Getting Back on Track
I have a confession. I haven’t been been living up to my own words. I haven’t written a blog in nearly two months because I’ve been swept up in a season of busyness and anxiousness. I haven’t been taking care of my body the way it deserves because I’ve been in survival mode for a while now. I haven’t been present the way I’ve wanted because I’ve been too focussed on sticking to schedules and clocking hours.
Matt and I have become experts at balancing routines and passing the proverbial baton back and forth, but not so great at kindling our love story and collecting memories.
I was convinced that once I graduated, all of the anxiety and stress I had been feeling from busyness would just disappear and I would all of the sudden be a present and patient person. But what I’m learning is that there will always be an excuse to get lost in work or schedules or anything other than the things our society deems less of a priority, like home-cooked meals, and carving out extra time to love on and invest in our kids and the people we love.
Presentness is the placid awareness that what society often labels as luxury or even frivolous is typically the very thing that keeps marriages alive and kids from growing up resentful and bitter.
Presentness is not a natural by-product of an empty calendar. It’s a conscious decision, amidst deadlines and life’s incessantly pressing demands to remain grounded. To not lose ourselves in the to-do lists. To practice saying no when necessary so we can say yes to the things that fill us back up. It’s the placid awareness that what society often labels as luxury or even frivolous is typically the very thing that keeps marriages alive and kids from growing up resentful and bitter.
In the same vein, anxiety doesn’t have to be the direct result of busy seasons and harsh expectations. Rather, we have to own up to our conscious decision to choose anxiety over trust and worry over worship. I recognize that at some point, I gave fear an open invitation to ravage my home and steal my joy.
So here’s what I want to take back this holiday season. It’s my favorite time of year, and yet every single time I allow it to become filled with all fluff and no substance. I won’t be unrealistic in my own shortcomings, but I will work to practice gratitude over disappointment. I will strive to feed my body with the nourishment it deserves (not just the junk it craves). I will prioritize date nights and sabbaths over checking off one more item on the to-do list. And when I mess up, or fall back into that same rut of incessant exhaustion and self-disapproval, I will give myself the grace to dust of my knees and begin again.
Because as I’m sitting here watching Cyrus rummage through his toy basket, in pjs he’s already outgrowing, all I can think is, “when did that happen? When did you grow up?” And sadly, the answer is often the same for many of us.
“While I was busy planning my life.”