The last week or two have been an absolute blur, and the upcoming weeks are looking quite blurry, too. Anyone with kids knows that, for whatever reason, schools try to jam pack as much activity into the end of the school year as possible. There are concerts and plays and field trips and book fairs and lots of extra things to remember and make time for in a week. I got through all of that only to have my 7 year old son come down with Lyme disease over the weekend, causing him to miss his last two days of school, and my last two days of productivity by my own too-high standards. When my older six kids were school age, I so looked forward to summer vacation, and I am happy it is here now, too, but with more trepidation for some reason. I suppose it hasn’t helped much that summer vacation began with an extremely sick kid. Thank God, he is on the mend now and coming back up to full speed.
At the same time, my oldest daughter is getting married in nine days. Of course, there is a lot of emotion that goes along with that, for her and for me. I try to alternate my periods of feeling overwhelmed with hers, because my job is to be there for her when she is overwhelmed right now. It is easier to do today than it was Monday when I had a kid with a fever of 103 who hurt all over, but… Cake, favors, sashes all need to happen, as does remembering to remember everything. Of course, I have to continue to work through all of this, now with a child in tow, because for whatever reason, money doesn’t just drop into my lap 😉 The bills do not disappear just because I have a lot going on, or a lot on my mind. Something gives, eventually, and it has been this blog.
I was talking to a friend this morning who is quite a lot like me, right down to her temperament type. She is full of love and compassion and understanding and when she has a friend in need she is the first one to listen and then tell them they are being too hard on themselves. I know someone just like her. Me. I afford everyone in my life the luxury of being kind and gentle with themselves, but sometimes I forget to afford myself that same luxury. God forbid I even have a less than kind thought towards someone who has been less than kind to me. I feel as if I have lost my personal integrity because some very human thought spent two minutes in my brain. She and I discussed this tendency we have to be overly harsh with ourselves. We both know that we need to knock it off.
I know that I have come so far when it comes to treating myself kindly. I have set boundaries and I keep them firm. I do not beat myself up in the way that I used to do for mistakes, major and minor, and I no longer expect perfection from myself—unless I am cooking, or writing, or….;-) Perfectionism is a nasty habit, and a hard one to break, and it is a form of self punishment that looks like something society really loves–productivity, ambition, call it what you will. I can’t buy into it anymore. I need to let go of the death grip I have on life. I need to treat myself like a very good friend.
Just a bit ago, I sat outside as the sun was starting to go down and I could hear the birds chirping, and the “summer kids” down by the lake playing. It is summer. In the summertime, people lighten up, relax, and let loose. From an age standpoint, I am more in the fall of my life, but I need to incorporate a summer attitude of internal simplicity that under girds my day to day living. I need to continue forward with the work I have done on self forgiveness, and I need to stop trying to make up for lost time. That time is gone, but what time I have now is absolutely lovely. I need to lighten up for life and begin, finally, to bask in the warmth of an inward, eternal, summer. If I don’t blog as much in the next few months, I will be at the beach with my son, or at my friend’s cottage on the ocean, or I may just be laying on the couch enjoying the silence, or the sounds of the loons on the lake, and allowing myself to be tired and to need a little rest. I hope that you will do the same, my friends.