Hints of fall have been showing up all around us. August felt hot and drying. We had to spend nearly every evening water the garden. The ferns on our hill turned brown later than normal but the trees on the hills became red sooner than normal. A weird combo that felt deeply like Autumn far sooner than it had before. As the days began to fade from vibrant greens and the yellow tones of Autumn surfaced, an indication of the full ripening of summer we entered a phase of life I couldn’t ignore.
This year has been one that has ripped myself open. We thought in some way we had been unaffected with our work by it all, but we miscalculated that without childcare one of us had to step back in our work. Being the one breastfeeding and the most comforting part of our daughter’s life, the responsibility landed on my shoulders. Running a blog is one of those things that is flexible and moves with us as our life changes especially when you haven’t built it into something huge. Mike’s work is consistent and good so as we approached the days of learning at home with our son, I have made the choice this season isn’t about the things I had planned originally but it is about something far more important.
I had written out a plan in December, while I sat waiting to full heal from the pregnancy I knew would be my last. I had written a course for my work and a plan to get back to the work I wanted to do with my blog, my business, and more. For a while I had stepped back because it just was too hard to be bread win and be a parent. I struggled with wanting to be present with my children and present with my work. They felt they continually competed with another. Did I want to be a full time mom? Did I want work that was full time? No on both. I wanted a middle but the middle felt rather unsustainble. So instead I had made a plan, we had a sitter lined up, we had summer camps, we had a school plan. All of it. The best intentions laid. But then it all fell apart.
At first I felt it could still work in a few months, but when school loomed and we felt less ready to send him back, I knew that it was time to take my plan and push it to the background. I knew that working and having two small children in our home, keeping track of our home, and more this task would be far too much to also show up in my work the way I wanted and hoped I would be by now at nearly a year postpartum.
In many ways I am thankful for the time I have gotten with our kids. Truly it is the thing that keeps me in this time. To think of how life might have been if the pandemic hadn’t happened. If we hadn’t been forced to live a little different right now. THere would be many other challenges such as Mike traveling every month for a few days to a week at a time, I would be toting a baby on two 40 minute drives a day while juggling nap times, and then early wakes ups to pack lunches and prep for the day ahead. I feel exhausted just going through it in my head. Instead, we linger longer and slower over meals these days, the house is a continually mess and the floors need to be cleaned, but we have gentler days more than busy ones and I can truly see my children even when I feel I need a break. I do not feel I will ever look back on these days thinking I wish they had been different. Instead I know deep in my soul I will long to return to them. I think about that when it feels hard and the laundry feels endless.
I know like many women right now I am not alone in all this. Though this gives me comfort it still is one of those things where I have to identify this is a pivotal moment. I can be sad, feel like I have been wronged in this or I can look at it and think…What will this do to change my course? How will this season of life and this wild ongoing trauma of a year shape me?
A few days ago I was harvesting in the garden a garden that taught me so much this year (another post for another day) and I looked to my tomatillos. In June I planted some that I had grown since April indoors. They had a dedicated place in the ground, but late June some sprung up from seeds from fallen fruit last year. These ones were unexpected, they were note given the ideal situation, but yet they were providing me with the greatest fruit and the best harvest even better than the ones nearly as tall as my giant 4-year-old. I thought about that in relation to me and how this isn’t where I planned on going with my days right now. I didn’t expect to be teaching my child and being a montessori teacher on the floor or balancing a home full time. I didn’t expect to be just trying to sneak in 10 minutes to breathe some days. This soil I find myself in though is fertile, it has everything I need, it is up to me to choose how I will grow I realized.
I walked away more or less from Instagram. I still pop in there, but it felt it wasn’t serving me. I love my community there, but in seasons such as this we must ask ourselves what brings joy, what expands us, what is good and what is toxic. The toxic outweighed the good. Since leaving other than the occassional pop in to check on people I enjoy following, I have found my mind far more open and myself far more present in what is in front of me. I feel a desire to write on my blog in a way that doesn’t just have production purposes. It has felt good.
That said, I don’t know where the next 6 months will lead me, but I realized right now my task is simple: Be present, be in this right now, and look deeply at what I want. I plan to spend a lot of time uncovering parts of myself, keeping my eyes open in every direction, and spending far more time in nature.
My plan now, is to use the blog to just express things I have been thinking. Some things will be long. Some will be short. Some will be just whatever. I don’t know. I am using this time where I have to pause more or less as an assett. I believe that sitting out of the game isn’t a bad thing if we use that time to properly know how to get back in the game better than when we left. I plan that when the day comes I can run this race again the way I want, not only will my direction be clearly than ever, but I will enter it a better human in the process.
I am still writing my newsletters and I am responding to emails every few days and sending out orders. The things that are possible and that feed me. Being self aware has been the most freeing thing in this time of turbulence. I believe and I have hope we will see a new day eventually. I believe in a golden time ahead, but right now we are in the storm and the muck and the hardest stuff. I don’t have answers many times, but we can work away at building something better in ourselves and as a result our homes and our communities.
PS. these posts are more or less streams on consciousness. They are not reread. They are not polished. They are intended to act like journal entries. The 40 minutes I have is what I have to let these things out and I hope this way of sharing isn’t just helpful to me right now, but great for you as well.