Thank you all so, so very much for your incredible support and loving comments on my big post last week. It was a hard post to write and scary to publish, but now that I’ve done it I feel such a sense of relief and liberation. I really hadn’t realized how much I was letting the blog stress me out! Letting go has been like having the fresh Spring breezes clean out my mind.
The hardest part was going through a loop-de-loop of feeling like I had to justify all my newly found “free time” by filling it up with activities for the children. Apparently I have a deeply installed sense of shame about idleness. (Or perceived idleness, since apparently my inner critic doesn’t seem to think that writing, sewing, reading, gardening, or decorating count.) I’m working on it. I truly believe (at least, intellectually) that just being is far more important than doing. It’s also the greatest gift I can give to my children–the gift of being present, knowing how to be present. But I have to remind myself every day, so I don’t revert back to the old habit of feeling like just being isn’t good enough.
As for this quilt, I realize now that it was a casualty of this obsession with doing. I quilted it last summer, but whenever I sat down to hand-stitch the binding, that inner critic would say, “Hey, you shouldn’t do this now. It’s going to take forever. You need to get something DONE,” and I would stop. So it just sat there, unfinished, along with all my other unfinished projects.
Once I let go of my need to “do, do, do,” I was able to sit, quietly and stitch the binding. It was meditative. I wasn’t doing it to get it done, I was just loving my daughter with stitches. And guess what? A week later, it’s done. Now it’s on her bed and it feels so good to have given that gift to her.
Someone said recently (*cough* Jen *cough*) that I am a great project starter. Before, I felt like the solution was to finish more. Now I see that the solution is to start less. I mean, how much more do I really need, anyway?
As I am learning this year, not much!
Do you ever feel like your life is defined by how much you get done? Do you struggle with feeling like you have to fill up all of your time in order to “make it count”? How do you help yourself stay present and grounded, to just be? I am struggling with this on a daily basis, and any tips you have would be most appreciated.