Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Putting the Fragments Together: No More Fitting It In

Almost four months ago, I vowed to "Say Yes Less."  Knowing my own personal history, I worked intentionally to slowly reshape my commitments and my life in general.

I'm not done yet.

We have spent so much time together as a family - in various forms from me with just one or both of my kids to the four of us together to with my dad to with #friendsthatarefamily to in-laws and cousins to neighbors and new friends.

And the one thing that I did differently? I put away my phone. I paid attention to one thing at a time.

Sure, I took pictures, but I also let other people take the pictures (what a concept).  Sure, it helped that we stayed a few places that had poor cell service and no wi-fi (a huge gift to someone like me).

In the moments of quiet, whether to myself or while holding my daughter, kissing her head, and hoping she would go to sleep, I let my mind wander. I meditated. I prayed. I put some pieces back together.

And for the first time in a very long time, my mind started to feel whole again.

Fitting all the pieces together had fractured me.

I fit pieces in like an incredibly complicated puzzle. Ten minutes for a workout (that was really thirty because I had to check on dinner, and the kids and the dog kept crawling on me).  Six posts to my online sales groups, just a quick sec, I'm running a sale.  Balance. Bargaining. Compromise. A broken mind. I need fewer, larger pieces.

It's me. It's not you.

I see the growing number of mamas (yes, specifically mamas - no one tells a dad they need to "fit in a workout around baby's nap schedule) fitting it all in. No excuses. Twenty minutes before bed. Bounce around while your kids climb on you. Make it fun for them!  I love that it works for you.  I have nothing but respect for those of you who can make this work.

It used to work for me. 

My son adored the stroller until age two - he literally slept through 11 miles of multiple half-marathons. My daughter thinks it's some kind of medieval torture device most days, and on the others, she hands me toys through the top of the stroller and then falls asleep for ten minutes and skips her two hour nap.

It makes me even crazier than I already am, and no one needs that.

When I try to actually work out with my kids around? I trip on my son's bike because he likes to stop suddenly after riding like a bat out of hell for ten minutes. I feel like I'm getting internal damage from my daughter bouncing and shouting "WAKE" on my belly while I try to do yoga.  Add into that the 100+ teenagers who ask for my attention all day, and I desperately need some alone time at the gym.

But it's not just that I can't split my attention like that for exercise.

I can't do that for anything anymore.  

I don't want to fit in direct sales around small gaps in family time.  I actually enjoy talking to my husband in the car and not having the phone in my face.  In the evening, I want to sit and relax with my husband, not run an online sale.  Like with the fit-in exercise model, cheers to the mamas making this really work for you.  You're rocking your business and your family.

Me? I've gained weight. I've bought a lot of product (for myself and for friends) - it's great. I love the products I sell, but...it's time to slow down.

The time I spend managing multiple businesses comes directly from my free time.

You know what used to do with my free time? Exercise.  And the extra money? It's hard to enjoy spending it when I'm constantly working the business to the detriment of my family.

Years ago, my best friend asked me if I still got to pursue my interests after becoming a mom.

I told her the truth - I had to choose. I had to narrow down.

And then I broke my own advice and began to add, add, add.

It's too much.

Am I going to stop trying to things, pursuing new adventures? No, of course not.  But I'm not going to pursue them all at once.  

I have chosen to nourish myself this year, to live with intention. It's not the first time I've made that promise, but it's the first time I've followed through.  Bit by bit, I'm dismantling my overcrowded life.

And the results are astonishing.




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