It was a beautiful day. I made childcare arrangements for a few hours so that I could go to my favorite cafe and write. This cafe is amazing! They have about 2 dozen types of crepes. Sweet crepes, savory crepes, crepes made into sandwiches. It’s delicious and my new addiction.
I managed to get a table outside with a view of the water. This is my dream. Working on the water. Even working near water does wonders for my creativity, not to mention my mood.
I went there with several blog topics in mind to create for you. I should have had words flowing right out of me.
But life happens…
On my way there I received a text message. One that I had been waiting for but still wasn’t ready for. A beautiful friend from the congregation I used to belong to, lost her battle with cancer that morning. 19 grueling months straight of chemo wasn’t enough to kill the stage 4 cancer she was diagnosed with. It also wasn’t enough to kill her beautiful spirit. The most sobering fact of this – she was only a couple of years older than me. She was such a sweet woman who was kind to everyone. Such a loss for her husband, her family and everyone that knew her.
Too young. Too soon.
Oh, and the heartbreak her parents must be feeling right now. My heart breaks for them. Parents shouldn’t have to know the pain of burying a child. Unfortunately, I know too many who have. It’s a grief I can’t even fathom.
The conclusion this leads me to is this: the “issues” I battle aren’t really issues at all. Sure, they are real challenges to me and I’m not trying to minimize my experience because it’s mine and part of who I am. But what I have gone through is so small and insignificant on the grand scheme of things. I make life feel way worse than it really is.
Is it really as simple as “deciding” to choose a new story?
For many it is. It doesn’t matter how much money I make, how many clients I have or which business path I take. All I that matters is that I’m home with my girl. That is MY most important job on this planet and I’m done with feeling like that isn’t enough of an accomplishment.
This is a timely reminder for me. I’ve been feeling some anxiety recently over my business. “I need more clients or I need to make one of these other income streams profitable NOW. I don’t make enough money. Until it turns around, I have to keep working…work, work, work…” When you work from home, it’s never done. Work of some kind is NEVER done. Home responsibilities are never done. You can never spend “enough” time with your kids. It never ends…
But can it? Can it end?
What if we get to say when it’s enough? What if we set realistic expectations on our work time and decide when we’re done – and BE DONE! It’s hard when you love what you do but let’s be honest, family comes first. Our kids are why most of us are here. We have businesses so that we can be home with our kids. If I have to work less because I want to spend more time with my daughter, dang it, that’s what I’m going to do! What’s important is that I am still able to hug her and tuck her into bed and get frustrated when it takes her FOR-EV-ER to get out of the house and into the car when we have to go somewhere.
I will cherish every frustrating and beautiful moment that we have together. I will remember those who don’t have the option to hug their child one more time and I will hug mine a little tighter for them.
I won’t be able to shield my girl from all of the bad in this world but I sure can teach her everything I know about how to navigate it. My most important job is to teach her how to love herself, continue to love others, have faith, love God and believe that, with God’s help, she has enough strength to conquer any challenge…
And believe that she is enough.
The same is true for me. I am done judging my value as a human by how much I have earned or what degree I don’t have. I am kind. I love my family and my friends. I will rearrange my schedule to give my daughter an extra play date. While I will keep pushing in my business to get to my goals, I refuse to do that in sacrifice of what I believe to be important. I will never choose money over people. I will still get there, that I am certain (well, I’m becoming more certain every day). But time with our kids is limited and sacrificing that is too big of a sacrifice.
I understand that some people don’t feel like they have this luxury. Let’s face it, we need money to survive. Sometimes, we do have to work more than we want to just to feed our families. BUT that doesn’t mean that we can’t still choose to be intentional with the time we do have outside of work. There is a time for everything and sometimes, work needs to stop and family needs your attention. Just like sometimes, work needs to be done and your kids might need to watch an extra episode of Sesame Street so you can finish. Don’t sacrifice one for the other. That’s my point.
If nothing else, hug your babies extra today and every day that you are blessed to be able to. Appreciate everyone in your life that you love. That is what matters the most.