slowing down, letting go

November 18, 2014

On Saturday night David and I had a little heart to heart. He told me something that was hard to hear, something that I immediately wanted to make excuses for, or dismiss. It didn’t fit with my idea of myself.

He told me that I never seem happy.

I got defensive because I’m an optimist. I am rarely angry. I’m calm. In my mind, I am happy most of the time. I love my life and there isn’t much I would change about it. But obviously, there was a reason that David came to me with that; he doesn’t just make stuff up. I must not be acting happy.

in progress: week in the life album

I thought about it, and I have some reasons: I haven’t been sleeping well because Liam is up a lot at night. My running mileage is increasing and my body is sore and tired. I’m an introvert and I haven’t had much time to myself lately to recharge. All this intense parenting is wearing me out.

But then I realized: that’s life. I’m a working mom with two little kids. I’m always going to be tired. I’m rarely going to have time to myself. I’m always going to have to prioritize personal projects and I’ll never be able to get the amount done that I want to. I know life goes in phases and one day this will change, but right now this is where I’m at.

in progress: advent calendar

I’ve been letting circumstances determine my attitude, and although it may not show to the rest of the world, my husband recognizes when I’m grumpy. Although I’ve been doing daily  Bible study, it’s just been something on my to-do list. I haven’t been letting it sink in. I haven’t been practicing gratitude.

On Sunday the kids needed me all day long. David was sick, so I was mostly on my own. It was wet and cold outside. The kids refused to nap. But I was determined to have a better attitude. We did a lot of puzzles. We watched some Mickey Mouse Club. We baked cookies. I think I did better. I acted happier, because I am happy.

in progress: books i want to read

But…I am also tired. That’s still true. And I feel a bit chaotic inside, and I don’t like that. So I’m going to pull back on some things, release my expectations. I probably won’t be posting here every day like I have been. Some projects that I want to get to might have to wait. I think it’s time for me to slow down.

Posted in: personal, thoughts

Comments on slowing down, letting go

  1. 1

    From Nora:

    Oh, those heart-to-hearts. They can do so much good but also, so tough to hear, listen to. Knight and I just had one last night… I feel better but at the same time, like you said, chaotic inside.

    I’ve been a long time admirer of you for all that you do (have you read/seen “I don’t know how she does it?”) and marvel at all you manage to fit in to your days and weekends. I think taking a step back from anything and everything makes total sense.

    Will be thinking of you. Here if you ever need anything.


  2. 2

    From Sarah @ Beauty School Dropout:

    I don’t know how it is with you and David, but for Matt so say something like that to me, it has to have gotten REALLY bad. You are in such a tough phase of life… I was dealing with a 3 yr old while I was tired from being pregnant, but being tired with a baby that doesn’t sleep is a whole other level of tired. I definitely feel your pain — Sam has been getting up 2-3 times a night recently and I always get up to nurse him back to sleep. Sooooooo tired. And you’ve noticed my posting has been *very* slim lately. By all means, give yourself a break and just enjoy the little positive moments, even in the midst of a rough day.

  3. 3

    From San:

    Oh, that must be hard to hear that David told you that you don’t seem happy… even though you’re not feeling that inside, because you’re trying to manage everything as good as you can and even get some ‘me-time’ in with projects and blogging.
    You’re a working mom with two kids… of course, you have time constraints and juggle a lot. The hardest part for me would be to accept that you cannot do it all (even if you try!) and if you can step back and catch your breath a bit, all the better.

  4. 4

    From Sarah:

    I feel this, often. I too am reminding myself regularly these days that this is the season I am in, and it will change. It has already changed from when my daughter was an infant, and it will change again. Step back, take a breath, do whatever is right for you and your family!

  5. 5

    From Holly:

    That must have been a hard talk! I feel the same way sometimes … I mean, I’m happy – but exhausted seems to be the norm for me, what with being home with the kids all day and then working super late most nights. I love my life but can’t always find the energy to enjoy it! You’re smart to slow down!

  6. 6

    From Trish:

    I could have written this post word for word Kathleen. I love to create. I love to cook. I love to blog and read and sometimes (not often enough) exercise. I refuse to be that woman that lets her children totally take over her life until all she has left is MOM (that sounds so selfish, doesn’t it?), but those things are important and they help make us happy! That said, I think knowing our limits is also so important. I get really frustrated and even sometimes angry when I don’t have any free time to myself–but I have to stop, take a zillion deep breaths, and redirect.

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