"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Owning It

Drew and I have talked about one particular way that our lives are changing now.  That is, we have the ability to decide what we will or will not do at any given time.  Of course, we always had the option of how we responded to what life was giving us, but it has been quite a long time since we could make spontaneous decisions just because we felt like it.  We now have to learn how to give ourselves permission to 1) Go out and do things 2) stay home and do nothing.  Does that make sense?  I am probably worse about this than Drew is, since I tend to question things a lot. 

Maybe I should get up and do something instead of laying on the couch.  Maybe I shouldn’t be going out and running around for no good reason.  Maybe we shouldn’t be laughing right now, instead we should be more sad.  Maybe I shouldn’t feel so sad right and instead move around and be social…

I could go on, but I think you get the idea… that there is something that we “should” be doing.  I remember reading something long ago that said, “Don’t should your life away.”  That seems to be a bit appropriate, because “should” is such an arbitrary concept anyway.  Who is to say what any of us should do anyway?  Should.  What a silly thought. 

The other thing I’ve been thinking about is owning my decisions.  You see, for 11 years I have based my every move around the needs of my children.  Now, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t take time to do things for myself or with my husband, but all of those things were still dependant upon Alex and Emma.  For example, I would go run errands, but I was aware of the clock and when I needed to be back.  I might venture away from home, but always had my phone on me in case I was called back home.  Perhaps we would go somewhere as a family, but the activity, situation and length of time was most always catered to what our girls needed… sleep, rest, feedings, medications, etc.  Now here I am without those considerations.  When Drew and I go out to eat, we don’t have to look at the clock to see how much time we have left.  When we went to a movie last week, I left my phone in the truck.  When I ran errands yesterday, I made it through a long list of errands and 35 minutes at the gym, and still made it back home in 2 hours (I guess my habits are to get things done quickly).  My point is, getting used to living on my own clock and time is going to take some getting used to.  I’ll have to give myself permission to take my time or make an unscheduled stop.  I’ll have to own my own decisions to say yes or no to certain invites.  What a growing process this is to be! 

For my first act of owning my decisions and time, I decided to stay home today instead of driving to church to quilt.  I don’t feel depressed or anxious, I’m just tired and felt like staying home.  I can almost certainly say that my tiredness is emotional, as I adjust to all these changes.  I have plans with a friend tomorrow afternoon, I’m going to a new Bible study at church on Thursday morning and on Friday I’m getting my hair trimmed.  Staying active and involved is important, but so is taking time to be still.  The only intimidating part is that I get to be the sole judge of that balancing act.  No worries, I’m owning it. 

1 comment:

BethAnn said...

I promised myself I wouldn't leave a comment for awhile...don't want to be a blog hog, etc. But you hit upon something that I hope to add to: should. I have a dear friend who told me that the word "should" creates guilt. Her reference was in speaking to children and not telling them 'they should' do whatever. If they don't then they feel bad. There are better ways to get them to do what they need to do. It's equally true for adults too. If I tell myself that I 'should' be doing dishes and I don't - I will feel guilty when I go into the kitchen and see the mess, thinking I wasted my time and the kitchen is still to be done. But it hasn't caused any harm to have left the dishes. If I spent the time reading or calling a dear friend, time wasn't wasted. Sooo,,, I admire you for owning your time and decisions. You are in a new season of your life. Please don't fall into the 'should' trap.