I love the week between Christmas and the new year. Life slows down, I stay in sweats all day, read books, sleep more, cook less. It feels a bit foggy and surreal. I’ve been reflecting on 2018, looking for the good, the very good, recognizing the times that were difficult and stressful, and especially looking for the ways I have grown and become a better, more loving person. I think that is always at the root and purpose of my goals. I’ve discovered new parts of my heart, and motivations as I have run a business and led a team. I have looked on my family time as more sacred and something to be preserved as much as possible. I know this and feel this so deeply now, because I failed in this area so many times over the year.
In the last month, a lot of new opportunities have come up for me and it feels a bit like a test. A test to see if I really do hold my family time as sacred. A test to see if I really do believe I get to decide how busy and stressed I will be. These opportunities are all good, even great things! Violin auditions for a religious work that would fill my heart and soul to the brim and bring me the association of many good, wonderful people. Playing with the local professional and semi professional symphonies. A job as the high school choir pianist that would forge a good bond between me and my teenage son. Writing more for Ownit magazine in the new year. Teaching orchestra at a local private academy. Diving into my skincare business as we continue to grow exponentially.
These are all amazing things! All of them came to me. I didn’t seek them out. I remind myself to feel so grateful and am in awe at the opportunities before me.
All of them at once are too much. All of them together would take away from the things that are most important and sacred to me. My presence and time with my family. My growing children, my awesome husband. My main driving force at this point is Nola. She is just 3 1/2 and will be starting preschool next fall. I want to spend time with her and discover the world with her in the next eight months before school begins. This small bit of time isn’t something that will happen again. This is it. My time with her is important.
I could do all the opportunities. I could squeeze it all in and pretend that I can balance it out and give each thing the very best of me. But I know this is not a recipe for happiness. One of the best things I have come to learn through my years of motherhood is that I do not have to sing all the verses of my life at the same time. There are seasons designated for the desires of my heart. I have embraced this which has allowed me to not feel like I have missed an opportunity, but have chosen to live in the season I am in at the present, with faith that the next season will be filled with the right things for me, at the right time.
So, looking ahead to 2019, I need to do less. Do less to live more. I am looking over my days and weeks and searching for the things I can choose to shelf for now. This feels good deep down. It feels empowering, actively choosing and creating what my life will be. What am I cutting out? No teaching orchestra right now. No audition next week, because I can audition for the same production next year when timing is better. No private teaching studio, because my children need me and have their own after-school activities right now.
I choose to continue to practice violin for my soul and to feel able and empowered in my auditions in the next season, when the time is right. I choose the piano job because it feels like an important connection to make with my teenage son at this point, and because Nola could be by my side on the day of rehearsals. I choose to write because it can happen in the quiet recesses of time when the words flow…usually everyone else is asleep. I choose Nola during my days. Playdates, discovering letters, numbers and books at home with her in a more active way. I choose being fully present with my kids after school, turning off the phone and shutting out distractions. I am more grateful than ever for my business that allows me to have a significant impact, while working in the pockets of time throughout my day, and allowing me to be present with my kids and family. it is such a blessing!
Most of the things you will read and hear surrounding a New Year are all about resolutions and goals, upping the ante, and doing more. More exercise, more travel, more hustling. But I am focused on doing less. Doing less to feel more connected, at peace, inspired, open, hopeful, empowered, whole.