I had a light bulb moment while vacuuming last week. I do a lot of great thinking while I vacuum. Fun fact, while I vacuum I often write really fantastic, deep and moving blog posts in my head. Then by the time I sit down to write a blog post, all the amazing thoughts have vanished because I didn’t write them down the second I was thinking them. Does this happen to anyone else? All my best thoughts happen while I vacuum.
Last week’s vacuuming session came with an “AHA” moment that brought so much clarity to my life. I had to write about it here. I was contemplating why September had been so challenging. I was truly surprised by the amount of energy that September zapped from me. I wanted to get to the bottom of it.
Some factors are easy to pinpoint. The schedule was different week to week. Jeremy was out hunting throughout the month. My parents traveled a good portion of the month. My support team wasn’t always there. Those things are obvious but it felt like there was more to it than that.
I was adjusting to a new schedule. I kept focusing on the new – I must be struggling with the new routine, new schedule, new commitments. I must not be handling the new well. But really that wasn’t it. The new schedule and routine were found, but I was still exhausted by the changes. The new stuff wasn’t the culprit.
And then the light bulb went off. I was struggling with the old stuff. I was mourning all my old ways of doing things. I was mourning my old routine. I was sad that Family Fridays were no more. I was sad that play dates don’t fit in our calendar anymore. I was sad that we couldn’t skip school at a moments notice or be flexible and sleep in on a week day after a late night. I had to let go of things that I deeply valued during this transition.
Fridays were my favorite day of the week. Usually I got to sleep in on either Friday or Saturday so the pressure wasn’t so intense to have a restful morning. Fridays were always fun family adventures. It could be running errands together, getting a meal out or hanging around the house. Fridays always centered around us as a family. Most of the world was at work or school, so we would have quieter outings. We wouldn’t have to share the stores or the activities with many people. Now we’re relegated to weekends just like everyone else. Fridays have always been special and now they are different.
If you’ve been on my blog for any amount of time you know that we do play dates like professionals. Our calendar was constantly filled up with friends. We would have at least two play dates a week. I would chat with my mom friends while my kiddos played with their friends. These times were special and meaningful. Now play dates don’t fit on our calendar very easily. Some relationships will probably fizzle as a result of this change to our schedule. I know that Owen is meeting new friends at school and he is not lacking in the friendship department, but I will miss those preschool friends and their moms. I haven’t given up complete hope of keeping in touch, but I know it’s going to be harder now.
I could go on about the flexibility of the preschool years. The quiet that came from days at home with no agenda. Now I have plans for almost every day of the week. I don’t want life to be a rat race. I want breathing room. I want space to be quiet. And I am the only one who can make that happen for me. I need to schedule more quiet, more rest. More time at home. Being busy isn’t a badge of honor. I’m not winning gold stars for adulting at a high capacity. I started January 2019 thinking about the word balance. I can see how even now in October, I need to focus in on that topic. Balance might be an illusion, but I keep striving for it (maybe at my own detriment).
Adjusting to new things is hard. It takes time. It takes energy. Letting go of old things that were loved and valued is also hard. This combination laid me out flat last month. I’ve been picking up the pieces in October. There is a sense of routine and familiarity growing with each week. It won’t always be this way or feel this way. I had a hard time adapting from being just a couple to having a kid in the house. Seven years of married life had me set in my ways. Now I’ve had kids for a few years, I don’t miss or mourn those couple days as much as I did right after the big change happened. Some day down the road I’ll look back at this season and say – yeah, it was a hard transition, but I’ve been doing it for so long now that it feels normal. I will have walked further down the road and while I can look back and remember, it won’t be so fresh in my mind or my heart.
It was just a crazy light bulb moment to think that my greatest struggle wasn’t accepting the new, but letting go of the old. It’s okay for me to be sad. It’s okay to mourn the loss of valuable things. I am glad that I had space to process my feelings and get to the root of the issue. I also have hope for the future. The past was good, but I don’t believe that my best days are behind me. I will move forward. I keep looking ahead. I believe there is so much goodness to be discovered and enjoyed in this new season. I will look for it with eyes wide open. I will keep going knowing the distance on this road I travel will help ease the pain of letting go.