As you can tell from my lack of blog posts over the last 6 months or so, there has been a whole lot of surviving around our house and not much thriving. For a long time there I felt like I would take a deep breath on Sunday night and not exhale until sometimes Friday evening. Gradually, though, over the last few weeks, I've noticed something changing. Like surfing, I feel that I've finally caught the wave of our current life. And to follow the surfing metaphor one step further, I've learned that the harder I try to control and direct our lives, the more frustrated I get.
For a long time, I found myself catching the rhythm of our life for a day or two and then it would change, and I would spend the next two weeks trying to force the new rhythm to sound like the old one before finally giving in, just in time for the rhythm to change again and the cycle would repeat. Slowly, I began to see that this desire to control things was what was tripping me up the most. For a while, the word I would use was "surrender". I was learning to surrender to what was instead of try to make it be something it wasn't. But I struggled with the negative side of the word. Sometimes I felt like I was giving up, sacrificing what I wanted and needed for what was. Like a losing army, I felt like I was surrendering to defeat.
But something happened a couple of weeks ago. I decided to plant some flowers around our mail box. I know, you weren't expecting that were you?!?! One of the things that causes me stress is our front yard. It's gone from not-all-that-great when we first moved in to omg-do-they-own-a-rake? (Why does it bother me? Because I worry about what other people in our neighborhood think. But that's a discussion for another self-reflective blog post.) So, one day I decided that I was going to take advantage of the beautiful weather we are having and the fact that Turtle loves to be outside and make things happen! And what do you know, with a trip to Home Depot and some help from grandma (gardening advice and babysitting) I got this...
Is it perfect? Absolutely not! Is there a ton of dead grass behind it that seriously needs to be replanted? Yep. But you know what, it's a step in the right direction, and crazy schedule or not, that's the only way things happen. If I spend all my time being overwhelmed then nothing gets done. So, instead of feeling like I'm surrendering to defeat, I feel like I'm riding a powerful wave. Instead of sitting out at sea getting pummeled by every wave that comes by, struggling to stay afloat, I can catch it and let it propel me. Just like some rides are better than others, some days/weeks are better than others. But that's ok.
And you know what I've discovered, I like working outside. Which my mom found not surprising at all seeing that her mom, my grandmother, loathed cleaning the house but could spend days outside weeding and planting and tending to her plants. I guess it runs in the family. So, now I have a list of things that I want to accomplish outside. One project at a time. One day at a time. One wave at a time.
p.s. One of my favorite blogs Young House Love really deserves some recognition here. Their recent posts about their landscaping efforts have really inspired me. I encourage everyone to check out their blog!