Accepting reality.

The reality of my life is that I need to work in order to accomplish some financial goals for my family.  Would I love to be a stay-at-home mom and let the well-being of our family become my primary task?  To cultivate a space that is welcoming and nurturing and full of creativity?

Absolutely--in a moment's notice.  

Unfortunately, that's not my life right this moment.  We have things like our girls' "extensive orthodontic future" and college and retirement and other things that we work towards taking care of right now.  We have smaller dreams and things we'd like to do as a family.

Photography by Caroline Collie @ Quiver Tree Photography
And because those things are important to us, I remain working to help make that happen.  

There are people who say things like, "If you really wanted to stay home, you could.  You just have to make sacrifices."  And they are probably right, but I also believe in making the right sacrifices for our family--not the selfish ones.  Do I want to stay home?  Do I want my child to have crazy teeth?  Do I want to spend my life chained to payments?  Do we need eye insurance?  Do we want to help pay for college?  Do we want to be able to travel and expose our girls to things outside of our eastern NC town?

My wants are often overshadowed by the needs.  I try to shirk off the feelings of judgement from those who seem to make it work in their families.  I remind myself that each family has its own issues and things they must work through.

Photography by Caroline Collie @ Quiver Tree Photography
And while I'm ok with this--it hasn't changed the desires of my heart.  There are ridiculous days at work full of ridiculous moments and it's all I can do sometimes to start the next day with a clean slate.  There are evenings when I eye the laundry piles (some folded and some not) and the dishes in the sink and the time with my kids that is so fleeting.  Most nights I fall asleep as soon as I lay my head on my pillow.  There are times when adding one more thing to my calendar makes me want to cry and comfort myself with coffee and pajamas and silence.  I want a life full of friends and family and fun, but I also recognize (in true highly-sensitive fashion) that if I don't find adequate rest and space, I will quickly shut down.

I don't want to spend my life in a state of panic, rush, guilt, and shame that my overachieverness is failing the faces and places I love the most.  I don't want to look back and think about all the missed opportunities because I was so focused on the daily minutia.  I don't want to find myself at my breaking point on a weekly basis.

So, I am learning to recognize my limits and putting them into practice.  I am realizing there are certain things and folks and activities that drain me dry, and I cannot continue to allow that to happen.  I am learning that there are boundaries of time and energy and with people that I must guard or I will find myself sinking quickly.  I want to cultivate life and love in my household.  I want to create a space that is beautiful physically and personally for my family.

And because my home is my current priority, there is fat that must be trimmed from my life.  There are things that I'm releasing because they cannot have control over me anymore.  There are relationships that must end because I simply can't handle the pressure.  There are decisions that must be made to guard my mental and emotional stability.  There is guilt that I must no longer place on myself.

I'm slowly taking a deep breath and inhaling all the things that are good in my life.  
I'm welcoming the creative and life-giving moments and souls into my schedule.  
And I'm putting down my crowns of achievements and picking up and putting on rest and contentment.        

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