Monthly Archives: July 2013

Renewing Me

I’m in one of those seasons where all the planets align, the things stack up and despite my best efforts I’m totally over committed. It’s frustrating since I’ve been very intentional this year (it is my word for the  year after all) about where I choose to spend my time and energy. I’ve been selective about what I commit to and turned away opportunities. And yet, I find myself, right now, in an icky place. It seems everywhere I turn someone wants a piece of me.

I think some of it is a convergence activities ramping up in anticipation of school starting, end of summer rush, work commitments and a thriving photography business. Right now I am coordinating a family reunion, lead on two major programs at work, preparing for the back to school rush and editing thousands of photos from recent shoots. It’s all good stuff and I’m glad for each of them. It’s just unfortunate that they all come to a head in a months time. There isn’t much breathing room.

Which leads to the feeling of everyone wanting a piece of me. I can manage it for a while, taking things in stride, making decisions on the fly and putting out fires (although I would really rather they not erupt to begin with). But then I reach the tipping point. When I know I need to step away or I might be incredibly, obnoxiously, inappropriate to the next person who asks me for something. Thank goodness I can usually feel this total loss of filter coming on!

I felt it last week. Dreaming of a vacation I can’t take – because I don’t have the cash {2 words: Disney vacation and College tuition. Ok that was 4, but you get it.} or the time. There simply isn’t a time to get away.

So I booked my own mental vacation.

Yesterday I spent the entire day working in my yard. Like from 8 am to 8 pm. And boy can I feel it today! I’m walking like a 90-year-old woman with arthritis; pain with every step. And it feels amazing! There is something about working til your bones are weary. About focusing on one thing and one thing only. Tuning out the rhetoric, the demands, the requests and to do lists. Just doing physical labor. Today I can tackle my projects with a renewed energy and a much better attitude. I’m ready to give things the attention and care they need.

Taking a little time for me, a break from all the demands, even if it was for hard physical labor, renewed me. And my yard looks amazing! It should after 19 bags of mulch, 8 new plants, 12 hours and 1880 pounds of rock moved. Enjoy some pictures of the fruits of my labor.

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Those rocks are so much heavier than they appear!DSC_0525-001

They may look random, but it’s really hard to make things look random!DSC_0534-001

Really it is. DSC_0507-002

I now have wild raspberry. I think that’s a good thing.DSC_0510-002

Why, yes we are ISU fans!DSC_0530-001

A combo of nursery plants and splits from others – my favorite way to get and give plants!DSC_0512-002

The wall is still holding up a year later. Guess we did that right so far. DSC_0516-002

Finally got the front beds mulched. Looks so much more finished this way. DSC_0518-002

Coral Belles are my friend!DSC_0520-002

And a couple shots of some great foliage. Love the intensity of the colors. DSC_0521-002

I am definitely partial to the deep purple, but love the contrast of the bright green.DSC_0524-002   And I ended the day with a fire in the pit. Peace.

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Filed under Health, Home Improvement, Intention

On Being Still

I’ve been visiting my parents in my home town for the last week. I try to make it up for at least a few days every summer. It was easier when I wasn’t working full time, but I can usually make it happen. This time, with the July 4th holiday I was able to make it work to stay 9 days! I’ve had different parts of my family here at different times. It has been relaxing and has fed my soul.

There has been much time to reflect.

I’ve spent time just being still. That’s something I never do! I have this deep-seeded need to accomplish. All. the. time! I must be doing something, finishing something, planning something. But here, I’ve spent lots of time just being.

I also just finished reading the book 7, by Jen Hatmaker. I highly recommend it! It has left me thinking. About so many things. I feel a bit uncomfortable. In a good way. Like I need to make some changes. I need to make some intentional changes. I need to make space for the very most important in my life. I’ve had this sense of a simpler life that I’ve seen here. But simpler isn’t the right word. It’s not that its easy, or it isn’t work. I think its that it is streamlined. Cleaner. Focused. I think have so many interests and lots of things I enjoy doing. It can be easy to jump in to everything. I enjoy it all, so I say yes to so much.

The simple fact that I can do, should not automatically lead to I will do.

And yet there are things I have wanted to do for years – like grow a garden – that I don’t do. Supposedly because I don’t have time. But really, how lame? I have bare dirt all around my patio that I can’t decide what to do with. And yet, I haven’t planted the garden I want. It’s a simple or silly example, but it demonstrates the disparity I’m feeling between what I think I want and my actions.

There is an in-congruence between what I think I want and how I am living my life. I have a yearning for a simpler, more focused, intentional life. And yet when I am home, in my own environment, I get caught up in the stuff. The activities and projects, the committees and commitments. And I lose sight of me. It might just be the pressure to keep up with the Jones. I’m not sure. I just know that the way I spend my time feels out of sync some how.

I don’t leave space in my life to be.

I’ve heard more birds this week than I have in the last 5 years. It’s almost deafening…when I take the time to listen. To shut out all the chaos of life. To ignore the clutter that fills my mind and life. I hear it so clearly. I think it is a metaphor for what I need to do with my life. To clear out the clutter that clouds my physical, mental and emotional space.

I know that one day my body will quit doing what I want it to do. We only have a limited time on this earth. I want (like everyone else) to look back on my life and know that I used it well. That I filled my heart and hands with things that matter. That I made a difference in a profound way. Even if that difference is only on the few people I come in contact with. I’m not talking about going out and transforming the world. I’m talking about changing my world. Transforming the way I live, interact, influence and impact the people around me.

I’m not sure yet what it will look like or how long it will take. I’m not selling all my possessions and moving to Africa to care for orphan children (God bless those who do!). And my hoarder-like garage probably won’t be emptied tomorrow. But I’m feeling the need to change my life in my little corner of the world.

I have learned that when I get that urge, that intuition in my gut, things turn out best if I don’t ignore it.

He moves in mysterious ways.

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Filed under Family, Legacy, Lifestyle