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Shifting gears

start over

I’ve been in sort of a rut of overwhelm lately. I got sick for a couple weeks an started to wonder if I’d ever feel better. To my delight, I feel better than before. I feel like someone finally plugged me back in! I didn’t realize how depleted I was until now. I’m getting out of that rut by shifting gears into forward motion. It feels like the emotional equivalent of learning to drive a stick-shift.

I’ve started this post a dozen times because my mind is full of stuff I want to share. I suppose, then, that it makes sense to start with the apropos topic of “re-starting

It was on my mind because we’ve had a lot of endings, shifting and re-starting around here.

Matt being unemployed is, obviously, a huge ending, shift and opening for a new beginning. What that door leads to is starting to crystalize, but I’ll wait until we know more before I elaborate on that. (Remind me to post about the moment it became real that he wasn’t going back to his job and what that meant to mine).

Like an unexpected breeze, I’ve had doors swinging open while others are banging shut and it’s taken me awhile to process all that’s happened and what it means. The condensed version of my professional story is that the job I got a few months ago required me to work in all of my margins, meaning that very little else beyond the basics got done personally or professionally.

As any of you who’ve been on unemployment know, it’s a fraction of the income your household might need to run on. But you sure learn to manage—even thrive—on less which is a skill I’m sure will serve all of us forever. But, still – it’s a huge shift.

I immediately went into my “what can I do to fix this” mode and started exploring other avenues of income without taking anything else off my plate. Not surprisingly it wasn’t long before I totally lost my balance and wasn’t doing anything all that well. Love that!

Blessings in disguise are easier to recognize with the laser-vision of retrospect and mine came in the form of a job I loved doing coming to abrupt end. (Long personal story but it wasn’t anyone’s fault …shifting priorities meant the company lost funding for the project.)

Then no one signed up for my journaling class which I barely had the time to promote and was probably starting at the wrong time of year. Given that I had little time to promote it … it would’ve been crazy stressful to fold into my life. No matter how much I wanted to! I’m taking all my planning, notes an ideas with me for a future online class and until then will use my blog to continue developing that dream into reality.

As I’ve alluded to, this hasn’t been the happiest year of my married life. Which has evolved from a near-ending into a re-starting of sorts. It’s kind of awesome and takes it’s own level of energy to maintain.

Then of course there’s the job I signed up for 4 years ago, being the kind of stay-at-home mom I wanted to be for my boys. I’ve been here before, my priorities out of whack, knowing I needed to find balance because they are among my top priorities.

There is a time I would’ve said they are THE priority. But four years into my mothering gig I’ve learned that’s not true.

I can’t make them a priority before my own self. This is not, as some interpret it, permission to hide behind “self care” as an excuse to ignore my responsibilities. It is rather, the essential truth that if I am not nourished, invigorated by exercise, rested and creatively engaged in something of my very own I can not be the kind of mom I want to be.

And that leads me to the re-starting I did last weekend. (Holy long verbal detour!) Between my two computer crashes this year, I lost a significant part of my novel-in-progress. Between that and all that’s gone on, I’ve been scared to re-start writing it. Really, really scared. So I pretended I didn’t care. But besides my love of family, I love writing. I don’t just want to write my books. I truly believe I need to. And when not actively in pursuit of that dream it’s like I’m out of alignment.

So I started. Back to slow and steady. And solid effort.

One last thing … before I can do any of that well, I have some demons to deal with. In my heart, in my brain, at the gym and my pantry. More on that another day. I mention it only because, for whatever reason, it’s coming to a head and also needs my attention. It’s okay, it’s a good thing.

And it’s time.

Alight then, longest post ever, right? I’ll save the details of my pajama project for another post.

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