practicing rest

Facebooks "On this day" feature kicks me in the stomach more often than not. This morning I was greeted with this beautiful picture of my 3 nearly 4 year old little girl:  

Rylee EWU 2012

5 years ago, when I took this photo, we were experiencing our last winter out at Eastern Washington University as Kenny was in his last quarters of school.

It feels like so much longer, and equally surreal that it’s already been that long. From Spokane to Seattle to Portland. 3 cities. 3 housing moves. 3 jobs.

As I, personally, have had yet another major shift in my day to day life now that I’ve surrendered homeschooling - Telling myself it’s okay to slow down. It’s OKAY to not be busy. It’s okay to not have a jam-packed schedule every day. It’s okay to “rest” to take time to read a book, to be still, to figure out what that even looks like. It's only for a time. A Season. 

When you’ve been running from thing to thing for so long it’s actually a lot harder than anticipated to just sit. It feels wrong. I feel anxious. I’m not working hard enough. Not contributing. Not being a “team player.” The urge to find my "next thing" is pressing hard and heavy. 

It’s a burden I place on myself. An unfair one at that. 

Who says I have to keep go-go-going all the time? Me. Who says I have to have a "next thing" RIGHT NOW? Me. Who says I'm not working hard enough? Me. 

Not to say there isn't a grain of truth in any of that. I certainly could spend more time on folding the laundry (it's the chore I hate the most, above all else - I'll climb a ladder and clean the gutters before folding laundry). 

The self imposed burdens of 'what I'm supposed to do' are heavy for us all. 

For me I've been wrestling through feelings of inadequacy -->  I failed teaching my kiddo.
It's not just that I surrendered her learning to an outside schooling source - it's that she literally remembers nothing that I painstakingly taught her. She comes home with "new" information - that we DID already go over. I went through these with her. Stood on my head and spent weeks and weeks trying to get these same facts to stick. 

Back to Rest. Through the rest more and more feelings well up in me. Inadequacy, failure, laziness, --> even worthlessness. While I know these are not truth, there are elements of truth. Do you fight against them? Do you accept them? Where do you settle? All of it seems appropriate. 

• I *am* inadequate. I cannot do everything. That is okay. It is right. We are not created to do *everything.* 
• It's okay to fail! Failure is not failure as a person, as a human. It isn't even a waste - because we learn from those failures. Maybe even the failure was supposed to happen SO we could learn from it.
• Laziness... ...well... ;) I could definitely be more intentional about my day to day.

Worthlessness is a lie, but *why* does one feel that way? I don't believe I've ever talked to someone who hasn't struggled with that feeling at some point or another. Is the reason you feel that - because of self-imposed standards of what you are "supposed" to be doing, "supposed" to look like, "supposed" to have accomplished? I know, for me, when I dig a little - it usually goes back to how I perceive my life to be + where I think it should be. My perspective needs shifting. 

Currently, as I find myself in this place of rest. This place of room for an abundance of thought. The thoughts flow freely and harshly. I have no formal college education. Contrasted with my incredibly intelligent husband, well employed and highly respected, there is a self-imposed pressure to "live up" to his standard. But "his standard" is not one he has in *any way* set for me. What he does he wanted. So am I where I am because I chose it? Because I sacrificed what I wanted? What DO I want?

There I find myself chasing my tail of endless thoughts. 

I still remember as a child making lists of "what I want to be when I grow up." All of them were ambitious careers. FBI agent often made the top of the list, along with Judge, Doctor, + Professional Gymnast or Figure Skater.

Where I am in life now I never imagined as a child - but how true is that for all of us!? And I have no regrets in where I am either. Currently, I have a similar list of ambitious things I'd like to accomplish going forward. Doing them all is as incompatible as my childhood list above. So in my time of rest, much thought, fighting against my characteristic indecisiveness -- I am finding peace with whatever path my life leads me into. Even if it is, yet again, nothing that I had imagined. 

Becoming a Professional Photographer was never even a dream I had. It has been surpassingly fulfilling, joy bringing, and brought me so much personal growth. Looking forward to more of that, wherever life continues to lead me. Lead us. Who know where we'll be another 5 years from now? I do know we'll all be 5 years older again and my baby will be solidly a teenager and we'll just stop talking about that right now

Bethany ChamberlinComment