Friday, October 16, 2009

A Season for Change

I have spent the last few months deep in thought about many things. But have written very little. Not sure why. But I think I am ready to write again. Every time I make it through a season of life that has been difficult, (this time it was another move and all of the kids beginning new schools) I feel the urge to wipe away everything old and start new. In this case, begin a new blog with a new look for a new time. But I have resisted that urge several times over the last few years. I guess I am settling into the realization that my life will have times where I am more distant and times when I am ready to share, and that is ok.

I think one of the things I enjoy the most right now is my daily blog reading time. I have a list of blogs that I read regularly. Most are women who are also the creative sort with kids and a knack for taking really good photos that inspire me. In my usual way of always questioning everything (why is that?), I sometimes wonder if reading these blogs is a Good Thing. (Life is divided into Good Things and Bad Things, you know. No matter how much I tell myself that Life really is a lot of Not Good/Not Bad Things.)

I have decided that this daily blog reading is a Very Good Thing for me. (hehe. I just added a new category to Life!) This time each morning, noon and night keeps me inspired and thinking creatively. It offers me a healthy dose of Possibilities amidst the daily chores and challenges of maintaining routines. I do the best when I am able to live by a flexible routine, but I am not always able to provide that structure for myself consistently. (But then again, just doing the chores that need to be done for a large family each day is maintaining a routine. I have to do laundry each day. I have to do the dishes. I have to make sure kids are fed and make it to school on time. And I have to be there when they are dismissed. I have to make sure there is healthy food and supplies in the house to use to prepare meals. So I guess I do provide that structure for myself....)

I don't really resent these chores anymore. When I get myself started with them, I relax because it really is pretty clear in those times what I am supposed to be doing. Not much question when people are hungry that I am supposed to be cooking. Or when we are running low on clean uniforms, it is time to wash.

The turning point for me this week was when I added these items to my To Do list with the amount of time that each usually takes. I began to see that although the daily routines don't really seem like they should be on my To Do List each day because they are just obviously required tasks, it is helpful to see them there. It is helpful to see them checked off when completed and to realize that there are large blocks of my days that are unavailable for other types of work.

It is always amusing to me when I process through things that seem so simple. But there are times when things click with me and I gain a new understanding of how my life really Is. It makes it easier for me to adjust my thinking and my attitudes when I seem to understand that it is not a matter of Good or Bad. It just Is for now.
And so it is Ok.

Do you have things in your life that you need to accept as Ok for now? Things you have been resenting or trying to avoid, but really just need to embrace and learn to love or at least to accept? Are you struggling with a new financial situation? A current health condition? A change in routine or workload? A move? A difficulty in communicating with a loved one? A new stage in the development of a child?

For some reason, when I feel the switch from resentment/challenging it to accepting/embracing it, things seem to fall into place, and I find a lot of the emotional and inner struggle seems to ease into a sense of peace. I guess sometimes I need to give myself permission for things to not be Perfect. I need to allow myself time to work through things naturally instead of trying to force the growth and change. So I am not saying that overall I think it is ok to have poor communication or addictions or bad habits. But sometimes it is really Good progress to realize that there will be times in Life when we have those challenges. And judging ourselves as Bad for having them doesn't really help that much. It just makes things harder to deal with.

I guess this is all related to the desire to control our own lives. We can't really do that. But we sure try. I know I do. And in these times that seems to be what most people think is Good. All the talk about organization, planning, self-discipline, budgeting, and healthy and natural living sure can lead one to excessive self-analysis and criticism. I guess like most things in life, it is a balancing act. It is Good for us to want to improve ourselves and to journey toward Perfection in the tradition of John Wesley. (I am a Methodist after all.) But there is also great biblical teaching that encourages us to enjoy everyday and to embrace our blessings. We are to recognize the abundance that God has provided for us and to continually give thanks.

It is quite the dichotomy of teaching. A personal puzzle for my life I guess. How do I live in a state of thanksgiving and abundance while at the same time judging my imperfections so that I can continue to improve and grow? Very carefully.

The reading of my favorite blogs keeps me thankful, inspired, and centered in the present moment. Reading about the lives of others always draws me into my own life and relationships more fully. And recognizing that other people struggle on a daily basis helps me to recognize that my own struggles and challenges are a very normal part of Life.

The internet has been such a wonderful tool of Connection for me. I really enjoy being able to talk with others from around the world each day if I choose. And to be able to see that even though their situations may be very different from mine geographically, culturally, or family-wise, they can be working on the same type projects or learning the same new techniques or skills as I am. So many of them wake up each morning itching to spend some time with their hooks, needles and sewing machines, just like I do. I find a sense of peace and connection in that realization that is different than in any other area of my Life, and I like it very much.

I hope that you can find some time for yourself today and then some time to look into the eyes of your loved ones refreshed and ready to listen.

No comments:

Post a Comment