I was spending all my time doing and not being…

Happy 2023, friends! I am alive! Reports of my untimely demise were greatly exaggerated. Although, a part of me has been put to rest ever since I had my baby girl last May. Okay, I swear I’m not being melodramatic (no more than usual). Let me explain.

Thanks to some massive planning ahead pre-baby, I was able to keep up writing and publishing momentum. And I even found time to tap away on my phone during those midnight feedings. But then, gradually, Baby Girl required more time and physically more wrangling. I took a look at my grand plans and realized I was spending all my time doing and not being.

Since I’m a nursing and working-from-home mom, almost all her care falls on me. I’m not gonna lie and say I haven’t had my down moments. I get frustrated and overwhelmed all the time. I wonder what I’m doing, and why I’m always doing. And then I come right back to the cruz of the issue.

I realized last month that I needed to make some big choices. I had to decide what was important to not only me but my family. Most articles and self-help books will tell you to make yourself a priority and there’s some truth to that. But you can’t be a mom or in a functional marriage without thinking of how your choices and attitude effect your family.

So, in an effort to keep my sanity, I looked at what I needed and couldn’t compromise on.

  • Family time first. No matter what else is going on, I pause and play with my baby, or give her extra snuggles. For my boy, I read with him or play a video game. For their daddy, it’s watching our favorite shows together. With family, I make a point to just be, live in the moment.
  • Work is next, and I’m lucky enough to work with not only folks I admire, but genuine friends. But working from home makes it hard to keep boundaries. I’ve been doing my best each day but also stopping when I should. It’s so easy to get caught up and miss the world around us. And days when I balance my time are ironically the most productive.
  • Me time used to be writing. Writing and art, reading and music. I used to write or sketch, then pound out my creative block on the piano with some Chopin. But these days, me time is going outside for a walk while my guy can watch the baby. Or doing yoga or barre with Baby Girl in her bouncer next to me. Sometimes, my big kid tries to follow the practice with me. Not so relaxing, but always makes me smile.

And what about writing? What about the sequel to Dalriada Valley? Well, that’s part of the little death I mentioned before. I haven’t had the literal mental/emotional, or even physical space to create in weeks. And while a part of me misses it terribly, I’ve had to put it away for now.

So this is me saying later, not never. And meanwhile, I have other plans. I have a box set and another fantasy trilogy I’ve been sitting on. And one day my babies won’t be so little. One day, I’ll miss the moments I could rock Baby Girl for hours, and coax those sweet big belly giggles. One day, my little boy will be too big for me to read bedtime stories and play Star Wars magnates with.

Life goes by fast, and I “don’t wanna miss a thang” to quote Aerosmith. To my fellow creatives and entrepreneurs, I hope you take the time to let yourself be today. It’s so easy to worry about becoming irrelevant in today’s market. Our modern mindset and social media push and tug us so many ways. But what really matters most? What will matter still ten years from now to you?

I believe we make our own happiness. It’s no one person’s job in our lives to keep us happy. But the beautiful thing is you can choose happiness every day if you open your eyes. Don’t miss the moment happening right now around you. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself, instead.

For anyone who’s curious, here are some practical steps I’ve taken to help myself stay on track (keep my sanity):

Tips on how to be…

  • Journal once a month – I’ve kept a physical journal since I was 6 years old. Yep, I’m one of those folks. But I always loved the image of some grandchild uncovering the box of them all one day in the future. I fell out of the habit years ago. So instead of only journaling for big life events, I’m forcing myself to pick up my pen at the end of every month. Sometimes it’s painful until I start recording little things I might forget one day. And it is free therapy, yay!
  • Chart all exercise – I keep a makeshift chart in the notes app on my phone. I started jotting things down once I was clear to work out after my c-section. It’s been amazing to look back to when crossing my legs was painful to now.
  • Put the wordpress app on my phone – This one I did today! With all my time devoted to work on my computer, I needed to find a fresh way to start blogging again. It’s my hope to slowly work up to at least monthly posts here. Sometimes baby steps are best!

My favorite little moments…

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