And you — what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down —
papers, plans, appointments, everything —
leaving only a note: “Gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming.”
I had an emotional night with a dear friend. Thankfully, my friend allowed me to cry and get angry and work through my frustration–and didn’t allow me to walk away before it was all settled. The question of the evening was whether or not I should accept more work. For the last six months I have been setting things in motion, plans that are now manifesting themselves. The trouble is, other forces are at work and I am no longer in the same position I was in six months ago! Do I continue working on these “plans” or do I let them go?
My friend asked me, “What kind of person do you want to be during all this?” He clarified and said, “Of course you can do it. You are capable of doing it all at the same time. But what kind of person will you be if you do? Do you want to be that person?”
Whoa. In my rush to do all.the.things. In my haste to keep all the balls in the air JUST BECAUSE I had put them there in the first place, I forgot to think about the value of personality. My attitude and the face that I present to the world is important to me. I want to be remembered for the positive influence I bring to the table, not for being a raving lunatic B@$%*. If I say yes to all of the opportunities I worked for, I am endangering my ability to calm with my children. I endanger my ability to be present for my spouse who needs my support right now.
Perhaps you can identify with #FOMO, or the fear of missing out. For me it looks like this, “If I don’t take this opportunity, even though I have no room for it and it is really bad timing, I will NEVER GET ANOTHER CHANCE LIKE THIS AGAIN!
It is the “never” part that grips me and sends me into a panic. The “what-if” sets in, and I start to believe that I once I say “no” it’s over forever…
What is it about allowing ourselves time that makes us so uncomfortable? Why can’t we sit in peace with learning or growing or experiencing? There’s something about this American lifestyle that encourages us to believe we must “do” all the time. If we are not “doing” something, we are not valid people. If we aren’t “Martha Stewart” we are not good mothers. If we are not “working” we are lazy. If we didn’t “DIY” we are sell-outs.
Today, I got a request from a writing friend for my holiday cookie recipe and the tradition that goes along with it. My first instinct was to frantically search my mom’s old recipe cards. Surely there was a memory in there somewhere. I don’t have any with my own kids yet. ACK!! Why haven’t I created a baking tradition with my kids yet?!! Honestly, I hadn’t even though of baking yet. We just had Halloween! I’M BEHIND ALREADY!
I laughed to myself. The closest we ever came to a baking “tradition,” in this house, was decorating ready-made sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles. The rest of the “mom-and-kids-baking-together” image is filled with yelling, a giant mess, and tears!
What if I just put it all down? What if I walked away from the expectations and the extra work, and instead, I sat down with my inner thoughts? What if I allowed myself congratulations on bringing about such great opportunities, and said “no” with the confidence I could do the same thing in the future, when the timing was right?
Above all, I want to be lovely. I want to inspire loveliness in others. I want my children to be filled with so much love they can’t help but pass it along to others. Today, I am choosing this over the “opportunities.” I am not finished blooming…
Join the discussion!!! The Salon is a forum for us to think new thoughts and engage with each other in relation to ideas rather than events. Does this article ring true for you? How can you relate? What advice would you share with others?