When I had an office job, you could come by my desk and see that everything was in its place. Yes, there would be that one pile that I never really wanted to deal with it, but aside from that, everything would be where it should be, where I wanted it to be.
Flash forward to my life now, where my house is my world. The other two people that I cohabitate with have very different ideas on how our house should be maintained. Little did I know that this meshing of roles and activities in one space could cause so much internal tension in me. Some days, it leaves me simply DONE. I'm over the mothering. I'm done with working on my laptop surrounded by play food and hot wheels. I'm tired of food and keeping my posse fed. I'm over finding words to tell my husband about my day and ask about his. I love my people, but sometimes I really just want to escape.
Is that ever you? If so, here are some questions to ask yourself when all the awesome blessings in your life feel way more like burdens.
1. What's your reality?
You've got to start where you are. It's tempting to remember what life was like in different stages, focusing on what was so "easy." We don't tend to remember things exactly how they happened. Don't put too much stock in the "perfection" of the past. It was rarely as idyllic as we picture it.
Take a minute to think about what your life really looks like. What's your daily/weekly routine? Who is in it? Why are you where you are? If you are anything like me, you will struggle over over-listing (every role you play in every area of your life). Keep it simple. You don't need to worry about making this part totally encompass all of who you are. We are just laying the groundwork for deeper questions to come.
My reality is that I am a wife and mom who writes and edits from home.
2. What did you choose?
When we get tired of our lives, we often overlook the fact that we chose a lot of what makes up our current reality. Of course there are things we have to deal with that aren't/have never been our choice (sickness, familial relationships, financial setbacks, etc.), but a lot of the time we overlook the fact that we had a lot to do with the shaping of our reality.
I chose to date and marry my husband. I chose to have my daughter and stay at home with her. I chose this time to start my own business and do it from home.
3. Why did you choose?
Now this question is important. It begs us to remember the reasons behind our choices. Did we choose based on love? Practicality? Passion? Purpose? Spontaneity? Faith? We all have reasons for why we do what we do. What are yours?
Sometimes remembering why we chose what we did can help us feel more prepared to sacrifice for those choices.
I chose my husband because I fell in love and realized that I wanted him, imperfections and all. I chose my daughter because I value life and family. I chose to stay home because it felt right to my husband and I. I chose to start my business because it simply made sense, falling together with hard work, tears and a welcomed naturalness.
4. What do you really want?
We can be so focused on what we desire that we forget about what we already have. I have been so guilty of this as I have started and grown my business. I get jealous of what other people have and can do, forgetting about who I am and where I'm at. We easily forget that we don't have to, nor should we, do and be all that everyone else is.
So, take a minute to reign in your gaze to land squarely and simply on yourself. What do you really want?
What I want is to grow my sphere of readership and business in a natural way while still being present in my daily life. I want to be available and engaged in relationships with my daughter, husband, family and friends. I want to keep learning what it means to be me.
5. What needs to change?
Sometimes, we are in stages where the only thing that can change is our attitudes (Boo, I know.). But, there are a lot of times when we actually have some options, some space to change what we don't love about our lives.
Maybe you need to find a new playlist on Spodify and put it on anytime you are feeling the day going sour. Maybe you need to start going for more walks to get your body moving and engage with nature. Maybe you need to get off your phone by 8p so that you can be with your people or yourself in ways that give you life. Maybe change is simply trying to be grateful for the things you've chosen in life, rather than wondering if they were the right choices.
I need to kindly ask my husband to put his clothes in a certain spot so I don't go crazy. I need to shovel my daughter's toys into the playroom and let that be "clean." I need to think through and gracefully enforce boundaries with social media. I need to set a timer (being realistic here, folks) and give my daughter my undivided attention while we play. I need to include more music and creating in my daily routine.
You are not an awful person for not loving your life all the time, even when it seems almost perfect (especially when it doesn't seem perfect at all). You are human. Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to feel the feels. Then, go back to this list and remember your choices and what you have the power to control now.