I have been hibernating (from social media – including this blog!) for what feels like ages, but it has been so good to step back and allow myself to regain my footing. I finally took steps to get a better handle on the needs of my family, my home, my business, my personal development and reflection, and my educational direction. It has been enriching and I am so grateful that I did.
In this process of re-centering and rediscovery of who I am and who I want to be, I realized that far too often I have allowed myself to pause and avoid trying something that I was unsure I could ever possibly accomplish. I almost did that today with my laundry. I thought it would be absolutely incredible to actually get my entire laundry – all of it – washed, dried, folded, AND put away by the end of this week. (This may seem unambitious to some, but trust me, this is monumental in scale!) Then as I hit my tired point this evening, just after the utter chaos that accompanies bedtime for 6 kids that included a baby with tummy grouchies and a 7-year-old with unfinished homework, I thought about taking the next step towards my laundry goal. Suddenly, it all felt so completely overwhelming. The thoughts that raced through my bedraggled brain went something like this…”That’s not even remotely possible with all the other stuff I’ve got this week. Why should I even try anyway? It’s not like it’ll stay completely done for more than five minutes anyway!”
Fortunately, I allowed myself to pause before giving up on my challenge. I stepped back and cuddled my baby. I took a deep breath and a cool drink of water. I sat and allowed my mind to wander through the random things posted on Facebook for just a few minutes. I read a scripture verse or two. And then, I determined to reconsider abandoning my quest. I had taken the steps to revitalize my spirit and reconnect me to things more important than that Everest-height mountain of laundry awaiting me. It was enough. I swapped another load from the drier to await my attention on the couch to be folded. I dumped damp jeans and tees from the washer in the freshly abandoned drier. I even bravely deposited another load of mess into the washer, knowing full well that would require repeating the swapping process yet again later tonight. I flipped all the dials on both washer and drier and listened as they both began their work to make the process unfathomably easier. In other words, I did it! I took one more step. I made one more push towards doing what I wanted to.
Now, I know these all seem like such small things, but it’s when the small things add up together that huge battles are won. I might have ignored this experience tonight if it were not for the joy of being inspired by someone I have never even met just now. Her name is Amy Rees Anderson. She is an entrepreneur that is now spending her time helping other entrepreneurs to do great things. I am lucky enough to attend a lecture series put on by my university specifically focused on entrepreneurship and she will be the speaker there tomorrow night. I had the idea that I would like to get to know more about her before she comes in order to have a better feel for what I might expect. I am SO glad I did. I have now been highly inspired in just a short review of a few of the things she and her company seem to stand for. I was inspired enough that I simply had to read some of her blog. I am glad that I did. I have homework yet to finish tonight, but had to share some of what she has taught me tonight.
First I read “Feeling Old? You might when you hear this…” that was posted just today. It did indeed make me feel old, but I also felt empowered by what I read. She wrote, “…when you aren’t looking in the mirror you see yourself as this young adult who never ages, but when you look into the mirror you see this other person who just keeps getting older and older.” Unfortunately, I often find myself focusing so heavily on the ageing, tired, frazzled creature looking bedraggled, round, and sagging in the mirror that I forget about that other part of me. I love that part of me. It is that young, vibrant, energetic, happy, optimistic, and eager person inside of me that I have been working to reconnect to. I have been worried that if I didn’t do some things to support the development of that part of me, I might loose that part of me all together. I NEVER want that to happen and Amy Rees Anderson’s blog post reminded me of that.
The other article of hers that I simply had to share was on the Forbes website. It is entitled “Face Your Fear; the Result Might Be Amazing.” It is what essentially inspired this whole blog post that I am currently writing. My favorite part is hard to select when the entire thing was so incredible and spot on. However, I do need to share one small part. She discussed a handful of loosing our youthful optimism, and I would say energy as well. Then she wrote, “Whatever the cause, we began creating barriers and limitations for ourselves that caused us to either try, fail, and give up; or even more prevalent, caused us to fail to try at all.” It was that exact thing that I ALMOST allowed to keep me from conquering the laundry like I wanted to. What it made me realize is important enough to warrant finally taking the time to add to my blog after stepping back for so long. It made me realize that even if there is a chance, even a very big chance, that I will not accomplish something, there is an absolute certainty that I will not accomplish it if I fail to even even try. I would rather try and fall short than never try at all. I will surely gain at least something in my efforts, even if it is not exactly what I would have wished for. That is worth at least trying. Knowing I tried is perhaps even reward enough all on it’s own. And I have NO doubt that when I go to bed this Saturday night I will be grateful that I pushed on and faced my mountain, even if there’s one lost sock that makes it into the laundry basket before I put the last stack of baby blankets away all freshly folded.