What Matters Most:
The Day My Husband Asked Me To Just Stop
Every morning I wake up and before my brain is awake I stagger into the kitchen to get my cup of coffee and in a flash my day begins.
What keeps me going is that I know these things are true . . . I’m a wife, Mom and an entrepreneur building a business AND that I love my husband, my children and my work.
Like you, I hit the ground running every day. Checking the family schedule to make sure I don’t miss anything, as I try to keep everyone and their schedules running smoothly. We now have 10 kids ages 6-19 living in our home. THAT alone is enough to keep one on the brink of crazy!
If I were to lose our family calendar I would be toast. I put everything on the calendar so I don’t have to think about it . . . which is a good thing, right?!
Except that through the years, I have learned – oh so well – the art of being busy. Filling the time slots and moving from one activity to the next until the day is gone. Once most of the kids are in bed I try to catch my breath and enjoy some time with my big kids, which usually means I’m up waaay past my sensible bedtime . . . that I have penciled in on my family calendar.
Most nights I fall into bed and am asleep in seconds . . . only to start over again tomorrow morning.
Somewhere, along the way I lost the vision of living and creating a beautiful life. The art of designing my life around what matters most . . . rather than letting life drag me all around.
Awhile back I told my husband that I was in a funk and felt lost in all the busy-ness of our family life. Lost in our functional but not fabulous relationship. Lost in the way I dealt with all of our life’s chaos.
It seems that I have no less than 640 post-it notes dangling around in my head at any given time. You know, thoughts, gift ideas, need to text that friend, Pinterest make-over ideas for my home, a new recipe someone posted, a link on Facebook I saw and should get back to…all hanging around in my brain, demanding my attention as I go through my day, leaving me no time to stop and think . . . let alone breathe.
I’m a “stuff and go” type of person. I learned at a very early age to shove down my feelings and move on. Vulnerability, tears, and dealing honestly with feelings equated to weakness in my mind. Be strong and move on has always been my motto.
I have little tolerance for anyone wallowing in self pity or the glass is half empty type of whining. I’m a “Snap out of it! Put on your big girl panties and move on!” type of person . . . and therefore I do very little actual dealing with my own hurt feelings, disagreements or disappointments.
I think “Why bother? It is easier to just stuff it down . . . ain’t nobody got time for my feelings and tears.” . . . and I can tell you now . . . that has not served me well.
Fast forward to the day my brave and sweet husband, that I get to call mine, dared to asked me “What would happen if you just stopped for awhile?”
. . . well, I contemplated it . . . just for a moment, and then took a deep breath and slowly let it out . . . then this feeling of panic came over me and all the post-it notes in my brain started flashing in front of mind. The thought of stopping, and how that might work, kind of took my breath away. My thoughts were in a spinning chaos of a mess . . . I told him “I can’t…Just…Stop!”
I was thinking “Clearly HE doesn’t understand what keeps this ship afloat! Kids need to eat. The house needs to be cleaned. Appointments, sports, birthday parties, meetings are all on the calendar. I have my business to run. My social media that needs daily postings” . . . and on and on and on.
However . . . he was so very right. (Ha…don’t let him know I said that!) . . . and at that point I knew I needed to just stop.
In stepping back, I began to see what a hot mess I was . . . and it was going to take a lot more than a pedicure and an iced triple espresso with one pump of mocha, to bring change to our home . . . and to my heart.
My life had become so busy that I rarely had the time to process my own feelings, struggles or areas that I wanted to work on . . . because honestly, I was overwhelmed with what I had chosen to put on my plate.
So, today I am learning the art of protecting our family calendar so that I can be on this journey of learning to embrace vulnerability and of loving deeply. It has been hard . . . but oh so worth it!
I am enjoying trying to make our home a slower paced, happy home, filled with acceptance for who you are and encouraging each child to be who they are . . . not who they think they should be.
Slowing down to enjoy snuggling, back rubs, painting my girls’ nails, encouraging each one in my family~daily, listening to their stories, redirecting, guiding . . . and all that comes with being a wife and a mom . . . and only then do I now choose to fit in my business in the pockets of my life with a much greater sense of clarity and purpose.
Life can be beautiful . . . even in a household of 14 . . . if only you give yourself permission to stop.
Am I alone in this? Has your vision for living and creating a beautiful life been clouded by chaos? What steps have you taken or do you need to take to get you back on your journey of living your best life?