Desperately Seeking Stillness

I fill my days.  I don’t write that lightly.  I like to be busy.  I allow for little down time.  I find comfort in to-do lists…schedules…check boxes.   I move, even in my restless sleep.  I’m up early.  I’m up late.  I accomplish a lot.

I love the life I lead, and I am blessed.  I have a supportive family that feels the greatest gift I can give is my time.  I give it to the greatest extent I can.  I’ve learned to appreciate those simple quiet moments like playing with my ridiculously obnoxious dog, making dinner together, letting loose a belly laugh, or just being present. I have a fulfilling job, where I can make a difference.  I’m handy.   I know how to use a hammer and nails.  I can cook-well.  I give of myself both in body to the Red Cross and in time to those less fortunate.  I don’t say no when asked to help.  I train.  I train others.  I accept challenges.   I’m there for my kids.  I’m there for my friends. I’m there for my husband.  I’m there for my family.  Whatever it is…I’m there.

I feel the repercussions of my choices when my daughter says, “Momma, why are we SO busy?” or my son stops me and says, “I have five minutes…can you just sit with me?”  Many days, as I head out the door, Mark will ask, “what do you have planned today?”  Most days my answer is along the lines of:  X, Y, Z, and I probably wont see you until 8 or 9 or sometimes as late as 10 pm.  I get that look… and, “It’s okay to slow down, babes…”  Even though we work in the same building, we may only see each other for a minute or two during the day.  I tell people we are not married from 7am -3pm.  Can’t be…there is work to be done. 

And, yet, I love it.  I know I can do even more.  I like the craziness of spinning multiple plates and not having them crash.  Nothing makes me more proud than seeing those around me push a bit harder, because they see me doing so.  I don’t want to accept the status quo.  I don’t want to just hit repeat on all of my days.  I’ve got a bucket list the length of my arm.  I am addicted to the challenge of doing it all.

But then, there are those moments that I need to turn it all off.  Nothing is wrong, but something just isn’t right.  A few days ago, I was able to re-adjust.  I woke up before the rest of the household, and I was in my kayak at dawn.  I had planned to take the time to organize my thoughts and my agenda for the week.    I planned on keeping both my mind and my body busy. I had planned on moving things to carve out a mental health day, to try and get caught up, but I was too over-scheduled to make it happen.  What happened was that I was hypnotized by nature.  I saw turtles, beaver, and a blue heron.  The air, the water, and my thoughts were simply still.   Thank heavens for plans that fall apart!

I was able to step outside of my small silly life.  By simply not moving, I was able to free my mind from what I was “supposed” to be doing.  By not thinking, I was able to process and prioritize.  I by no means figured everything out, but I refocused myself to remember that it is a greater accomplishment to make someone smile than it is to cross a finish line, that there are feelings I need to take time to feel,  and that in order to make relentless forward progress; sometimes I have to stop moving.  

I’ve learned to trust where my mind goes when it wanders.   It tells me exactly where my heart is.

I am just days away from the longest race I have attempted so far. I have my to-do lists, my schedule and my boxes all ready to be checked.  I am tired, but I will find rest.  I am ready to take on this challenge.  But, I also know, that in order to accomplish what I want, I may just have to find a moment or two, to just stand still. 


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