I never thought I was a high achieving/overachiever type of person. School was mostly painful, and I thought it was because I was lazy, but recently I've realized that it's probably because I didn't care about it so much. But the things I am lit up for? Totally different story. I have crazy drive and passion and resourcefulness. I'm so grateful for this, for discovering what I feel made to do, and then going after it, for me and for the world.
But at the same time, I can at times get TOO driven. Because there's just SO. MUCH. to be done. So many opportunities for growth, unending improvements to be made. I get overwhelmed, and then I get depressed, and then I want to pack it all in and take up monasticism. I want to quit everything, from writing to art to mom-ing to showering.
But!! Then there are days like today. Where I don't have an agenda, no to-do's, no rushing. Days that feel sweetly slow, the perfect balance between being and doing, between mom life and my creative work. Where I'm not escaping into my phone all day because I'm exhausted or overwhelmed or inundated.
Today my boys and I enjoyed some time at our local science museum, and I chatted with a mom who has boys basically the exact same age as mine, and even GOT HER NUMBER (this kind of thing is usually SO hard for me, but this felt so relaxed and organic, and we're totally going to have a playdate!). Then we enjoyed some burritos, one of the few healthy foods that my oldest boy adores. And, because I wasn't rushing him everywhere, he didn't meltdown when it was time to transition and listened pretty well, which is a rare gift.
This day was, in a word, flow.
I wasn't fighting the current, either to get downstream faster or to battle my way backwards. I was just here. Now. Present.
I took this photo in between burrito bites and stopping the baby from throwing his sippy cup on the floor for the billionth time:
The light + view here remind me of what it feels like when the earth begins to thaw and we start baring our feet again and every breath feels like a miracle. If only I could live in this kind of balance and gentleness everyday. It's a work in progress.
What to Do When You Want to Quit
So, what does one do when you want to quit, no matter what you are "get me the hell out of here!" about (your marriage, your job, your role as a parent, your creative work that you usually LOVE, or maybe just that artistic movie you knew you shouldn't have bought a ticket for, dang it)?
Here's what I think.
You step back.
Like, WAY back if necessary.
Back into the simple, into what flows, into ease.
There's a time and place for pushing, for going hard . . . but then there's also a time and a place for not.
Today, I kind of happened into stepping back, by accident. And I needed that stepping back. Badly. I wish I had been more deliberate about making it happen rather than having it happen to me, but still . . . I'm relishing it.
What does stepping back look like for you?
For me, it looks like taking things slow. Going to bed early. Making time to wander, to get down on the floor and play with my kids. Cleaning the bathroom finally (seriously, it's a disaster).
And in terms of my creative work, it means creating for the joy of it, not because I need to pay my bills (which can be great motivation, but can also be a passion-killer).
How are you going to step back in the areas you need it this week? This month? This (*gasp!* I know, it's hard) year? Tell us in the comments. Let's support each other as we move counter-culturally, but so healthfully.