I have a theory. It’s not that unique or originally, but I think it’s important. And I think it’s applicable to a variety of people at all different stages of life.
I think we all just need to take a nap.
But even typing out those words I feel guilty. As someone who has lived in the Midwest my entire life I feel a deep need to be productive. And by productive I mean busy. Because idle hands are the devils playground and we wouldn’t want that. There is an assumption that I work hard to combat. That taking a rest or not constantly working on something means I am being lazy. But I’m crying foul.
I have noticed that the more I focus on all that needs to be done, the more overwhelmed it becomes to me. I run around trying to take care of all the stuff and I become more and more like a hamster stuck on a wheel. Just going around and around. Always working on things but never getting them done. I try to pay attention to everything and yet focus on nothing.
But then if I take a step back and just decompress, it helps bring life back into perspective. Sometimes taking a day off from the frenetic pace of life is a necessity. It gives me some time to calm down and focus on what needs to be done. This could mean taking an afternoon and watching my favorite shows or reading a book. Sometimes it means taking a literal day and going to a coffee house and relaxing. It takes a little bit of forethought and planning, but I promise it is worth it.
How do you step back from life and get perspective?
We may all be familiar with the saying monkey see, monkey do. Meaning some, most of us, emulate the behavior we see around us. Particularly if the person we are mimicking has a strong personality or authority over us.
This is never more true than with children. Every single day kids are acting like the people around them. Trying to figure out how to be in different situations. I think this is the most scary thing about parenting.
I know that I have some really great qualities. I also know I have some pretty great flaws. Like my temper (0-100 in about 3 seconds), the way I handle stress (I like to avoid it and tend to hide out with my shows) and my obsessiveness (once I start something it needs to be finished). I see all three of these things in my kids. My oldest is a snapper like me. The middle one is obsessive and my youngest is a teller too.
So those three little monkeys are my warning. I desire nothing but the best for my kids and that they would learn from me that things could be done differently. That we don’t have to always take every characteristic, good or bad, and mimic.
It’s hard to overcome what we observe and take into ourselves. But we can take steps to analyze ourselves and change the course of our direction with accountability and grace.
Sometimes I like to take a walk around the neighborhood. Especially after two lazy days at home due to sickness and no plans. We are in that winter is ending but Spring hasn’t fully sprung middle ground were there isn’t a lot to do. So we take to the streets of the ‘hood.
Tonight as my youngest and I were perusing the neighborhood, we ran into a lady with a dog. And dogs are my youngest favorite thing ever. So we had to pet it. I originally thought the lady was older than school age kids, but then we found out we both had fourth graders. After the initial kid talk, I asked if this nice lady attended church. And from there we found some more common ground. So much that we might even start walking the neighborhood together.
Now, I could have shooed my youngest along after she got her puppy fix, but after moving to a new place I’m in need of some connections and friends. And I could have just stuck with the few I’m making in the usual places of church and mom groups. But I also know I’m not the only one who needs friends and connections. We are all in need of a community. So I took the step to go a little bit past the surface and dive into something more meaningful. It was scary, but I think it was worth it.
We will see what the new acquaintances turns into. Maybe just a friendly face to wave at during school functions. But what if she turns into a new friend? Someone to share this bit of life with as we go thru the school years together? Either way, I’m glad she said hi back and was willing to let us pet her dog.
We have to be there and open to the new adventures that come our way.
What has come up in your path that has turned out to a blessing?
I committed to blogging again. I committed to you. I committed to share my story. And I got two whole posts up. And then life has kicked in and I keep waiting for that perfect combination of kids in bed or occupied, husband doing his thing, all the house work is done and there is nothing else to deal with. But you know what? That moment never comes.
This idea that if I just had the right set up. Or maybe if I just wait until the best opportunity comes along for me. If I could just get this one last thing handled. If all those things come together then I will have time to do whatever I feel most passionate about.
It’s all lies.
There will never be a perfect moment without a hundred other little squeezed in moments to develop your craft. There is never going to be the one perfect opportunity with out a hundred other half attempts or even failures. I’m never going to have that one last thing handled cause there are always about a thousand more things jumping to take the place of the one last thing.
I have stuff and you have stuff. It’s about setting aside time and maybe sacrificing so the time is there. For me that means cutting back on how much television I watch. Or how much time I take to play games on my iPad. It might mean saying no to some things and yes to others. Maybe it means I get up a half an hour later so I have time to set up for the day instead of hitting the ground at warp speed leaving me to exhausted to work on my craft at the end of the day. It’s about being at the place that I can’t put off this need to write any longer. It means that the fire lit in me is going to consume me if I don’t speak out. I’ve found my passion, my calling. Now it’s time to get to work on it.
If you started following my blog over a year and a half ago, you may remember that I confessed to being a geek. I love super hero movies. I get into the supernatural. I also don’t mind talking to my boys about their Minecraft obsession to a certain degree. There is a certain limit to how many Minecraft recipes I can remember.
We are a unique house in that we don’t follow sports at the collegiate or professional levels. We have no affiliations or ties to anyone in the Super Bowl except to the commercials. Although I do have strong feelings about unethical teams that are being rewarded. Our family outings usually have a stop to a comic store, book store or Best Buy.
We in our house go a bit beyond your normal game playing household. Actually, it encompasses our entire lives. My husband gets to make board games for a living. As mentioned in the last post, I recently had a birthday and one of my favorite gifts was my new wireless mouse. It’s so little and cute and even pretty with purple swirly flowers on it.
My sons are well versed in the mystique of Star Wars, Mine Craft, Origami Yoda and are beginning to understand the depth and complexity of Star Trek. Our daughter is likely to pretend she’s a goblin over a princess. Most likely a goblin princess. I won’t even get into our annual viewing of Avatar and the Last Airbender. I don’t mean the horrible real life adaptation, I mean the whole complete and wonderful animated series.
We are a family of nerds and we hope that you all live long and prosper.
It’s been a long time since my last post. As in months. Just like riding a bike, some things have stayed with me. Like a need to tell my story. And friends who won’t let me forget that I have a story to tell. Also, I hit the half way point in my thirties last week and that gave me some things on which to look back.
So I’m back. And with me is that old nagging sensation of fear. I’ve learned a few things about fear. I know it has no place here. If I choose to walk in victory, then fear will flee. I’ve also learned that naming the fear makes it smaller.
For my first blog post in a long while, I’m gonna list the reasons I’m afraid to write and share my thoughts. Maybe knowing I have fears will help you face yours.
1. What if someone else has the same thing to say and they say it better?
2. What if no one cares?
3. What if someone cares a lot on the opposite end of the spectrum from me? And then they tell me?
4. What if I disappoint someone?
5. What if I stop again?
Those are the big five. So they’re out there for everyone to see. And I’m punching them in the face.
Something has been rattling around in my head since Sunday morning. And since I heard it twice, it’s a pretty large rattle.
There is an idea that my wrong is more important than your actions permeating our society. For most of my life I have lived this way. Coming from a defensive posture that the world is out to harm me. And in some ways it did. So what do I do with that? Do I role over and just accept the wrongs that have been done to me passively? Become the worlds doormat to be walked over and trampled on? Or do I stand up and shout down any and all who even have a glimmer of attack towards me? Neither.
Our church has been going thru Romans chapter 11. This last weeks sermon was titled “The Third Way”. Our pastor knocked it out of the park with an idea for our relationships. Instead of passively not reacting or violently reacting , how about we creatively respond to the conflicts in our lives?
When someone attacks us verbally, emotionally or even physically we are told not to retaliate. Instead, we should turn our other cheek. This does not mean passively accepting abuse! Instead this phrase actually means we should look the attacker straight in the eye and say your attempt to humiliate me did not work. I refuse to hit you back and prolong this violence.
It is a passive way to stand up to someone. Thus quieting the angry spirit and discontinuing the fighting. Maybe that means you respond quietly to the child who is yelling at you because they are upset. Maybe it means calling the police if you are being attacked or witness someone being attacked. Maybe it means leaving a home where abuse is happening. Maybe you need to hide an annoying feed on Facebook. Or it can even mean NOT responding to some idiot comment on Facebook.
The third way is about creativity. Not about passivity. It’s about ending the cycle of violence and turning it to one of peace. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.