"Being free brings a lightness, a carefree surrender to all that is happening around you, and, above all, an acceptance of reality". Deepak Chopra
LIGHTNESS. I mentioned on Instagram last week about my word of the year - lightness, and how this summer I plan to use this word to help reground myself (you can read the post here). I've been feeling a bit off balance in the life/work department lately. I've worked very hard the last year and a half to try to prioritize my health and well being alongside being a good mama and wife and the last month or so has had me feeling that wee bit of balance shift. In the past, my work has always come before my well being and it was a very difficult change to make. One that took me getting quite ill a while back to realize I finally needed to.
THE STRUGGLE. We all struggle with balance and finding the time to take care of ourselves along with all the other responsibilities in our lives. Add in the current social and political climate and life has gotten even more challenging. Social media also plays a role in our mental anxiety, constant hustle and the comparison game. I've been struggling with the need to take care of my body and mind (and my family) but also to keep up with the industry and community on there. Don't get me wrong...I love IG (and chatting with all of you on there), but sometimes it does my head in. I'm just not able to post everyday and share videos daily (and now IGTV...lol) and I'm learning to go easier on myself in regards to this and learn that it's a-ok :) I find that in doing so allows me to really enjoy enjoy and be present in the time when I am on there.
MY GIRLS. This year my girls turned 11 and 8. My oldest just finished Elementary School and is starting Middle School in the fall. This hit me in a way I didn't expect. I had the normal mom thoughts - where has the time gone? How is she this old already? How do I prepare her for what's ahead? How can i stall time? Etc. Now it could be that I'm an emotional softie but it's really been on my mind and affected me. I love my job and being able to work from home allows me to be home for my girls but for years it's been a very hard balance. They've had a lot of mommy time but they've also had a lot of mommy working and stressed time.
For me the work never ends because it's always "there". It's harder to escape when your work is in your home and on your social media and in your hands. I struggle with the balance for quality time with them because, I admit, I'm usually treading water and always behind on work. I always have more work than I have time for in the day. Add in regular exercise and cooking right etc and I have even less. So how does one keep up with it all without doing one's head in? I have no clue. But what I do know is that I need some quality time with my family. To really be present with my girls this summer. I want to soak it all in and enjoy my babies and my hubby. To take time to take care of myself. To love myself. It feels scary but also good at the same time. It's been a very, very long time since I had a summer not filled with deadlines and too much work. I am feeling the need to be lighter and to let go and take a deep breath and allow myself to just "be" and to find my footing.
"Busy is not a badge of honour". Jenna Kutcher
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT? I'll still be working this summer but I will just be quieter. I'll be taking the rest of July and August to work on designing and hanging with my family. I'll still be answering emails but my response time may be a bit slower. My newsletter will not be every week during this time (it will resume in Sept). I have some fun plans to get back on my blog more in the fall. I miss writing and sharing on here and I so hope you'll pop over and visit when I do. I have a special spot in my heart for blogging and I hope that the "fast pace" of social media will eventually swing back to the more slow conversational style of blogging again.
WHAT ABOUT THE SUMMER SWEATER KNIT ALONG? One of the hardest decisions for me taking a bit of a slower summer was our Summer Sweater Knit Along. You see each year I love this KAL and it's community. But it brings about a very large amount of work for me in a time that my children are home with me full time. I spend my summer vacations working more hours even though I plan to work less....lol. My hubby and kids have asked me so many times to not work on vacation and this year I'm doing it. The Summer Sweater Knit Along will still run this summer but there will be changes. It will "only" be run in our Ravelry group. There will be no sign up page, no blog posts or sponsor/giveaways here on the website. You an still chat, cheer each other on and enjoy the community of this long standing KAL in our Ravelry Group and pics can be shared on social media etc. I'll be writing more about this later but for now I'm gearing it for an August 1st start. I hope you'll all understand and still join in - I know I will be :)
I'm going to give myself permission to take a breather and to linger in the moments before they fly by in a flash.
I'M HERE. So that being said, I'll still be here, and in the community, but I'm just going to take it day by day and see how my kids are and how I am instead of working like a mad woman all summer. I'm going to soak in those magical cuddles, the sunshine, the laughter, and the fun. I'm going to slow down and get inspired, rejuvinate and put my darn phone away.
I hope the above may resonate with you and even if you can't slow down the whole summer I hope that you may find it inspiring to help you make a few changes to take care of "you".
Do you have any tips or helpful things you do to allow balance in your life? Do you need to slow down? How do you find time to just "be"? Chat in the comments below :) I'd love to hear from you!
Some helpful faves of mine:
2) Stress is Optional from Mindful Magazine.
3) My fave for unwinding and stress release is Yoga with Adriene. She's got a great freebie for Stress Management that you can find on her website or You Tube Channel. Yoga has changed my life and my mental health and hers is my fave way to do yoga from home.
4) I love using Saje Essential Oils for dealing with stress, anxiety, sleep and overall well being. We enjoy them daily.
5) I try to wake up and go to bed each day thinking of three things I'm thankful for. It sounds silly but it's a simple thing that helps me.
6) There are a ton of free apps and websites for learning how to meditate and practice mindfulness and to easily bring it into your (or our families) daily life. We like Calm, Headspace, Insight Timer, The Mindfulness App, and Smiling Mind (for kiddos) to name a few.