Friday Vulnerability

>> Friday, September 15, 2017

I mentioned in my day-in-the-life post that I’m feeling spent. Still, I was called to write today by something inside of me. I don’t know what. I don’t have a plan or some SEO-savvy topic. I have a lot of thoughts racing around in my mind, actually. I was texting back and forth with one of my best friends yesterday about this ever-present pull I feel in my life. I say pull, but it sometimes feels as though I’m being torn apart with all my different goals, desires, and callings.

Can you relate?


My mom had mentioned to me around when I turned thirty that her 30s were a decade of feeling like she never was doing the right thing. Like if she did one thing, it wasn’t was she really should be doing. If she did another thing, she felt that, too, wasn’t “right”. Now that I’m 34, these last few years have had me exactly in that spot . . . many times. My twenties felt like they were for figuring out my place in life. So,  naturally, by my thirties I should have it all figured out.

Nope.

Allow me to get uncomfortably vulnerable for a few minutes.

For example, I crave a simple life. I’ve written about it many times. Sometimes I don’t even know what this means on an intellectual level. It’s a feeling. I feel it deep in my chest as I type this out. Like my entire being is screaming for everything to stop already. To calm. For the world to fade away and let me focus for a minute . . .  or maybe a year. Ah, what a divine gift that would be.

Wrapped up in this, too, is a desire for a clearer sense of purpose. I mentioned that I often feel my attention is split between being a mother, a writer, a wife, a daughter, etc. We all play many roles in our lives. I want to be all these things. Of all, being a mother fills me with the most sense of gratitude and accomplishment. Yet part of me feels like that’s somehow backwards and like I should be doing more with my life.

To continue on this theme, I dream of a life without the distractions of modern living. I try to get at this heart of this by striving to create less waste. To avoid buying extras and accumulating clutter. To keep the rhythm of our home calm and steady. To use my phone and other electronics less. To have my kids shun the television and to spend more time face to face or in nature or just doing “real” things.

But here’s where the pulling happens:

While I want the calm, life isn’t calm. I can’t figure out if it’s just one of those chicken/egg situations. We easily get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities. Things need to get done. Slowing down often doesn’t work. Or I cannot figure it out. Instead of that inner peace I desire, I feel like I’m chugging caffeine to keep things going for the sake of the family. I often feel like simplicity is merely a myth. Or perhaps a luxury.

I feel like I do not have the time or energy to focus my efforts and be 100% in the important roles I must fill. Instead, I’m scrambling to fill them the best I can . . . and dutifully do as much as I can. At the end of the day, I can feel such little accomplishment despite doing so much because I haven’t necessarily done my “best,” if that makes sense. And I often feel this outside judgment -- whether real or imagined -- that I am failing. That I’m not doing enough or that somehow what I’m choosing to do with my life isn’t enough.

With regard to turning away from distraction . . . it’s an on-again, off-again process. While I would love to turn my back on society and its trappings, I also desire to be connected and -- yes -- to have nice things. We all know that things can fill voids, even though I have tried my hardest to reprogram my mind against that way of thinking/feeling. On some level, I also desire to relate to my peers, which sometimes means getting off track from my goals of simple living. I still care what others think of me, maybe too much.

Takeaway


Obviously I have some soul-searching to do. (And Eloise is already waking from her nap that was a whopping 20 minutes in length.) I may just need to let go and surrender to something that has the potential to feel scary at first. Big lifestyle changes are like that. I have dipped my toes in the waters with the repaying debt reflections. There’s this huge shift that needs to happen, like a whole way-of-life shift. I want it to happen, but I still don’t know what that life looks like in its entirety.

It’s going to require taking a deep breath and jumping in. It’s going to require agreement and participation from the whole family. Even if that means figuring out what life on the other side looks like along the way. I don’t know if I’m making any sense. I know that much of what I desire out of life is connected in some way. It all goes back to simplicity and calm. There’s this pressure weighing down with each passing day that somehow I am wasting time figuring this out. While I’m by no means old . . . I fear the longer it takes to feel this inner sense of calm, the more of my life I’m not spending fully plugged in.

There are days when I think of hanging up my blogging hat so I can spend more time learning versus writing. I am trying to find a good mix between the two. Do you have any suggestions for bloggers or books or other things that have helped you navigate these deep thoughts/questions in life? I’d love to hear what’s helped you along your own path.

So, there are some thoughts for your rainy Friday. I’m a work in progress, as always.

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