From one busy mama to another, I have a confession or two. The first could be part personality, part seasonal. The second is downright embarrassing.
Confession #1: I don’t like change. At all. I don’t like change because I’m a systemic thinker. I love predictability, routines, healthy habits. I’m really fine with eating at my favorite restaurants and ordering the same thing every single time.
Confession #2: I more than don’t like change, I resist change. I resist the notion that everything has to change, that life is movement, that my “baby” is about to go to preschool, that I can’t control anything…ever. Or maybe I’m just sad that we moved across town and the Starbucks drive-through hasn’t memorized my drink yet.
Being comfortable with fall isn’t just about comfy sweaters, a pumpkin latte, and a fireplace. Being comfortable with fall means embracing the change I keep at arms length, the inevitability of life. I’m learning to accept this truth. I’m learning to say goodbye to the old house across town, to let go of the old baby clothes, to hug my preschooler oh-so-tight before drop-off. I’m learning that change is ok. I will be ok.
In case you’re feeling reluctant or resistant, too, maybe this will help:
Practice: I’m not a master at making dinner. I guess it’s not rocket science, it’s just I didn’t really know how for a long time. Admittedly, fall and busy schedules required so much, umm…food?! Why does everyone have to eat, again? I began to recognize that if I made dinner at home, for whatever reason, our night seemed to go a little smoother.
So I started practicing making dinner. As in, it felt a little clunky at first but I memorized a few recipes and got the hang of prepping some meals in advance. Efficiency in my grocery shopping, packing the lunches the night before and coming up with ways to make breakfast simple. I was proud of myself! I practiced until I got it down and it felt like cruise control which felt like the opposite of resistance, so I settled in to my practices. I would be ok.
Produce: I don’t mean produce as in apples and oranges, I mean produce as in productivity. I started to figure out that staying in my yoga pants and catching up on Netflix all day while the toddler dumped out toys all day didn’t actually work for me. “Do something” started to look like: getting up early and getting ready. Eventually, “do something” was decide to homeschool, order the books, buy the basket, and put the homeschool books in the basket so that when it was time to do school, the basket was ready. Produce.
My life had to produce actual things—tangible expressions of what it means to be Mom. When I felt a little uneasy about a change, I learned to ask, “What’s next? What now? What about now? What’s the next right step?” Just doing something, anything, the next thing, produced better results than doing nothing. And over time, my doing the next thing taught me how the day could flow or at least, how the hour could flow and that got me through.
One of my favorite authors, Jon Acuff, says, “Be brave enough to be bad at something new.” And, gosh, Jon, I feel like every time the seasons change, the routine pace picks back up, it’s all so new. I miss the lazy summer days by the lake snacking all day and throwing my cares to the wind. And if my life changes, I confess I want to be good at it out of the gate. I think you’re right though. It might have to be bad for a bit until…well, it isn’t anymore.
Be brave, sweet mama. Be brave enough to push past the practices and produce something of value everyday, no matter how small. Life is moving and changing all around us and I confess, I might just be ok with it after-all.