First and foremost, congrats to those who participated in the Rock-N-Roll Marathon yesterday. Whether you ran it or supported it, you are amazing!! Such a great event to bring our community together. Can’t wait to do it next year!
A friend recently said to me, “with four kids, you really need to be intentional with your time.” A few years ago, that word wasn’t even in my vocabulary. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have even known what she meant by that. Mindful, intentional, purpose, being present…words that have been a part of my language, but with different definitions, or with no real meaning at all.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I had our goal coaching conversation. We were both pretty amped and inspired and feeling really good about where we were at and what we were creating together. A few days ago, in the midst of a sleep deprived fog, we got into a fight about who was feeding what baby, at what time, and how long it was taking. We had quickly lost sight of our purpose, and got caught up in the small things. Once we sat down and started hashing out what the real reason was behind the argument, I learned that my husband lives in a sea of chaos. Let me restate that…I have always known he lives in a sea of chaos…the guy never goes from point A to point B. It’s one reason why he is so good at his job, because he has the flexibility to go in whatever direction he is being pulled and is a quick thinker. It is the main reason why we fight at home. I am a very structured, organized, logical thinker. He brings that chaos into our lives at home where there is no routine for him and he just takes things as they come. I need routine. So, if you can imagine what it is like for the both of us to live together, it is like two ships arguing in the night! I also struggle with empathy and sympathy. It’s not that I think I am better than everyone else, I just have a hard time finding the emotion in situations, as again, I err towards the side of logic. But after that conversation, I truly felt for him. I could sense the frustration in his voice and the emotion in his words. And I really wanted to help him, without taking away the essence of who he is. I know that he is very good at his job, and however he does it, he does it great. But at home, it’s a different story. And since we have four kids, we do need to be intentional in all of our actions, our thoughts and our words, otherwise, we will go through life in a dense fog and when it has finally cleared, our kids will have their own kids, and we will have missed out on a huge part of our lives.
Yesterday, I was doing the simple task of cleaning the kitchen. Stella and I had just made some blueberry and pomegranate muffins (it was her idea to add some fresh pomegranate seeds to our blueberry muffin box mix). Christmas music was playing, I had one of the babies strapped on me so I could multi-task. Stella was helping me with the dishes. All of a sudden, I found myself struggling to hold back tears. I keep finding myself caught up with emotion the last few days. This is the first Christmas without my grandpa. This thought hits me at random times throughout the day…a Big Band Christmas song comes on the radio, pulling out some decorations he gave me from his collection one year, thinking about our family morning breakfast on Christmas day without him…so I am already in this cloud of emotion. In this moment, however, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. That it’s the holidays and this is the first year without grandpa, and how sad I am that he never got to meet my baby boys, but at the same time how so very lucky I am to be who I am with who I have in my life. My husband has taken on the challenge of making our lifestyle work with one income so I can stay at home at raise our children. I have the opportunity to enjoy these simple moments of making muffins with my daughter while one of the twins is strapped to my chest, sleeping peacefully. I have the love and support of my family and friends who want me to succeed in life, so they help me get things done. It’s the small successes…like getting your Christmas decorations up, and a friend bringing your daughter out to the parking lot at school so you don’t have to take the twins out of the car. The last few weeks it has occurred to me that I really need to be more present in my life and really appreciate the moments that are happening right now.
What do these two thoughts have to do with each other? In order to enjoy the small successes, which eventually lead to big successes, (or maybe the small successes are the most important ones), you need to create the space for yourself to be present, mindful, intentional, purposeful. In order to do that, you have to recognize where you lack that in your life. Especially with the holidays happening, it is so easy to slip into a robotic mode of going through the motions, doing things to just get them done, losing time in our lives because we are so busy with everything else. I noticed myself hurrying to get back to my career after the twins were born, only to realize that I am missing out on a lifetime opportunity to really enjoy my family right now, while they are little and impressionable. I had the best time decorating the tree with my kids because they took so much pride in every ornament they hung, and that they got to do it with me. It is seriously amazing what you can feel and experience when you take yourself out of the race to the finish and live in the moment.
I don’t necessarily think that I am the best at this, but here is what works for me. It is what I shared with my husband to help him organize his thoughts and be able to switch from chaos at work to a routine at home.
First, accept your life. This is the hardest, but the most important thing you can do in order to appreciate the moment. You may not be exactly where you thought you would be at this age, this time of year, this life, this day, whatever…but accepting your life right as it is in this moment will help alleviate the constant battle with yourself that keeps you from participating in everything happening around you. For example, what my husband was able to recognize is that he wasn’t accepting his life right now. We went from having two kids, to two pretty self sufficient kids who sleep through the night and two newborns that demand our attention 24 hours a day. He was trying to keep his same lifestyle in a new scenario. And that wasn’t working out for him. This doesn’t mean that you have to settle, but it does mean that you have to be OK with what is happening right now. That’s why goal setting is so important, so you can recognize when you are off track or heading in the right direction, and still accept your life as it is right now.
Second, wake up! Take that time first thing in the morning before the kids are up, or before you have to start your busy day, or take it in the evening when things slow down…whenever that time is for you, take it. Sit with your thoughts, write them down, organize, prioritize. This way, you can mentally go back to your list throughout the day, or you can physically go back to it, but either way, when you start to feel like you are being pulled in twenty different directions, you have the authority and the confidence to say yes or no, or to communicate to people what you have going on and in what order. You don’t forget things, or you learn to forget things. When you take the time to organize your thoughts, you feel more accomplished and in control of your life. The “going through the motions” goes away and you are on your way to becoming intentional or mindful with your time.
Finally, take time for yourself. Whether you have to reorg your funds so you can hire a nanny for 2 hours a week, ask a friend to pick your kid up from school, say no to an event, whatever that means, do it. And then use that time to do what makes you happy, find your inner peace
, love your life. When you start to live your life for you, your time becomes more purposeful.
Thank you for allowing me the space to write about what inspires me. My intention is that it inspires you as well. That is the purpose of my blog…to share what inspires me in hopes that it inspires you. Enjoy your holidays with intent and purpose! Namaste.