This past week, I have been shedding excess possessions at levels I never imagined. I'm fortunate in that our moving process has sparked new energy to organize and see what we don't need anymore. But beyond that, I've realized that all this clutter and extra "stuff" is sucking up attention and energy away from my children. I'm not even aware of it but I've realized that I've been full of restlessness that has kept me running, yet I'm exhausted from it. Waste of energy, if you ask me. Regretfully, I haven't really been enjoying the time spent playing with my kids as much as I like to and often when we play, I think about what I still "need" to do. Yuck!
First of all, someday I hope to reach a point where my happiness isn't based on my accomplishments. It's ego-based and mostly causes me disappointment because I can never "do" all the things I think I need to do. When people ask me how I'm doing, the first word that pops in my head is BUSY....What??? Instead, I'd prefer my first thought to be AWESOME, or NEVER BEEN HAPPIER! I lose touch with people because I get so wrapped up in all my to do lists and that includes my kids. :o(
As the layers of excess has been slowly removed from my home, I'm spending more time using the toys/tools I actually like to use with my kids. Bye bye crappy plastic toy that I kept around because we got it as a gift years ago!! The drawers aren't filled with a mess from things just thrown in there. I don't have to search through all the items I don't like, we don't use, or doesn't work well. Now I'm only keeping the things of use or will keep for a short period of time (following the geniune interest of my kids). What a great feeling!
Another thing I've been doing is working on simplicity of my time. I don't need an action packed day. We can do things...but much slower. For example, the other day after I dropped my daughter off a preschool, my son Tyler in tow), I decided to stop by our closest library to pay a little fine I had. Well, the library wasn't going to be open for another 10 minutes. Waiting 10 minutes shouldn't be a big deal, right? I honestly considered driving to the bank first and then to come back. I didn't REALLY need to go to the library. I then looked around and thought, maybe I should walk around a nearby store to kill time. Kill Time???
But then I stopped and thought, here's a great opportunity to slow down and enjoy these short moments with Tyler. I put on some nice music, rolled down the window, and blew bubbles in the car. Tyler LOVED it. I even had a great time! I want more of these moments. I don't want to spend my days doing things FOR the kids and wait to have "me" time. I want to spend the day WITH the kids with us all having fun.
In just this short week, I have already noticed a difference. Instead of feeling proud of my accomplishments off my to do list, I'm feeling grateful for my wonderful children. Instead of trying to get them both to nap at the same time so I can be alone, I'm enjoying their staggered naps and the special time we get to share with each other. We've been dancing and singing, playing games, taking slow walks, and genuinely enjoying each others company.
Granted I still need some space for myself too. And I'm a little manic about wanting to get rid of more things in our house. It's a work in progress but am grateful for this next mindset.
One happy mama,
Jen Starks, Owner www.ecologicalbabies.com firstname.lastname@example.org 850.284.5887