Thursday, February 15, 2018

a reminder to myself about fear

Life can be terrifying. This world can be terrifying. This country can be terrifying.
I understand how anyone can be incapacitated by fear.
Fear tells us that darkness is all their is.
Fear tells us that there's no point.
No point in speaking up. No point in taking a step. No point in asking a new question.
Fear is trying to protect us. Fear wants us to be safe. Fear wants us to know our limitations.
But, fear doesn't get to make the decisions. Fear doesn't get to drive. Fear doesn't get to say how we live.

In these days that feel so unstable, so contrary to anything resembling hope, so dark, we must not let fear tell us that we are any different than our neighbor. Deep down, we are all made of the same earth. We all have the same longings - to be loved, to have significance, to have purpose.

We must not fear each other. 

We must not fear our differences. We must remember that there is always another seat at the table. For every color, for every gender, for every political party.
When we fear each other, we villainize each other.
When I fear you, I raise myself above you.
We must always hold one another accountable. Always.
But, fear? We cannot let fear dictate how we treat each other.

When we dismiss fear, then we must face the challenge of listening to each other with open minds. When we dismiss fear, there is room to listen.

Fear of the other is what leads to racism and sexism.
Fear of the other is what leads to lashing out violently.
Fear of the other is what leads to holding on to "rights" as people die daily at the hands of fearful individuals.

On this terrifying day, that once again makes me feel like I never want to leave my home, I want to remind myself of these things.

Hold your baby a little tighter.
Kiss a little longer.
Drink another glass of wine.
Speak up.
Call your representative.
Keep listening to that voice that's saying, We are all the same. 

Give fear a moment of your time.
And then tell fear to get gone.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Maybe having it all is a little overrated.

I always want to have it all. 

I'm a 3 on the Enneagram, "The Achiever," and I love to have things to check off my list. I like to be able to prove my capabilities to myself and others. If someone tells me something is difficult, that makes me want to do it all the more. 
And that's true for me as a mom, too. I want to work and stay at home. I want to bring in a paycheck and take care of my baby, myself. But, I'm really struggling with that lately. Being a working-stay-at-home mom is really running me ragged. 
I currently have a great job that I can do at home. I set my own hours, I can clock in or out at any point throughout the day. That gives me a ton of flexibility to be with Brynlee whenever she needs me as well as take teaching gigs and the auditions that are slowly starting to come back my way. I love that, even if I have two or three hours left to work when Ryan comes home, he makes dinner and gives Brynlee a bath and puts her to bed while I finish working. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have a job that provides me with being able to have it all, in that sense. I love that I can be with my girl all day but still bring in a paycheck. But, it's also really, really hard. For one, I really like going to work. I like leaving the house and doing my work and then coming home and just being home. As it is now, my home life and work life are really blurred together and I'm starting to wonder if I'm cut out for this, long-term. 
Until I have my hours worked each day, I constantly feel like they're hanging over my head and that I can't be fully present until they're done. And then there are the constant distractions of home - the floors that need to be cleaned, the shower I want to take, the closets that desperately need to be organized. I always feel like my brain is divided on the days that I work from home. 
A lot of people tell me how much they'd love to work from home like I do. I think some people are much more cut out for this sort of lifestyle than I am. I know that something needs to shift but I'm not sure what or how. I also know that this feeling is part of a phase. I won't always have a baby that needs undivided attention. She'll get older and my schedule will feel a bit more stable, but even so, I wonder what route I should take. 

I miss going to work. But, I don't want to be working outside my home every day, right now. 
I still want to be at home with Brynlee because I'm her only mom and I miss her even when I'm gone for an afternoon. 
I still want to have it all. But, maybe I need to make a little room for what I'm cut out for and what I'm not cut out for. I need to make a little room for the hard days when this phase feels a whole lot more like a sentencing. I need to not beat myself up for being distracted when I'm reading books with Brynlee or making us lunch or going on a walk with her when she won't nap. I need to stop feeling guilty for having a divided mind and be a little bit more kind to myself. 

Maybe you're feeling a little uncomfortable with where you're at, currently. Maybe you know something needs to shift or adjust a little but but you're not quite sure how or when. I understand. I feel like that too. But, I know we will figure this out. 
Remember to be kind to yourself, to listen to your gut, and to remember that having it all might just be a little overrated. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

nearly 11 months

My little Brynlee girl is nearly eleven months old.
In just a few days she will be. eleven. months.
I don't know how that's possible.
She is fully walking now and has the best sense of humor.
She wants to eat and drink everything that Ryan & I do and she's always "asking" to go outside.
She is obsessed with her Dad and says "da-da" all day long.
She knows that "listen to music" means the record player and she's always dancing to her own beat, music or not.
Sometimes she looks at me and I feel like I can see her when she's 18. It's the most bizarre thing. To think, a year ago, I was carrying her in my body, not sleeping, feeling like I was about to explode, and now she's walking around, signing "more" and "milk" and getting stronger every day.
This sweet little soul is such a beam of light and I am so incredibly honored to get to be her mom. Every day, I get to see just a little bit more of who she is and who she's going to be. What a gift that is.