Life at Such a Pace

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Life at Such a Pace

The last seven weeks have been crazy! Good but crazy. We’ve traveled to New York and Bend and Tucson. We’ve worked with the kids at our church, created slideshows, edited videos and completed powerpoint presentations. I spoke at a Women’s Conference and accompanied my father as he toured a care-facility with and for my mother. During this time my mother-in-law has come for our weekly dinner to discover us not quite ready. (Once we weren’t even home yet! Host of the year award for us.) We’ve logged crazy hours as we have tried to learn the entire printing industry, well, yesterday. In the in-between times I’ve shared a cup of coffee with my father and tried to touch base with my sisters as often as I can. I’ve shot hectic texts out into the universe in the hopes of staying connected with friends who are far away and nodded off each night while trying to read just one chapter.

Whatever is the opposite of living-in-balance-with-healthy-margins-and-space-to-breathe is, that’s where we’ve been living. It’s been hard, hard but good. And I know it’s only for a season which makes it do-able but only just.

That’s not something I like to admit. Somewhere along the way in life, I decided I should never cry “uncle.” Somehow to say I’m tired, that’s too much, or I can’t do that equals shameful behavior in my mind. To say that it is too much is to say that I am not enough. But this is an exhausting and rather defeating place to live and honestly, it is unsustainable. Before too long, my edges get rough. My emotions get frayed, I’m snappish and easily irritated. I lose my ability to laugh at myself and my humor gets more cynical than I’d like. (If you see me muttering at other drivers, you can be sure that I’ve pushed too far.) It is the other end of the spectrum from living generously.

And it squeezes out the goals and priorities that I say I want to pursue. I knew I would have to put some of my resolutions on hold during this time and decided beforehand that I would give myself grace on that up front. But it’s time to start reining in the crazy and picking up those dropped goals again. I have a quote from Shauna Niequist on my facebook page that talks about how our better angels get shouted down by the tyranny of the urgent and how it’s impossible to live a creative life at such a pace. She says, “In other words, you can’t live a frantic, busy, cramped, artless life and then expect to show up at a coffee shop and write with beauty and depth. I wish that were true, because left to my own devices, that’s how I live most of the time–pushing, getting it done. But this is why writing saves my life: because it makes me live differently all the time, not just during my writing time. It forces me to live a better, richer, more creative, more sense-oriented, sensitive life. And I’m better for it, in a thousand ways.”

So here’s to putting this season of crazy in the rear-view, selecting a better pace and embracing a better life.

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