Well, so, here I am. Almost 5 months since I sent out the very first post for The Sentimentalist and I humbly come knocking on your door with a confession. I lost track of my promises. When I started this blog I promised I would be working on a few things this year and then work, life, passions, kids, non-profits, writing, launching, exercising, dining, and discovering got in the way. I said I would be out there working on more saying no, more quality time with my kids, and more moments of meditational bliss. And then I started saying yes too often, I unintentionally pushed my kids to the fringe, and I let myself get frazzled.
That neck pain I so proudly got rid of with EIGHT weeks of Physical Therapy and rest? You guessed it – it came back. And the yoga classes I was attending weekly? Well until yesterday I hadn’t seen the inside of a yoga studio in FOUR weeks. And then my minis… Well the neck pain and lack of meditation turned me into a mom who was fried and on edge. The tipping point came last week when I stopped by a friend’s house to drop something off. I pulled into the driveway, parked right by the back door, and left my little Sophie buckled into her car seat – saying “Mommy will be right back.” As she patiently waited my “quick run in” turned into a five minute conversation. When I got back to the car Sophie was in tears. I felt terrible. I know – five minutes isn’t a very long time and it was a cool spring day so there was no health risk – but I’ve got to imagine it feels pretty crummy to be locked in a car seat, feeling alone, and wondering when your mom will be back for any amount of time whether it be five minutes or five hours. She’s an easy kid – and I took advantage of that. I can hear John’s kind voice now, “Lindley, she is fine. It was five minutes and she has already forgotten about it.” But the thing is, even if she has – I haven’t. It was a tipping point.
And the other thing about the neck pain – it is back because I have been awkwardly carrying my almost 3 year old from place to place every day. Why? Because we are always in a rush! Her little legs can’t walk as quickly as I would like them to so I just pick her up and off we go. Never mind the fact that it is healthy to walk. We. Have. Got. To. Get. There. Now. So what have I missed out on while speed-walking with Sophie in my arms from place to place? I have missed out on this special little thing that Sophie does. When we walk together Sophie likes to grab my hand, pull me close, and rest her little cheek on the backside of my hand. It’s ridiculous. In a good way. Can you imagine missing that? Can you imagine wanting to be so close to someone that you rest your cheek on their hand as you walk? I am so lucky to have a child so full of love and gentle compassion. I just can’t keep missing these things.
And then there was the church episode. I am embarrassed to say that John caught me making a to-do list in church. He saw the list being written on the back of the church bulletin and gently nudged my arm saying, “Put it away.” I sighed and gave him the “one more second” hand gesture. The thing is that I really wanted to enjoy the sermon and I knew that once the list was written I would be able to concentrate MUCH better. Can you relate? RED ALERT!!! The list was eventually put away and when I heard the pastor’s message I was reminded that I need to slow down, be a better listener for God’s intention in my every day life, and work on creating days that are more joyful and less jumbled. We all need time to breathe between the chaos.
So now that I have seen the error of my ways – what to do? How do I get back to that place of peaceful pain-free bliss? I guess it just has to happen day-by-day and moment-by-moment. I have to get to yoga once a week – for my mind and my neck. And I need to consciously squeeze one less errand in each day so that we aren’t always cutting it so close. And maybe I set aside allocated kid-free time for writing so that I am not on the computer in the kitchen as my girls eat dinner together around the corner just out of my eyesight. They discuss great things and I need to be a part of that dialogue.
The thing I have realized is that I want to say yes. I am honored, excited, and thrilled when new opportunities come my way. I can and will say yes in the future – but the pace at which I say yes has to be carefully considered. I have to be okay with a different kind of timeline. Don’t we all just want to do everything yesterday? I want this site to be well-written, informative, and interesting every time I post. I want a million followers tomorrow. I am constantly jotting down blog ideas and eaking out email requests to future interviewees at midnight. I forget to pace myself. My mark on this universe doesn’t have to be left tomorrow. I have to remember that this – this day, this post, this moment – is not my ending. In fact this isn’t even my middle. It is still my beginning. And from here there is plenty of time to get to the end.
The goal is to look back and smile at the beginning, middle and end. You need to know you really lived, saw, heard, and laughed during each phase. How do I get there from here? I slow down, breathe deep, and pace myself. It will happen. In its own time.