Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.
This is the story of my life. I want to help people I care about. I have some useful talents. That dangerous combination often me overcommitting myself. I find myself wanting to do all the things.
No one can keep up with that pace. I definitely can’t. As this past year has progressed I keep getting told to say no by God. I’m not always obedient but the more I say no, the better life gets. Saying no to the wrong (but maybe good) things has left room in my life for the right things. I’m not overextended. I’m not overwhelmed. I don’t feel guilty for letting people down. I have the time and ability to give the kind of time I need to give to what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s freedom.
I was presented with my next journey. The pole studio is on hold due to having a newborn. I’ll be getting the online store open and selling clothing again as well as teaching private lessons out of my house but the actual location is going to wait a little longer. That’s okay. I’m going to do that too but just not yet. I have some young boys to focus on.
God has called me to something else. I’m getting ready to tell you about it but just not yet. It makes my heart super happy though. It won’t take me out of my house very often and will allow me to support some pretty incredible women. I’m feeling awesome!
I’ve gone through a major shift these past 6 months. I’ve talked about it here and there but the reality of it has really sunk in lately. For the longest time my priorities were wrong…so very wrong.
Work –> Community / Friends –> Jackson –> God-ish –> Jason
No wonder my marriage was struggling. I put my husband last. Everything came before him. These last 6 months have been all about shifting my priorities and, after talking with my amazing friend I worked for and us deciding it was best that I no longer do it, I am for the first time, prioritizing my life right.
God –> Jason –> Jackson & James –> Huddle Group, Mom’s Group, Friends, Family –> Work, Volunteering
The image below is from the Mom speaking at my Mom’s group this morning. She used is a perfect illustration of priorities.
The exact same rocks and gravel were used in each image. The sand represents work and community, the small pebbles represent kids, the larger rocks represent husband, and the large rock is God. When you put them in the right order everything fits. When you mix your priorities up and fill your life in the wrong order then it doesn’t all fit and the most important parts are left out. This is exactly what I was doing.
The shift has changed everything! Now that I am filling my life in the right order I am experiencing joy. Not happiness. Happiness is fleeting. It is based on of your circumstances or experiences. Joy, I have found, is different. It is an all around awesome feeling of rightness when things in life may be “wrong”. Everything isn’t perfect and that’s okay. If it was perfect then what would I need God for, right?
Accepting help is hard for me. I’m not sure why. I’m more than willing to help other people but the idea of taking the help offered to me makes me really uncomfortable. I don’t think it is pride. I’m not above help. I seems to be something like not really believing that people want to help me which is stupid.
I have some awesome friends and family. Living away from my family has been an adjustment. It has made me reach out to people beyond my comfortable circle. I’m so glad that I was forced to do that. When we had James I had MANY women from my Moms group reach out and ask if I needed a meal. Most of them I just never responded. They taught me something. They were relentless. They didn’t let me slip between the cracks like I so often try to do. They continued to reach out and I finally accepted that they want to bless me. They could have easily let this go but they didn’t. Instead they asked and asked and asked. They didn’t let it go. They pursued me. They taught me a lot about real friendship.
Aim small, miss small.
Aim too big and miss everything.
I need to narrow my target.
I try to do too much. All the time. I then can’t seem to handle everything that I commit myself to because, honestly, no human could. Plus I have a freaking newborn. A NEWBORN! What is wrong with me?! I end up disappointing other people and myself. This has been the year of learning to scale back. It’s also been the year of recognizing how far I’ve come and looking to go farther.
Family comes first. I’ve never done that completely before. Right, wrong, or indifferent…my Dad modeled to us that work came first. Whether it be his actual job or his church calling he was often taken out of the house. Inadvertently I’ve done the same thing for a long time. I did it so much that I almost ruined my marriage. Thankfully God knows what he’s doing. He moved us to OH and shook me up.
He put people in my path that I need. He’s given me experiences that would teach me that there’s a better way. He gave me a husband that has the patience (but not perfection) of a kindergarten teacher. He gave me boys that keep me on my toes. He gave me sickness that helped me learn what keeps me well. He’s given me so much by just narrowing my focus.
I’m happy. In fact, I’m the happiest I’ve even been in my life. I keep aiming smaller and smaller. My missing keeps getting smaller and smaller. My pride keeps getting in the way but God corrects that. My past keeps getting in my way but God reminds me that my past doesn’t define me. I’m happy and my life isn’t perfect. I think that is actually the definition of joy.
Sometimes I get touched out. It occasionally happened when we just had Jackson but now that we have added James to the mix it happens a lot more often. What does getting “touched out” mean? It means that I get tired of getting touched. I love hugs and kissed and snuggling and breastfeeding but after it happening all day I sometimes long for no contact at all. We’re talking a nice high 5 to my husband when he gets home. The break of making dinner and having my honey occupy the boys for a while helps reset me but I’ve learned I need a little more.
I missed spin class on Tuesday and didn’t think it was THAT big of a deal but heck! Jackson wanted to take a nap with me while James wanted to only lay with me and not on his own. I just couldn’t do it. I sent Jackson to his bed to nap and Jason (who’s working from home) saved the day and got James to sleep. I need to just be. No touching. No talking. No one else wanting anything from me. I’ve been working non-stop for over an hour completely alone. It’s magical.
People often assume I am an extrovert. I’m not. I’m kind-of an introverted extrovert. I love being around people and talking and sharing (as long as I know the group I’m in and it’s relatively small) but I have to get away and be alone for a while to rejuvenate. I need that time to just be. Once I get that time I’m good for a while.
But too much alone time or too much kid time is also not good for me. I crave adult conversation. I crave connecting with other human beings whether it be my husband or a group of badass women. I need both. I need aloneness and togetherness.
What do you need? Time alone? Time with people? Are you an introverted extrovert too? Take the test!