Monday, April 13, 2015
This weekend was bright and sunny, warm (by Michigander standards) and lovely. The kids were out in the golden goodness all day and when my Mom stopped by for a rare visit, we walked around the yard a bit. Oh, it's a mess. A big mess.
The downside of greeting a new baby during my favorite time of year is that I can't get to it as much as I'd like. Oh sure, I have friends who dig and rake and plant and spread mulch with huge pregnant bellies, but I've found I have to choose. My big, unkempt back yard or my little, quickly messed up house. And I've discovered that my own mental clarity is much more dependent on the tidiness of my indoor surroundings during these last few weeks. To be blunt, staying on top of laundry takes priority over cleaning up garden beds. I wish I could have it both ways, but my energy is finite and the demands on it near limitless. We're still slogging through the last few lessons of school with increasing resistance due to the beautiful weather, and it's just all I can manage at the moment.
This choosing, this looking around at all the possibilities and deciding against spreading myself whisper thin in the futile pursuit of cramming it all in - it reminds me to be purposeful in the other areas. The ones that are harder to choose. The ones that require regular evaluation, weighing out.
I've always been someone with a wide variety of interests. So many different life options appeal to me. I have trouble saying "no" to new opportunities because I want to do all the things. I want to write, sing, doula, lawyer, homeschool, be with my kids, get really good at yoga. I want to invest in friendships with the many many many wonderful people I know, find out what makes them tick and have strong vibrant relationships. I want a close partnership with my spouse and the time to share interests and experiences. I want to make and keep a beautiful home. I'd love to farm a little, to read all the amazing books out there, to sew and knit and make time to create every day. Basically, I want it all.
All good, wonderful things. All worthy, valid pursuits. All impossible to cram into one life at one time. Especially while having seven small children at home. Dreams and hopes, interests and passions are beautiful gifts. We are all equipped for a large variety of paths and there are so many options that sometimes the act of choosing can be a painful one. Saying yes to one thing means saying no to others.
Still, when I turn 31 and spend the day as normally as possible - I realize: I'm at peace with the choices I'm making today. With where my focus is. I feel confident that it's where and what is right for me right now. I know that these gifts and passions that I have outside of my current little sphere still inform how I live. They impact those that I'm sinking myself into day in and day out. Maybe not in the big, grand ways that they would if they were my primary focus, but they filter in nonetheless. They aren't a waste. They might be a wild tangle that I don't have much time to tame, but I can still walk through them and appreciate the potential that's there - and dream of what might be. Someday.
With purpose, I can carve out a life that puts first things first. With confidence, I can go to bed each night knowing that a life that puts faith and family first is in line with my priorities.
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