bed. How fast, before I sit down to myself and realize I am empty because I missed out the little gifts waiting inside those seemingly undesirable chores. How quickly I suddenly miss them when they are bed and wish that I would have taken just a few more minutes before tucking them in. 

I keep feeling like this is my seasons of saying no, but really I just can't wait to say yes to all those mundane things that filled me fuller than I ever thought imaginable. I don't want to start and finish my days, I want to be inside my days, with my two favorite little ladies, and I want to teach them this lost art of slow living. I don't think it's not as far from me as I often worry, in fact it is so tightly woven into me, I couldn't dare run fast enough to escape it. I don't want to reflect on each year and make small talk about how fast the days, months and years keep flying by, I want to be one who takes her sweet time, her obnoxiously sweet time, so that when my babies are leaving home, or when I am old, tired and gray, I can honestly feel like it was more than enough. So that I can say there was time, and I made it all mine.