Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Walking Light & Carrying Little

The 30 Before 30 list is just not going to work.  [And if you don't know what it was, I wrote down some things that sounded fun to do before I turned 30.]

 A few of you were so kind as to ask the whereabouts on my progress. And honestly, I've been so busy with so many things, it has taken me until now to face that my life doesn't have space for most, if not all, of those items on that list and to act like or proceed forward with it like it does would just make me unhappy.

When I wrote that list (which is fun and lovely outside the realm of reality) about a year ago, I was in a very different place.

I didn't realize how taxing Paul's travel would be this year or that I would be watching adorable Misters Luke & Logan for a bit of time or that 3 kids (mine) would feel like a lot more once the twins were on the move.
Besides, a good chunk of the things on the list just don't matter at all to me right now (i.e. building a "real blog" or attending a cooking class or my goodness, Ashley completing a cross stitch piece).

I found this photo on my phone. A hundred dollars says I texted this to Paul with some kind of declaration that things were cray cray & I can say that because things are always crazy around here.

My 30 before 30 list should have had things on it like:

* go to the bathroom without interruption

* give self an at-home manicure & pedicure in the same day

* not yell for 1 whole day

I actually did a great deal of behind-the-blog stuff for the list that was going to eventually make it on the blog, but there were also several items I've never even begun to start. Can I blame it on the kids again? Good. It was totally the kids' fault.  They were much, MUCH more persistent in their needs than the list. Did you know kids eat three times a day?

I have only a few bittersweet days left with Luke & Logan.  And then we will turn the page to a new season again.  Last week I sat down on the couch and wrote at the top of a piece of paper POST DAY CARE REHAB.  There were some things I chose to put on hold while watching the boys. And also some things I chose to let slide because I know from almost this same thing last year (when I was transitioning to 3 kids & ouch, it hurt so good bad) that it is best to be flexible when life calls for it.   In the little time left in this year, I need all of it to focus on re-establishing healthy boundaries for my kids in terms of screen time & discipline & fill them up with lots of cuddle & reading time just like they deserve.

The last thing I want on my mind in this next season is any weight to do with things that I in all truth I just don't want to do.

I quit my job last year so I could just be mom and wife.  I wasn't like a lot of moms I saw breezing into work with things in their life pulled together just as beautifully as the scarf around their neck.  I quit because I knew I actually couldn't do all the things or not even all the things but the working things + home things and even with just one kid there were times when I was so blasted tired of feeling like if I just tried a little harder, I could pull it off one day. ] I wanted to give 100% to teaching and 100% to being a mom & wife. And I constantly felt this exhausting burden of feeling torn all the time.

But don't we all know so well that this is life.  Balance is always a struggle regardless of how easy or pulled together our role might appear to others.  We can always find ourselves in a mucky mess. And we can always, always make bold choices to go lightly, to yell Towanda at obtuse barriers that keep our hearts from resting in our priorities: time with our loved ones.

I have such a flaw/passion in me to do all the things all the time. I'm working on it. There was something much bigger I see now that was going on when I typed up that fun list.  Something ugly to share, something not easy to live with.

+ I [still] wanted to prove that I was a lot more than just mom and wife.  

Yeah, that's a bunch of crap, friends, but I won't get into that today. 

I severely judged moms at home before becoming one & I wanted everyone to know I was bigger than that. I was capable of doing way more than your average SAHM. I'm Ashley and the last thing I am is average.  Exclamation point. 

Sometimes my gut or Jesus or my littles tap me on the shoulder and whisper: just simply be because that's plenty. 

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In less than a couple months I'll celebrate the big 30.  I want to walk into it lightly. I want to carry little. When I sit down with my 30s I want to be that friend who is inclined to listen first and act second.

Any crappy, awful time that I had in my 20s happened because I didn't give myself the freedom to fling some shit to the side of the road (because really, guys, I think we might only need 1 of these 4 cast iron skillets I packed) and get moving.  There are so many more things I want to shed than just a simple list of things I wanted to do this last year.  Shed isn't even the right word. Purge. Burn. Flush. Destroy. Things that are keeping me from my where my heart rests: time with my loved ones. 

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Thanks for cheering me on, friends.  In my plans, my schemes, my writings, my hopes.  I know you know the me in me sometimes more than I see. I'm okay with that because it is what it is and the truth is a beautiful thing no matter how messy. Or so I really hope because wow! hot mess!

Oh shoot. Here it comes.  Just.

Let it go.

Not deleting that. 

Don't hold it back anymore.

Stopping myself.



  1. Always love your posts--you're able to so poignantly say what I'm so honestly feeling. Thoughts and prayers are with you on your journey to being! :)

    1. I'm not sure what this says about me & I'm not sure it comes across in my writing like I mean it to, but I just want to give all women big hugs and tell them how wonderful I think they are. We take on so much & can feel weary, but the essence of our nurturing energy & capabilities is so absolutely beautiful, so life-giving, so transformative. It can be the most energizing feeling to harness that power...and it can also have us collapsing at the grand weight of it all. Hugs. I want to give them to ALL the mommas!!

  2. I love your posts! Plus the sweet pictures of all the kids!! My heart! :)

    1. Elizabeth, kids are just the best. Their cute smiles and shenanigans account for at least 50% of my procrastination around here. :)