“Life is a series of highs and lows. Be grateful for the highs. Be graceful in the lows. Enjoy life fully and find contentment in your Middle Ground.” – Val Boyko
The more I write, the more I learn about myself and others. Writing only documents the process, and life is certainly a process. I have yet to perfect budgeting nor have I worked my way out of my just-in-time system completely, but I am making headway. And I am learning to accept that making headway is enough. Peeling back the layers is enough. One day at a time is enough. Bit by bit is enough.
I received the RunRabbitRun Award – my first ever blogging award received from theutopiauniverse (previously the Blogger Recognition Award). The award excites me. It shows me that people out there are reading. People out there actually care what I have to say. Others actually believe that I am enough.
In my minimalism journey, I am still giving. Over the past week, I stopped at least 5 days to empty my trunk of all of the stuff we have accumulated over time: the stuff we keep because we cannot give it to “just anybody,” the stuff we “may need again,” the stuff we planned to put in the attic, the stuff that holds some random glimmer of sentimental value but not enough to occupy the extra space. And I am beginning to see the light. Maybe I see the light because my children can pick up after themselves without me standing over them to dictate every move. Maybe I see the light because I can finally see the floor, or the corner, or sweep the back of the garage.
Underneath the layers of “stuff,” I see hope. I hope that I have finally achieved balance. I know that I have not. Yet, a layer at a time, a process at a time, a small chunk at a time, is more than one can hope to achieve.
I started this blog because I wanted moms to know that they were not alone. I wanted people to see that the perfection we see in others is an illusion. I wanted readers to know that they were amazing just as they are. We are all just out here doing the best we can. We make adjustments as we go. We figure out who we are one layer at a time.
I recognize that I change month by month, day by day, moment by moment. Every moment is an age I have never been before. My children have never been this age before. My family has never experience this moment before. Therefore, steps forward or backward or standing still are all a part of the middle ground.
I cherish them all, and I challenge you to do the same. Underneath the layer, I found my middle ground so I will leave with you these takeaways in hopes that you may find your own:
- Focus. This point is laughable coming from me because if nothing else, I lack focus. Perhaps this is why I am so great at problem solving. My brain constantly works overtime to put together fragments of constant distraction. I mastered multi-tasking only to discover that I have no desire to multi-task. Multi-tasking is the reason we feel at the end of the day as though we have accomplished nothing. We spend our days completing items on our to-do lists. We do not live. We simply check off items, and sometimes we miss the “moments that take our breath away” thinking about the next thing we have to finish. We have forgotten now. We have too much to do. So I do not do it. I do what I can. I enjoy it as much as possible. Then I move what cannot be done today until tomorrow. I refuse to spend my life reliving all that I did not get done. Instead, I will focus on now because I will never be this age again.
- Find an organization mechanism. Another laughable point coming from yours truly. Organized I am not. I do not think the way an organized person thinks. I do not operate the way an organized person operates. I currently have 141 notes in my iphone. How is that for organization? But all 141 notes are in one place. I read all the blogs of those who intricately comprehend organization, and I implement a few items that work for me. I need focus. I need to breathe. I grew tired of treading water. My just-in-time system of life was completely broken so I searched for fixes. And I found them, and I made them my own. You must do the same. Maybe organization is your thing. Maybe something else plagues you, makes you feel as though you are drowning. Find someone great at it already. Mimic them. This will inevitably fail because you are not that person. You will find, however, that in your failure is a mechanism that works for you.
- Dedication. Layers do not disappear overnight. You must scrub harder at some. At times you will scrub, and you will feel that nothing is happening. You will want to give up. Keep going. Nothing you do is a waste of time, even if it does not succeed. Success is a series of trial and error, repeated until you achieve your desired outcome. At my house, it is football season. My husband gets home late daily. He tells me a few days ago that he will be home late tonight, which means REALLY late (i.e. sleeping children). A feeling of dread washed over me as I considered how overwhelming the entire evening would be. I compound this with the fact that today was my first day back at school after an entire summer of luxury. I felt exhausted just thinking about it. But tonight was fine. The house is still my version of clean. I actually got in some quality “me time,” vacuumed upstairs, fed the children true leftovers and not peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, played with the children, completed evening devotion, and wrote a blog. Where did this girl come from? Simply put, she never gave up.
Today I was so proud to announce to my co-workers that I had found a new system that worked for me. I was new-and-improved. One of my co-workers responded, “I like the who you are already. I like the old Brittany.”
I do not need new-and-improved. There is nothing wrong with the old Brittany.
I found myself…
Underneath the layers.
And I am ordinarily extraordinary, then, now, and everywhere in-between…
and so are you.
Some of my favorite bloggers not mentioned in others posts that I would recognize if I had my own award (I’ve mentioned some others here.):