Losing Control. Finding Peace.
YOU. ARE. NOT. THE. ONLY. ONE... sweet friend.
You are not the only one who
wakes up exhausted and unmotivated to start the day.
questions whether or not you're a good parent.
has the best intentions to do a better job of eating well and being active but has trouble following through with those intentions.
struggles to stay on top of the millions of responsibilities on your plate.
actually gets the laundry done but then lives out of laundry baskets for weeks at a time.
needs to drink more water.
plans to wake up early everyday to get a head start and ends up snoozing your alarm until you're almost late.
worries that you're not spending enough quality time with your spouse.
has a hard time remembering to do the most basic things for yourself.
sometimes feels like you have more financial obligations than money to cover them.
wishes that life could be easier.
wonders why talking on the phone, responding to texts and emails, and engaging in social interactions with others leaves you feeling completely drained.
needs a nap. Or five.
feels that everyday you're forced to choose between doing this extremely important thing or that extremely important thing.
wonders how much longer you can keep doing this. All of it.
At some point or another, we've all felt this way. I know I have. The feelings of overwhelm and heavy and too much and "can I please get a break" and "it's too much."
You look at your life and your unending mental to-do list and wonder how you got here and if you have the capacity and bandwidth it takes to continue to make it work.
I ask myself these same questions every single day.
I'm a planner. I love lists. I have a color-coded planner with matching pens and stickers and page markers. Without it, I feel lost. It keeps me grounded. Makes me feel secure. Gives me the impression that I have my entire life together, when 99% of the time I don't ;-) Ultimately, it helps me to feel like I'm in control...which is all most of us really want to feel anyway, Am I right?
We want to feel that no matter how uncertain circumstances are around us that we will be okay. No matter what anyone else says or does, we have a choice in how things end up. We want to trust that our lives and livelihoods and happiness and contentment and general state of being isn't left up to chance. That we have a say in the whole matter.
And in some cases we do. Unfortunately, in others we don't. There will always things that happen in life that are outside of our control. Natural disasters. Forces of nature. The choices and behaviors of others. The economy. The job market. The housing market. Death. Abandonment. Atlanta traffic. The drive-thru line at Chick-Fil-A.
I often tell Bean that the only thing in life that we can control is ourselves: our behaviors, our attitudes, our choices, and our responses to what happens to us. And even more often, I must remind myself of the same things. I can plan my entire life out to the second, but ultimately, the only thing I can control is myself and my response to the uncertain world around me. And that realization actually takes alot of the pressure off. It allows me space and grace to be human. It gives me permission to put down some of the unnecessary things I've been holding. It lightens my load. It removes some of the responsibility that was never mine to take on in the first place...
It gives me a sense of peace. Peace that at 10 weeks postpartum with a newborn who is cluster-feeding every hour and a half, is a precious and priceless commodity. There's nothing quite like a 7 year age gap between your 2 children to get you all the way together and show you just how unpredictable life is. The illusion of "kinda getting the hang of this parenting thing" spontaneously combusts right in front of your eyes. And once again, your life, time, sleep, and body are no longer your own.
But, once I get sweet baby Dominic down for his morning nap, I get to sneak back to my room, make up the bed, and tidy the carnage from nightime feedings the night before, so that at the end of a long day, I can come back to a space that feels peaceful and somewhat pulled together. I get to watch with glee as the Keurig makes my perfect cup of Community Pecan Praline coffee and I get to sip it very slowly. I get to light my Woodwick Spiced Blackberry candle and take deep breaths as the sweet scent dances throughout the house. If I don't do anything else for myself in these hectic newborn days, I make sure to do those 3 things. Because right now, those things bring me peace. They are small but they are intentional. And they give me back just enough of myself, just what I need to wake up the next day and committ to this beautifully chaotic life all over again.
This is not the "tied up with a bow" happy ending- type post because that's not reality. At least, that isn't my reality right now and I'm willing to bet you 100 naps that it isn't yours either, or else you wouldn't still be reading this blog entry. (Naps are the only currency that matter in this season of my life!)
But this is a
You're not alone,
We're all struggling with something,
Everyone else doesn't have it all together either,
It's okay to feel like you're not okay sometimes,
Be intentional about finding bits of joy where you can in your daily life, and...
Things won't always be this way
type of post. This is a "You got this!" and "Don't give up!" but "Take a break if you need to!" type of post.This is a "WE'RE GOING TO BE OKAY" type of post. I believe that with my whole heart and I hope you do too, sweet friend.
Take excellent care of yourself and have the Happiest Holiday season!
Love you so, sooo much,