I am an introvert and the way I recharge my batteries is by being alone.
Alone to ponder, alone to listen to music, alone to read, alone to craft. Alone to me is not lonely. It is restorative and boosts my perspective. Being around people, constantly, is draining. Always having to be "on". Sometimes I get lost in my own thoughts and take a mental holiday when I should be paying attention to the conversations around me. That has been happening a lot lately.
That's not to say I don't enjoy company. I had a group of ladies to the house to have oracle readings and a neat story interpretation a couple of weeks ago. That was fun. I am organizing a lunch for a group of parents from our middle school - and the group is climbing past 50 participants! That will be fun. I like a bit of chaos - controlled - as long as there is a definite beginning, middle and end. I do enjoy company, in small doses.
The last six months, or more, has not been fun.
There were men working in my house - someone was always coming in and out. The front of the house was fixed, but it took all summer! Lighting and electrical was fixed. Air conditioners installed. Furnaces fixed. Garage door replaced. Security systems upgraded. Bathroom ripped out and a new one installed - and it's not even done yet! That added to the appointments with lawyers, doctors, dentists and orthodontists - oh, and the simple raising of FOUR children and their active schedules - has been stressful and not in the least bit restorative.
Rather than fighting it, I embraced the chaos as best I could. Every time I got into a groove I was interrupted - phone calls, emails, texts, doorbells. I gave up. I went out for lunch a lot. Talked a lot. Drank a lot of tea. I've been more available than I like and boundary-less due to circumstance.
I need to get those boundaries back.
Circumstances have changed and I feel I can get back to being me again. The cost of that change is high, but I am not the one who has to pay the price. In fact, it is just the opposite, I am surprisingly faultless but recognize that I am more than willing to take advantage of the shift.
I need to be alone. I need to design a routine that fits me, in my new normal. I need to create. I need to write. I need to take photos. I haven't taken a photo - a real photograph - since July! I've learned that they are needs not wants. I have very few needs, but they're big and time-consuming.
To help me get back into the creative groove I've decided to take this school term - NINE weeks - to really focus on the things that BRING ME JOY and fulfillment. I had to laugh when I told my eldest two children my plan. Their collective reaction: "finally"! You can't imagine the joy it gives me that my kids "get it". Not just that, they "get me" and I am so grateful to have their support.
What do I want to do?
When I did the Reverb12 exercise through December it really hit me how much I miss writing. Writing real stuff and putting it all out there. Writing takes time. A lot of time. Sometimes I forget to make dinner kind of time. I miss missing dinner. The kids do too since that was their chance to go to Harvey's (ick) rather than eat their mum's cooking. Hmm.
I want to write more. I want to blog more.
I signed up for Karen Russell's Snapshots of a Good Life and Tracy Clark's The Art of Composition and haven't signed into either and we're already past the first week of the month! The camera is out, memory cards cleared and batteries charged. I've been ready to do this for WEEKS. Again, photography takes time. A lot of time. Not just the capturing of images, but the reviewing of them. I use the viewfinder of my camera - not my screen - so I don't know what I have until it gets into my computer!
I want to photograph more. I want to learn more.
Project Life and One Little Word are my paper-based creative focuses and I've discovered some other things I'd like to try.
I want to craft more. I want to discover more.
I've joined MMEW2.0 with Cathy Zielske again this year. I haven't even gone into the classroom! I have put together a workout schedule. Okay, so my idea of workout at this point is different from my more fit and athletic friends, but it's better than no plan at all :) I've also adjusted my eating choices and really trying to make more time for the things that are good for me.
I want to move more. I want to weigh less.
Beyond simply wanting to do those things, I need to do these things. So, from now until the Spring Break, I will be making my time my own again. I am really excited to see what I manage to accomplish in the next nine weeks!
Things might be sporadic around here - or the complete opposite and I'll inundate the blog with fun stuff. Here's to reframing my days and recharging my soul!