this journey. But I have traveled this beautiful new road far enough to know
that this is how I want to live the rest of my days. I’m almost forty, feeling
midlife-y like crazy, and this is how I want to live the second half of my
knowing that there was some knowledge in there that I needed to
absorb. Present? Yes. I need to be more present. (Stupid iPhone). Perfect?
Yes, I strongly vote for present over
perfect any day of the week.
a handful of passages in our lives that transform us, not unlike conversions,
where the old is gone and the new is come.”
to things outside myself, believing that I’d be fine, that I was a workhorse,
that I didn’t need special treatment or babying or, heaven help me, self-care.
Self-care was for the fragile, the special, the dainty. I was a linebacker, a
utility player, a worker bee. I ate on the run, slept in my clothes, worshipped
at the altar of my to-do list, ignored the crying out of my body and soul like
they were nothing more than the buzz of pesky mosquitos…
offer to this world is not my force or energy, but a well-tended spirit, a wise
and brave soul.”
then be the bake-sale Mom, make dinner and have the laundry cleaned and folded
in the same day!
transition from my life before to
my life after. I felt the conversion that she speaks of. I relate. I get it. Of course the
transition seems pretty obvious: before my Mom was alive and after she was dead; but there was more to it. (That sounded heartless, but it’s reality.)
Profoundly. I had felt the searing pain that comes with loss and I had a
newfound appreciation for this life, for this day and the brevity that comes
with both of them. So, I mellowed. At first, don’t be fooled, that mellow/ calmness was veiled by
numbness. But as the lack of feeling abated, there was a more still Kylee.
me now or knew me growing up. Ask my husband who is privy to all of my non-stop-edness. (Is that a word?)
school classroom because I could not hardness my chatter. Every school year was the
same. The report cards would exhibit my straight A’s, but the comments would
always mention, “Kylee has a problem controlling her mouth.” “Kylee’s talking continues to be a problem.” “Kylee needs to work on her conduct.”
table with the girls to the collection of 4 desks with the boys, until finally I was moved
next to the teacher. It didn’t derail me. I would talk to the teacher. I was then
moved to a carrel.
(It’s a box for kids who talk too much. That helped the situation. No one likes
|Carrels are lonely.|
“special” kool-aid made with equal. (Remember those little blue
|What is this, really? It’s cancer.|
Always doing something. Always starting a project. Always moving. Always
multi-tasking. But being busy as an adult is praised! It’s productivity! It’s multi-tasking! Who cares if I am the adult who can’t sit through a TV show without
getting up during the commercials to go do something productive. I am the adult who must tell myself to, “Sit. Stop. Be here. Be here right now.”
couldn’t move because life was too heavy.
update that I wasn’t interested in.
quiet. I listened. I wasn’t getting in the car, turning on the bluetooth and
calling my Mom or a friend. Instead, it was a hushed ride. No music.
constantly rehashing her death and the loss. After a while, the silence became… comforting.
There’s healing in stillness.
There’s healing in blankness.
The surrender is where it’s at.
solitarily and most often, with thought and applied intent. And it’s not easy. It’s stupidly hard. (No one
ever said it’s easy, but it’s worth it.)
things didn’t rile me.
circumstances. Everyone else in the office is in a tizzy over something that
was marginally important? I’d hop on that train.
there. Give me some of that burden! I’ll carry it. I need more crap to worry
about that has nothing to do with me and that I can’t fix!
bad mood? No big deal.
A deadline needed an extension? We’re still alive.
than I once was… but in the past year, I’ve been filling my life back
up with stuff: karate lessons, coaching, phone calls, goals, more work,
relationships, expectations… trying to stuff 3 days worth of self-induced
obligation into one evening… working 70 hours a week… never saying “no”…
thinking I could do it all…
worst of me.
and your soul and the people you love the most in order to get done what you
think you have to get done.
of all of the stuff you don’t need.
Less rushing and less “yes’s.” Less obligation. Less spending time on the things
that aren’t the most important in your life. Less taking on EVERYTHING just
because you think you need to. Just because somebody has to do it.
yours are, too. I don’t want to miss these moments. And neither do you.
brought me to this crisis point, one is undeniably my own belief that hard work
can solve anything, that pushing through is always the right thing, that rest
and slowness are for the weak people, not for high-capacity people like
need to sit and listen and chat and let life happen.
waiter won’t bring the check. This is an issue for my American friends who
are accustomed to the main course being served and the check coming shortly
thereafter. They’re in a hurry to go do more questionably important things. Here, you sit… you talk… you enjoy… no check is forced upon you
until you’re ready for it. They stretch out the experience and make it exactly that: an experience. An experience you’re present for.
need to wait 30 minutes after you eat or else you’ll sink and potentially drown (Thanks for that #lifelesson, Gram.)
your partner, your children.
circle add your parents, your siblings, your close family. The people you turn
to in an emergency.
your crew, your squad, if you’re Taylor Swift.
your clients, your customers, the people you’re trying to expand your business
to, the other moms in the “mom” group, the “friends” who always seem to need something from you. There are the people you’re on boards and committees with. These are the people you wouldn’t invite to your house for Thanksgiving.
world, it was my outer bands, not my inner circle. I was kind of ignoring my
sweet little circle that makes me the happiest. And it’s easy to do this! Why? Because I know they’ll still love
me, even if I ignore them. But it’s time to reverse my behavior; it’s time to
focus on the people who MATTER FIRST, and then… with my leftover time, work on
those other relationships.
should get the best of us, not the worst.
“I can’t. I need to put this load of laundry in the washer, fold what’s in the
dryer and put away the dishes. I can play with you when I’m done.”
water the plants outside, they’re dying.”
anything else done. It shows them that they matter and allows them to
see that I put them first in word and action. And, truth? I feel like I’m Parent of the Day when I get down and play with them. I love being with them and I don’t play with them as much as I should. I’m actively working on that.
good. I’m not running in every direction, I’m focused on them for chunks of time. And, they’re pretty
understanding when I say, “I’ve got to get some things done now, but I can meet you
back here in an hour or so.”
God just as I am. Me! The one with emails to return, the laundry to do and the crumbs
on the floor. Me, the one with the ridiculously over-flowing junk drawer(s) and the unorganized closet. Me, the one whose pantry is a wreck and whose car hasn’t been vacuumed in ages. I’m fine and loved even though when the sun shines through my
windows it shows a fine-layer of dust. Everyone has dust.
connection to the things that don’t matter.
romantic dinners and unscheduled time. I’m choosing being present over perfect.
It was a delightful and inspiring reminder.