One of the things about growing older is that you’ve had time to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. I have figured out that I really like to be all alone and in the quiet. This is really bad because it’s summer and I have two very loud children. They are so loud, that my neighbor, whose house I can barely see, said that they, “sure sound lively over there!” That’s nice-neighbor talk for, your children are crazy and probably scaring the wildlife.
In order to have the quiet time that I need, I get up very early. This works for me. When I don’t create that time, that space, I find myself yelling at my children in the Trader Joe’s parking lot while they both talk AT me about stuff that I don’t really care about. This sounds harsh until you try to listen to an 8 yo tell you his dream about a killer hand dryer, in detail, for 15 minutes while his sister sings the ABC’s in a constant loop in the background. Trust me, it’s like torture for someone who has decided that they like to be all alone and in the quiet.
What works for me is creating space. I create space by waking up way too early. I create space by running with my girlfriends. I create space by choosing not to do things that I don’t want to do. I create space by telling that voice inside my head to chill out and eat some chocolate. I create space by teaching my children to do things for themselves. I recently created a whole cavern of space by going to the BlogU conference and meeting a group of women who have become like my tribe of funny and wise champions. Are these things selfish? Sometimes. But they also make me a person that isn’t as crazy as I could be if I didn’t have any space at all. I think if we fill our lives with too much, too much running around, too much staying busy for the sake of being busy, too much trying to keep up with this imaginary version of ourselves that is NEVER going to exist, then there isn’t space to be, just us.
And I want to teach the little people in my life that sitting on a deck on a Saturday afternoon watching kids play, not doing a damn thing, is a good way to live too.