So this Saturday morning Scott was given some work by a friend, who does cabinet making on the side. Emma is already napping, because of a rough night of tummy troubles. I find my heart needing a minute to sit and think, nay, meditate on my life. Finally I am on the other side of a big transition; I am a mother, I am not working, and I am back in the U.S. What does this look like?
If you’ve read my last blog or so you’ve read that I am going through, ‘what do I look like?’ I cut off my hair, I have lost about fifteen pounds, and most of my clothes are ruined or no longer fit. I get the opportunity to rebuild my appearance thinking through, ‘who am I now?’ Kinda fun.
I also face other questions the main one that I am thinking of is how do I transfer from going to a resource poor country to a country with more resources than we need. My life in Kenya was simplified by the sheer fact that I couldn’t get certain things, and life in the expat community tends to be calmer and less showy. For many of my baby shower gifts I was given presents in shopping bags from a local store; instead of purchasing new bags people had just recycled ones they had. This to me was refreshing, I hate wrapping paper, we spend resources to create something that we just throw away. Often sitting at American showers or parties I feel like there was an unsaid competition going on, a pageantry of cards and wrapping, who can come up with the most creative handmade work? Time and money spent that will get thrown in the trash just moments later. I usually sit there feeling crappy because often for these events I buy a card and throw cash in it, because who doesn’t need that?
Scott and I, the intentional people that we are, have been talking about this and what this looks like for our little family. We’ve taken this two year hiatus from our pile of stuff that we felt necessary to store to go back through it and see what we really needed. Did I miss it? Do I still like it? Keep it. Did I forget I even own it? Toss it. While going through a box of books he pulled out a book called Simplify Your Life, I have started reading it a few tips at a time. Quite a few of the things we already do, like menu planning and only shopping once a week. One of the tips was about pets, only get short haired animals. I thought about this, but I like long –haired animals. My in-laws own a St. Bernard named Beethoven, many of you have heard me talk about this dog, I adore him. He’s sweet, he’s gentle, he’s hilarious, and he’s big, stinky, and puts enough hair to start weaving rugs out of it. If Scott and I ever get our own dog I would really pull for this breed. Should I toss this out in the name of simplicity? Yes, brushing this creature takes time, and you are constantly battling huge amounts of pet hair. He’s work. I thought about this and I think the way to start thinking through my life is not using simplicity as my marker for everything I do, but priorities. Make choices and know the consequences and benefits. Animals do not simplify your life, but instead of knee-jerk responses to the work and responsibility and I can think, why do I want this and what does it do and how does it fit into what I want my life look like?
I also find myself rushing around constantly to get things done. What things am I doing and why am I doing them? Is having a clean house a priority? No judgment if it is for you, but is it for me?
At this junction in my life I need to take a priority check, what is important to me:
1. A happy family.
2. My art and writing. (Selfish? And true)
3. Use what I have and have been given wisely.
4. Relationships; family, and friends.
5. Leave the world a better place than when I left it (tall order, I know, but just to be a force of good, rather than a negative force).
I think there are more, but Emma just woke up from her nap...