As I’m sure you’ve noticed, things have slowed down around here quiet a bit and I decided the explanation for it was a good occasion to dust off my old blogging hat! It was a deliberate & gradual shift that actually began at the end of last year because some things were stirring within me. I've been ready to share my heart on all of this for a a little while now, yet couldn't quite find the right words or way to explain it all. Last night I threw a quick dinner in the oven and we went out to jump on the trampoline with the girls to pass some time before we ate. (Mind you, this picture would have looked different a few months ago because our norm was for Jason to keep the girls occupied while I soaked up a few minutes of quiet for myself before dinner time...either because I was frazzled and needed to be alone to regain some sanity or because I desperately needed a little pocket of time to knock out some work.) I had my phone in my pocket to keep an eye on the time so I played one of their favorite songs while we bounced and laughed for a few minutes together as a family. When the song was over, I stopped the music and ran inside to tend to dinner, sitting my phone on the kitchen island as I made my way over to the oven. A few seconds later "Live it Well" by Switchfoot started playing. At first I paid no attention to the song or lyrics and just thought it was really odd that any song had started playing so randomly...and then words started to sink in and the tears started to flow.
"Take the anchors off my lungs
Take me broken and make me one
Break the silence and make it a song
Life is short; I wanna live it well
One life, one story to tell
Life is short; I wanna live it well
And you're the one I'm living for
Awaken all my soul
Every breath that you take is a miracle
Life is short; I wanna live it well, yeah"
The "stirring" in my heart started back in the fall when Lenni dropped her nap and I began to really feel the pressure of trying to squeeze in all of the work I needed to do to maintain my business...because the 10-15 hours a week I had to work fairly uninterrupted up until that point was suddenly gone. It was also around the same time that I felt like a switched flipped in me and I became hyper aware of how I felt when I got on social media, specifically instagram...I don't know if it was the inundation of holiday gift guides & Black Friday deals or what but I just felt this overwhelming feeling of "more! more! more!" everywhere I looked. More clothes and shoes because you can't pass up a BOGO deal! More house stuff from the Anthropologie because it's dreamy and it rarely goes on sale! More stuff for your kids because oh my gosh, it's SO cute! More hustle because nobody else is going to work for your dreams! I could go on and on. It felt like a megaphone screaming all of this noise in my face that was the opposite of what my heart was telling me I needed...more simplicity & quiet and a lot less of everything else. It might sound crazy but it actually became hard for me to show up everyday and be excited about clothes & the boutique...not that there's anything at all wrong with a business doing that, it's just that it suddenly began to feel very inauthentic to me. Doing style previews and try-ons and putting together pretty flat lays and getting product photos is not a normal part of my day anymore. When the wheels have fallen off of everything and the girls have woken up at 5am and are bickering non-stop and Lenni is putting a basket of clean laundry in the dogs' water bowl one piece at a time and Sadie is on her 5th elaborate project of the day, I'm not playing with clothes...I'm being a mama. Everything about running a boutique is a production and it's just not the type of work that can easily be done in pockets or that's easy to put down and pick back up in between interruptions. It's not impossible but it's hard and, for me at least, it's mentally exhausting. Being frazzled can easily lead me down a slippery slope of seeing my blessings as distractions or burdens and feeling the need to put my to-do list above everything else...and that is not a place I want to be.
I've spent the past few months really slowing down to listen, pray and take better care of myself. It's amazing to see how little tiny micro habits can have a compound effect on how you feel, both mentally and physically and how saying no to the "hustle" can open your eyes to a whole lot of things. I've felt a strong pull to take a take a step back from the clothing boutique and I'm leaning into that, despite the uncertainty that comes with it. I'm not walking away from it entirely, but rather scaling back and making some big changes in the way it operates because, in this season of my life, it's become a distraction from what is most important. Can I do it and be successful? Yep. Am I good at it? Yep. Do I really enjoy some parts of it? Yep again. Did God call me to do it in this season? Nope.
I've come to realize that there are only so many hours in a day and that it's MANDATORY that a little bit of that time be set aside to self care...physical activity, more sleep, more time to prep/make healthy meals, time spent doing something that I enjoy that's NOT related to work, etc. With a 2 year old who no longer naps and is the sweetest little tornado you've ever met and a 6 year old whose brain goes 900 mph every moment that she's awake, combined with our commitment to homeschooling them...something has to give. When I'm running a clothing boutique and carrying the weight of all that it entails what "gives" is my sanity and, honestly, my health because I literally do not have a moment to fully rest or relax or squeeze in the selfcare that I need. It's super easy to get caught up in the fun of it all and it's really easy to justify the "hustle" when you truly enjoy some parts of it and sales are good and things are going great but it comes at an expense that I'm just not willing to pay, especially during these precious years.
At the end of the day, what I want the most is a more simple & intentional life with my family so I'm saying "no" to the things that are a distraction from that and "yes" to the ones that support it. What exactly will that look like in terms of my business? I don't know but I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned amidst the uncertainty and I will tell you that it took some courage and a whole lot of faith to get to this place. I'm going to embrace this season, do my best to honor my calling as a mama and continue to be as authentic as I can when I share my voice and our life. We've only got one life, one story to tell...lets live it well, y'all.