Bleh, August.

Christacular and I returned from our 10 year anniversary cruise last night.  It was a good vacation for us--time away, time to relax, time to be together.  It was nice to just focus on the next thing--ice cream or deck chairs?  Chocolate cake or apple pie?  Nap or Olympics?  And I didn't have to plan ahead, I didn't have to worry about making the wrong decisions.  It was lovely.

And then Thursday happened.  

And Thursday decided to remind me that it was also August.  And August comes with schedules and expectations and the loss of vacation.  And I could feel it all just creeping in my head with dread.  We are getting ready to start back to the cycle of the new school year--back to the routine.  Back to the day-in, day-out.  Back to wearing clothes that aren't easy and breezy.  Back to hearing the dreaded alarm clock and the rushing out the door in the morning despite having everything well-planned the night before.

Back to doing things well and right and being perfect.  

And back to shame when they don't. 

It's enough to give a grown woman back-to-school nightmares.

But today, today we are home.  And even though I have an overwhelming list of groceries and laundry and things that must be done, I'm going to tackle it one decision and one task at a time.  I'm going to do my very best to not let it get the best of me.  Because when I allow myself to listen to those voices reminding me over and over again that I'm not performing well, that I'm not doing it right, that I'm not good enough--I start to believe them. 

And they are all a bunch of liars thinly veiled in truth.

  Unfortunately, I'm not perfect.  Unfortunately, I make mistakes.  Unfortunately, I let my loss of control turn into panic.  I let worry grow arms and legs.  I let these things take over and I lose all sight of perspective and the truth.  

I misplace my joy.  I find comfort in my achievements and skills.  And I trust myself more than I trust Him.  

And that is never good.  At all. 

My prayer for August is quiet anticipation, rather than fear and loathing.  My prayer is that August will remind me that we have opportunities to start new and fresh, rather than constantly living in the mud of past mistakes.  My prayer for August is to keep the perspective that all things must begin and end--and in order to get to the end (i.e. summer vacation), we must begin (i.e. first day of school). 

My whole career I've let my school calendar dictate a lot of my emotions--back to school (mixed emotions of anticipation and dread), holiday season (after the stress of the concert it's fun), third semester (let's just get this over with already--can it please just be spring break???), and May and June is when we all start letting our hair down in preparation of glorious summer vacation (after EOGs of course).    

I cannot let my work define me.  I cannot let my responsibilities define me.  I cannot let my rewards and failures define me.  I cannot let my house define me.  

I am more than my job, I am more than my resume, I am more than my reputation.  I am more than my many  hats, I am more than my emotions, I am more than my balancing act.  I am more than a housekeeper, I am more than a cook, I am more than a wife and a mommy and a friend and a teacher and a member and a musician and a blogger. 

I am more than all of those things because I am the daughter of a King. 

And I am because He was, and is, and is to come.  

So, bring it on, August.  You don't scare me.  You can't intimidate me.  You can't break me down and wear me out.  You can't tell me who I am and who I'll never be.  You can't define me.  

Because I don't belong to you.  

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