During the month of December, I felt off, not quite myself. While I remained present and enjoyed the season with my husband and our girl as a general statement, looking back I recognize the moments and days of disconnection and my own distraction. I can see how the end of the semester took more of my time and focus than I liked. I can see how the holidays, while beautiful and full of moments of our small family connecting, also brought their own stresses and pressure and distractions.
As the holidays passed and December rolled into January the “offness” made itself even more known. For a few days I felt disconnected, discombobulated. I felt the stress of the long “to do” list for my business that I hope to complete before classes start back up at the end of the month. I felt overwhelm at the number of New Years cards I wanted to get out this week. I felt sadness from not getting more down time to myself; more time to connect with my little family; more time to connect with friends. Angsty is probably the best word to describe how I felt, however I was struggling to figure out what was at the core of the angst; what was beyond this bubbling tantrum of “I don’t wanna!!!”.
This morning, after my daughter woke me up, in those first moments of the day this angst and I-don’t-wanna were in the forefront. All I wanted to do was go back to bed, get some more sleep. All I wanted was to isolate in the dark and cry. All I wanted was to connect deeply with myself and figure out what in the hell was going on.
My husband got up and came down to the kitchen just a few moments after our daughter and I did. He too was exhausted and clearly needed some more sleep and some time to himself. I recommended he go back to bed and I would hang out with our girl for a while before starting my work day (one of the bonuses of running my own business from home: I can come in late whenever I want). He declined and recommended that I go back to bed before starting my work day.
I took him up on his offer.
I went back upstairs and curled under the covers. While I was exhausted, I couldn’t settle back into sleep. So I laid there for a while, allowing my thoughts to wander and came to realize that all this angst I was feeling was self-created. I created my deadlines for work. I created the deadline to get our New Years cards out the door. I created the deadlines to get the house cleaned and organized. I created the go-go-go schedule that kept us out of the house and didn’t allow space for relaxing and connecting.
I smiled at these realizations. Ah, I feel overwhelmed because of me. I feel angsty because I was trying to force myself back into a pace I walked away from four years ago when I left my previous career. I was feeling disconnected because I was disconnecting from those I love and value most. I glanced at the “to do” list I wanted to accomplish this weekend and decided at least half of what wasn’t done yet could be put off to next week. I breathed a sigh of relief, settled into my morning meditation, breathing in the word peace, and breathing out the word release.
Afterward, the smell of bacon motivated me downstairs for breakfast.
We sat at the breakfast table, the three of us. I smiled at our daughter’s now toothless grin and wondered how my itty bitty baby had gotten so big so fast. I talked with my husband and we connected while our daughter played with Barbies and Legos. I made myself some tea and then went upstairs to get ready for my day.
Once I was dressed, I went into the office where my husband was and gave him a hug and kiss. I then went into our girl’s room where she was playing and laughed with her, taking silly pictures of the two of us together. I told her it was time for me to leave and she asked that I stay, so I did for a few more moments, connecting with her and laughing. I went and gave my husband one more kiss and then when I was finally headed downstairs to work after gathering all my things, I saw the two of them cuddling and resting and connecting.
Ah, yes. This is our life: These quiet simple moments of holding each other; of laughing and being silly; of talking and hearing and being heard. This is our life because we chose it to be that way. We, my husband and I, chose for me to give up a career that was slowly killing me and us. I chose to go back to school to start a new career that would allow for more family time, more connection, more empathy and understanding. We choose to walk away from society’s expectations, shoulds and have-tos to create the space for calm, peace and living our lives connected to each other and ourselves.
I’m grateful for my husband. I’m grateful he offered me time this morning to restart. I’m deeply grateful I acknowledged this gift and accepted it; giving myself some much needed time to reset and look into what I needed and wanted.
I invite you to slow down this week. To sit or lay in quiet and allow your mind to wander; to give space to see where your life may not be working as you hoped and to understand why and how you could change that. Slow down, allow yourself to be.