Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Breathe deeply. Just be.

A few weeks ago, I was standing at the kitchen table trying to guzzle down my cup of Mother's Milk tea in order to keep my milk supply up for the ever hungry Asher. I was thinking of all the things I had to do to get the house ready for a last minute showing that morning, not to mention the walls to paint and the boxes to pack to get it ready for putting on the market in about a week. (A friend of a friend was looking at the house before it officially hit the market.) I was thinking about Asher's breastfeeding and Audrey's possible Lyme's disease and a whole lot of everything as I stood there gulping.

Then the idiocy of it hit me. My stress and the fast pace of our life at that moment was almost certainly affecting the milk supply I was trying so hard to sustain, yet there I stood guzzling and stressing.

I sat down and took a deep breath and enjoyed my cup of tea and gave myself permission to simply be. For a few minutes I didn't do anything. It was oddly fantastic. It shouldn't be odd; it should just be fantastic.

Today we have a house on the market and the walls are painted and many, many boxes are packed. My milk supply has rebounded and we have a plan of action for Audrey. Piano and dance lessons are done for the summer and co-op has wrapped up. We had this glorious three-day weekend stretching before us and we decided to take a few days to wrap up some easy projects, hang out, play outside, and have some family fun.

We spent our long weekend playing outside and marching against Monsanto, taking walks and introducing the kids to homemade banana splits. We went to a friend's barbeque and got the garage cleaned up, played with new Legos and play-do toys and took care of the neighbor's cats. We didn't really do a darn thing, but it was just exactly perfect.
our  littlest activist

Just say No to GMO

using asparagus as a teether toy

neighborhood walk with my people

I love these kiddos

bbq at a friend's house
Life flies by, faster every year it seems. I know I'm not the only one who really, really hates that. I've found that the more time I have to sit down (or at least lean briefly against the kitchen counter) and breathe deeply, the more I marvel at this beautiful life and the less I worry about things I can't control or fix anyway. Ann Voskamp writes eloquently about this very topic.

It isn't rocket science, but it also isn't easy. There are so many things pulling us in so many different directions. Most of the things are good things. Vacation bible school and baseball, lunch with friends and swimming lessons, volunteering and joining a book club. The list goes on and on. Even when all of the choices are good choices we have to pick the things that reflect what we value the most. It is a decision we must make for ourselves and our family.

What you'll pick is different than what I'll pick. Not better or worse, just different. No matter what you pick or what I pick, I hope we'll leave plenty of time to just be. To breathe deeply. To marvel.

This weekend was a weekend of breathing deeply and marveling. It was just what our tired, overextended family needed.

**I wrote this last night, then woke up to read this:
Photo: The best way to prepare them for adulthood is to let them play NOW, when they were designed to do so!

(Image via The Mariposa Trust)
and this:

8 suggestions for a “Live More/Love More Summer” 

1. Resist the urge to get “one more thing” accomplished—instead get in one more hug, one more cleansing breath, or one more page of your favorite book. 

2. Lower the bar—let good enough be good enough. Happiness trumps perfection every single time if you let it.

3. Notice fireflies, ice cream mustaches, and unexpected cool breezes. Express thanks for these summer delights loud enough for your kids to hear you. They will begin to notice them too.

4. When plans go awry, just let go—sometimes the unplanned has a way of turning out better anyway.

5. Serve up daily helpings of grace. We’re learning; they’re learning. Embracing our humanness allows others to embrace theirs.

6. Say yes to what matters and no to what doesn’t. Act on the callings of your heart and don’t feel guilty about it.

7. Run in the sprinkler. Do a cannonball into the pool. Refuse to let the size of your thighs deprive you of sweet relief and uninhibited joy on a hot summer day.

8. When critical thoughts become words that hurt the people you love or yourself, recite the phrase: “Only love today.” Recite it 10,000 times a day if you have to. Love is a much softer place to lay your head at night.

© Rachel Macy Stafford 2014

on my FB feed. So many of us are struggling with this. We are doing the best we can with what we have. When we compare ourselves to others, it can feel like our best isn't enough. But when we slow down and make choices that are best for ourselves and our family, choices that give us time to breathe and be and marvel, we realize we are just enough.

How did you spend your Memorial Day weekend? At the cabin with friends? Working on projects around the house? Hopefully there was some time for relaxing!

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