More and more, I’m appreciating and delighting in the practices that cause me to pause, reflect, and see God in my life. Reflecting on each season with Emily Freeman is a great excuse to do that and share what I’ve learned. I’m a bit late, but better late than never, as they say.
FYI, there is an affiliate link below if you’re interested in trying out the workout DVD I mention in #5. If you make a purchase through my link, I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Okay, here we go!
1. For me to live a simple, unhurried life, I must come to terms with my FOMO.
For quite a while now, I have been caught up in a cycle. In my desire to lead a simple, unhurried life, I cut out and cut back. But not long after, I look around me and freak out because I’m not keeping up and FOMO (fear of missing out) gets the best of me. So I race back to the hamster wheel of hurry and trying to do it all. Before long, exhaustion, overwhelm, anxiety, and irritability hit me and I remember my desire to live a simple, unhurried life. Rinse and repeat.
This summer I woke up and decided to stop the madness. I realized that choosing a simple, unhurried life means that I will probably often feel that I’m missing out, or behind, or slow. My work going forward is to choose to be okay with FOMO for the sake of a slower, more deliberate and contemplative pace of life. May it be.
2. A lazy summer is better than an over-scheduled summer.
I don’t know if I’m just adjusting to mom life, or if it’s that my kids are getting older and don’t need as much from me, or if I’m just getting more comfortable with unstructured time, but my unstructured weeks were far more enjoyable this summer than the weeks filled with swim lessons and kids camps. This is weird for me because in summers past, I’ve almost gone crazy with “nothing to do”. I quickly learned to keep a schedule of outings and activities to keep us sane. Having something to look forward to helped me not feel so bored and stir-crazy at home. This year, I scheduled activities as usual, but found them to be much less satisfying than the days we just kicked it at home.
3. It doesn’t matter where I go, just that I go.
As an Enneagram 1, I’m learning that one of the best ways to care for myself is to get away every so often. But when it comes to planning a trip, I often get so bogged down with finding the best place to go. I worry that it won’t be as enjoyable if I go somewhere local or somewhere I’ve been before. I’m always trying to find the new adventure.
After a lot of searching for just the right place to go to celebrate our anniversary, I continued to run into dead ends. Either a place was too expensive, too far away, or even too close to home. I finally settled for a weekend in Leavenworth, a few hours drive away on the other side of the mountains. I was a bit concerned as we’ve been there before and I fretted that it wasn’t the best we could do. But, of course, it turned out to be a highly enjoyable getaway.
Afterward I wondered why I spent so much energy trying to find the perfect place. I realized that it’s not where I get away too that matters, just that I get away. My soul doesn’t need the “perfect” vacation, but simply to get away from the routine and responsibility and enjoy different surroundings. And it doesn’t take much to do that.
4. Why graduation ceremonies matter so much.
I’ve never been one for graduation ceremonies. I opted out of my college graduation ceremony, and threw a big party instead. Honestly, I don’t really regret it either. So, when I saw that Jed had a pre-k graduation this year, I rolled my eyes and told my husband, don’t worry, we’re not going.
But as the day drew closer, something inside me felt uncomfortable to decline the occasion. Perhaps I was afraid of what the teacher would think. Perhaps I didn’t want to disappoint Jed. For whatever reason, I decided we would go.
I expected to endure the ceremony, with my phone and Instagram close by. Instead I found myself a sappy, teary-eyed mom, reminiscent and nostalgic, enjoying every moment. My little boy was going to be a kindergartener and the ceremony allowed me to celebrate and honor this transition, this moment in time. It allowed me to capture and hold all that had been up til now with my son and to move forward with an appreciation for the past. I finally understand the meaning and significance of such ceremonies. They aren’t meant to entertain us, but to cause us to pause and appreciate the season of life, now before, and anticipate all that is ahead.
5. The smallest steps can lead to the greatest progress.
Starting a new workout routine is no easy task, as we all know. Since we moved into our new house, we’ve been too far away from the YMCA to make a membership worth our while so I’ve known I need a different plan. There aren’t any gyms (read none) that offer child care that are in close proximity to our new house. One of the biggest motivators for me to get to a gym is the child care. I’m simply not going to go “after hours” without a child care benefit. So, I knew I’d need to figure out a way to do something at home. I’ve never been very good about this. So I decided to experiment with a few different at home options.
First, I tried Aaptiv. Some really like it, but it’s not for me. Then I got a recommendation from a friend for Jillian Michael’s workout videos. I bought the most beginner DVD of hers I could find. But I didn’t just dive in right away. First, I simply got up earlier in the morning at the time I would need to do the workout. For a week. That’s all. I just got up. The next week, I got up and put on workout clothes. That’s it. I didn’t workout yet. I just got into the habit of putting on workout clothes in the morning. Then, for a few more days, I got up, put on workout clothes and did some stretches. Finally, weeks later, I got up, put on workout clothes and popped in the DVD. It was a 20 minute beginner workout. Easy. I did it once the first week. Twice the second and now I’m up to three times a week. Taking these super tiny steps helped me trick myself into building the habit into my routine.
What about you? What have you learned this summer? Share below in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.