Loveys, this morning after drop off, there were dishes all over the kitchen island. And I stood there for a minute, feeling tired and sipping my coffee and wanting to just breathe. I suddenly packed up Lily in the stroller and went for a couple-miles walk. (I was so spontaneous that I forgot to take water for myself--I brought some for Lil--and I hadn't eaten breakfast. About a mile from my house, it occurred to me that passing out would really be less inspirational than I was going for.) But that first mile was great. Sunshine, quiet, fresh air and the feeling of my heart pumping as I walked. Now, this is Colorado so I know lots of people are out there walking every morning (I'm looking at you, Tracy!), but this Southern girl has to really talk herself into it.
Sometimes I really need to talk myself into things. Like leave the dishes and go, breathe deep for yourself. Like ignore the unmade bed and sit on the floor and stretch, close your eyes and do that for yourself. Like go to sleep when your body needs you to, even if there's stuff to do and if you stayed up late, you'd get more done.
The fact that we need to talk ourselves into such things means that usually we choose the other, and that's okay, too. Because it's good to wash dishes and make beds and mop the floor once the kids are in bed. But those things aren't going anywhere, really. So when you can choose to breathe--to take a moment for yourself--I think we need to.
My kids are back in school and it's going great. We had Ashtyn's birthday last weekend and while I had said no parties, I told her she could invite a couple friends over for a playdate. No decorations, I didn't even buy a cake! But by the time Saturday rolled around, Ash was gleefully jumping up and down and saying, "When is it time for my party?" I was like, "Um, it's not a party." She was like, "Um, it pretty much is."
If all I have to do is buy buns and hot dogs and marshmallows and chocolate for dinner, I can deal. It ended up being so fun and I love how low-key it was. The girls had a scavenger hunt in the backyard (finding glow necklaces from the Dollar Tree has never been more exciting), and it was basically one of the best nights of Ashtyn's life. I love those moments. You don't realize they will be perfect until you're experiencing the joy around you. And later you think, I never want to forget how this felt.
Loveys, that's why if there's even five minutes of time to just be, we need to pounce on that like a cat on a spider. I need it. So many of us do. Sometimes we have to set boundaries when we know we're at capacity. We have to find a few minutes to be alone when we're on the brink of crazy. Some of us live at that brink and know it well. :)
I love family life and I wouldn't trade it. It's what I want and it's the greatest gift I've ever received. It's all encompassing. I'm up for it. But taking care of me, and knowing the limits of my family, helps us keep going without crossing over that brink.
Now that school has started, we're finding the rhythm of our routine over here. I'm trying to make the most of my hours. To me, that's the best factor in school starting, we get back on a routine. I love the freedom of summer, but I find I'm ready for routine again when school starts. Fall is busy. It always is. We've got to find our rhythm. (I'm speaking metaphorically here, loveys. Truthfully, I have no rhythm. It's unfortunate.)
I have all sorts of good intentions. I decide every Monday that I want to invite friends over for coffee during the week, then when I remember that I will have to sweep the floor, I cancel all my plans and decide to watch the food network and do yoga. So I'll need to talk myself into it. Because I need both, desperately. I need coffee with friends. (I also need the food network and the freedom to just be home alone with Lily.) School is starting and I'm figuring out what my days will look like--and there's something exciting about all the possibilities. Maybe I'll go to the gym. (A very small maybe.) Maybe I'll get to read more during naptime. Maybe I'll take on another freelance project. Maybe I'll write a new book. (That's a very big maybe!) Maybe I'll plan another fall tea and invite friends. Or maybe I'll do an end-of-summer brunch and invite my neighbors. Maybe I'll wait for someone to invite me to something. (Medium maybe.)
Loveys, I hope fall is full of possibilities for you. I hope the end of summer is perfection. I hope there are friends and parties--and moments to be quiet and just reflect--in store for all of us.
The dishes will keep.