I’ve taken a bit of step back from blogging this month. I won’t be writing a Five Things to Inspire for August, but I will be back with a new one in September.
To be honest, I’m not feeling very inspired this month.
We completely shifted our family rhythm this summer. Actually, umm, we are a bit rhythmless. It has been exciting, but more challenging than I anticipated.
For the last five years, summer has felt very long and slow paced. I watched people around me hustle in their work, scheduled activities, and exciting trips, while I just hung out at home or at the beach with my daughters. We spent entire afternoons in the garden or at the beach, napped and played together, explored art and nature, cared for other people’s children, and just sort of flowed from day to day.
I am so deeply thankful that we had that – those endless days will hang forever like a portrait in a timeless space in my mind.
But, as they say, the only thing constant in life is change.
We have a new dynamic in our family. The essence is that Mat and I are learning to share more equally work, homesteading, homeschooling, household chores, cooking, etc.
This summer has seen us clumsily struggling up opposite learning curves, high fiving each other whenever we meet in the middle.
Today marks 5 years of marriage for us, and next week, 10 years together. We have been through quite a few big changes together – moving in together, starting jobs, leaving jobs, moving across the country, two long years of heartbreak leading up to and following the death of my father who had ALS, moving to the country, having two children, eloping, buying a home, and dealing with physical and mental health issues.
It is fascinating to look back and see how our relationship has evolved in a decade. Marriage is so much more complicated and interesting than I ever could have imagined. (As is parenting.)
It has taken us ten years together to lay the foundation we needed to embark on this new adventure.
We have a tendency to carpe diem – drive across the country and back in three weeks; sell most of what we own and move to Nova Scotia with no jobs; move to the country (again with no jobs); elope and buy a new house in the same week with a 10 month old.
This may be mostly my influence, but over time Mat has given himself over more to faith in the Universe and the power of visualization.
A few months ago, Mat quit his full-time permanent corporate job with benefits.
The day after he left his job, he found part-time work doing exactly what he wanted – farming and working with plants. He now works 4 days a week and only commutes by car 2 days a week. Between that and my client work and side hustle, we are earning more money this month than we have since becoming parents.
Thank you Universe, more please!
It is wonderful to see Mat happy in the work he is doing and in more vibrant health. It is also amazing to witness his bond with the girls deepen and watch their world expand as they have new experiences with another loving caregiver.
This new schedule gave me one full extra day, on top of the fringe hours and weekends, to devote to developing my new business. The idea is that as my business grows, his seasonal work will wind down.
Our goals are a more flexible schedule, more time together at home, aligning our work with our passions, and increasing our earning potential.
The dream has always been writing for me, photography for Mat, and homesteading together. Finally, we feel like we are getting close to this vision.
As parents, it is important to us that we model healthy work-life balance and show our children that success and personal fulfillment can be great companions. We are inching closer to our goals for certain, but we are ALL experiencing growing pains in the transition.
I have no doubt, however, that it will all work out beautifully.
As for my health, well, I may have tried to juggle too much and sacrificed a bit too much sleep. It caught up to me last weekend with some sort of flu and after a day or two of health, our whole family was hit with a respiratory cold while on vacation. My body couldn’t be clearer with me about what I need, and that is rest.
Many very exciting and unexpected opportunities came my way this summer, mostly by way of my blog. (Look for a post in September on all I have learned and experienced after 6 months of intentional blogging)
These experiences have taken me way out of my comfort zone, which is good – its how we grow! – but the whole thing also knocked me off balance. I need to relearn healthy habits in the context of a whole new routine. I need to learn how to step into this new role of mine with mindfulness and self-compassion.
In our dominant culture, an attitude prevails that to be successful, we must keep up a certain pace; we must work harder. The driving forces are outside approval, external achievements, and material wealth.
We, instead, choose to measure our success by internal peace, personal and spiritual alignment, vibrant health, and abundance.
Starting a business, putting myself out there, and simply living in this confusing modern world tests these values daily. It is so easy to fall into the comparison trap and lose our footing.
Standing in the current of the modern world while keeping ones feet planted firmly on the river bottom can feel life-affirming on calm days and death-defying when the levels rise.
So, we are living in a season of transition and entering a time of seasonal transition from Summer to Fall. And I am finding it all to be rather bittersweet.
In August, we must let go of the summer things we did not do and the seeds we did not plant. Suddenly, the apple blossoms have become near-ripe fruit, our children are a few inches taller, and where did the time go?
Late August also comes as a relief and a release. September and October are my favourite months in the garden. We harvest, we observe flowers become seed, we spend entire days outside with cooler temperatures and fewer bugs, we learn, we enjoy, we reflect.
Like many, I appreciate the natural reset offered by September. Homeschooling and living near the beach usually pushes our reset closer to the Fall Equinox, but everyone around me will be shifting their energy in a few weeks.
As we awkwardly and (hopefully) joyfully find our new rhythm and ride the highs and lows of this new adventure, I know I will be here, sharing this journey with you.
Are you experiencing some turbulence as summer wanes? How do you ground yourself in times of transition?