Just Calm Down & Burn Your Candle the Right Way, Mom
Can we just get real for a second? Sometimes I think we just need to calm the heck down.
Now I am absolutely including myself in the category of people that needs to have the calm the heck down police after them on a few (million) occasions, so I'm not speaking these words from a place of "I have it all together" because I don't. Just ask my husband about the great dish-washing sponge freak-out of 2012; he will tell you some things.
Lately I've been reading some blogs/talking to some friends/reading past things I have written (here and elsewhere) and thinking "just take a deep breath, friend."
I think we live in a country where hustle and panic are glorified. Where if you're not burning the candle so far down both ends that the whole damn thing is on fire, you aren't doing it right or trying hard enough. Where if you're not rushing around and pushing yourself and rocking everything with everything in its place, you're doing it wrong.
I think we're wrong. I know we're wrong.
You know where I find joy and peace? In being still. In rest. In thinking "is this really worth my stress?" Because most of the time, it isn't.
I stress about money, and does that stress add money to my bank account? Nope. And we are fed and clothed and have a roof, so shouldn't I rest in that instead of stressing over not being able to buy new jeans? Yes.
I push myself to try and do every little thing, to clean every little inch, to be "supermom" and where do I find my joy? Not being supermom. I find my joy sitting on the couch with my sweet girl in my arms, or taking the time to run around the zoo and stand and look at the giraffes for fifteen minutes too long. I find joy in experiencing new things with my girl and seeing her eyes light up, not in making sure my house is spotless and every little duck is in a row.
I stress about being the best wife in the world by doing, but our relationship is best when instead I am listening and snuggling longer instead of rushing around.
In the end, no one has benefited by my burning my candle. I've been tired, stressed, worried about stupid stuff, crashed at 9pm and zoned out long before then. That isn't a way to live. I don't want to live that way.
Instead of burning my candle from both ends, I want to burn it the right way. The way that scatters a soft glow and puts things in perspective. There is no sense losing my mind over things that, in a hot minute, won't matter much anyway.
I'm a better person when I breathe through the moment and put things in perspective. I'm desperately wanting (and needing) to live my life with that in mind.
Katie is a military wife and toddler mama. She also writes at State of Change.