seeking balance (and answers)

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I try so hard to be a good mother. I try. So hard. I breastfeed. I birthed naturally. I didn’t drink caffeine. I co-slept. I wore her. I still wear her.

I stayed home. I stay home. Nearly every day. I stay home.

I work at home. I run a tea business. I set up a tent and a booth at the farmer’s market with a 5 month old strapped to my chest. If I was going to work, my baby was going to come with me. These days, I mix tea while she destroys the house.

Then there’s my art, my passion. The written word. I write because I need to write. For me, writing is intuitive and unavoidable, like the urge to push when you’re giving birth. I write novels, blogs, poems, short stories, letters, journals, text messages…I can’t stop writing. Or reading. I usually have one book going on the kindle and one or two paper books. Different books for different places and moods. Literary fiction, memoirs, health and spiritual non-fiction. There is always a book or three close at hand.

I have a body, two children, a husband, a house, family, friends, a passion and a business to care for. Sometimes I feel like I’m strapped to a machine that’s stretching me in every direction, from every limb, my core on the verge of combusting, leaving nothing but dust.

It sounds dramatic because it is. I’m exhausted. I’m energized. I’m stressed. I’m blissful. I’m high then low. I know the patterns in my sub-conscious create this reality. But how to get past it? How do I let go of the blocks? How do I flow and dance with life?

I want balance and fluidity. I want joy when I receive a big tea order. When I publish my first novel, I want to have a platform. A built-in audience. (You.) I want my daughter to sleep easily and soundly. I want to sleep easily and soundly, too. I want to feed my family the best food I know exists. I want to stretch. I want healthy, happy relationships. I want to write every day.

Isn’t this many people’s problem? We expect so much of ourselves and one another. If you’re a first-time novelist, you need to write a blog. If you blog, you need to tweet. If you start a business, it’s not worth it until it becomes global and makes millions. If you have one kid, you should have another as soon as possible. If you get married, your wedding must be a show of lavish detail. If you work for someone, you must give them your nights as well as your days.

Why do we pay attention to the expectations of others? Or maybe I should ask, why do we hold expectations for others? Why do we listen to indoctrinated belief systems instead of our own hearts? Why do we think we know what’s best for anyone but ourselves? When we’re overwhelmed, why don’t we step back and let go of that which is making us overwhelmed?

Personally, I don’t know what I could possibly cut out of my life.

Except for this blog. This is the one thing I’ve known, for a while, that I could leave behind. I think I started writing this post with the intention of quitting.

But I can’t. I keep coming back here for some reason. Actually, the reason is easy. The reason is you. The people who come to read what I have to say. The people who comment, the people who email, the people who send Facebook messages, the people who say nothing at all. The people who listen.

Thank you.

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19 thoughts on “seeking balance (and answers)

  1. If you quit, then I will mourn the loss of a very good blog in my Reader, and the loss of some very good and rare writing. But I know that if you did, it’d be for your own sake, for the good of your family.

    But for our sake, don’t? 🙂

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  2. “I write because I need to write. For me, writing is intuitive and unavoidable, like the urge to push when you’re giving birth.”

    A-freaking-men. And whatever you choose to do, I commend that you’ve chosen it for yourself. That’s always the hardest part, the responsibility of being the chooser. Sometimes I wish I could just hire someone to tell me what to do…

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    1. Ericka, you’re like my writing soul sister. You get it. When I don’t know what to do, I look for signs. I will probably keep this blog and write it when I can’t help myself. But I don’t want to ever again think I *should* post here or even put effort into building the readership. My brain can’t take it.

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      1. Agreed about the writing soul sister thing! And I like your way of thinking. When things become “should” they really start to piss me off. Also, you can tell how much I like you by the fact that this comment reply box makes me do a math equation before I can post my comment. So apparently, a lot! 🙂

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      2. I was listening to a tele seminar today and they said something like, if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. If you don’t feel joy in doing it, then don’t. When you’re truly your authentic self, every day offers possibility. When you listen to your higher self, you know exactly what you’re here to do.

        But hey, if I took this to its extreme, we’d be wearing dirty underwear and eating gourmet pizza off of paper towels.

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    1. Thank you. I realize that I don’t have to be here all the time. What I value most is the relationships I’ve made via this blog. And luckily we have so many different mediums where we can communicate.

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  3. My sister-in-law (Christine) told me she met you at Lauren’s wedding. She told me about your blog… I love it. I get you on the writing deal…I could cut my blog (and tweeting, and guest posting, and the list goes on) out. BUT…ahhh… I cannot. At times I can get a bit obsessive about writing, having to finish…but when you finish a post (or a chapter, or a sentence that fits), it’s so satisfying. So completing. So…you. And that’s why we can’t stop.

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    1. Ha. Exactly. Thank you for articulating exactly what was in my head. Nice to *meet* you. I love nothing more than finding other mothers who are also devoted writers. It’s such a hard balance to strike between 2 obsessions — your children and your writing.

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  4. I love this post!I really do enjoy your blog and you! If you ever do stop blogging, promise you will keep in touch because in our writing and mothering souls, I feel we are kindred spirits.

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    1. We are definitely kindred spirits, connected souls. I promise never to lose touch! I’m not going to delete this blog for now…but I don’t think I will get around to it very much. Who knows though. I tend to change my mind 🙂

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      1. Ha. I change my mind a lot, too. I’m hoping my new blog will help me reconnect with the fun parts of it. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and lose sight of what matters when you have a “life” to tend to online as well as one offline. Or, at least that’s what happened to me with MNR. Whatever you decide, I support you 200%!

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  5. I think you might be my twin in some alternative world. Accept the tea AMD the natural birthing. I love tea, but I don’t make it, and I do not like pain, so I had the epidural. Other than that, pretty much twinsies.

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  6. I saw your post on Aiden Donnelly’s FB request for new blogs. I got sucked right into your’s too. I hear everything you are saying x1000. I *heart* the Internet. I’ll be reading your blog. Also, we live in the same city, which is a bonus!

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  7. Oh, and drinking my fav. licorice mint Yogi tea right now. I love the Aveda tea, but it’s like $2.50 a tea bag. A little pricey for me so the next best thing is Yogi’s Licorice Mint. If you could replicate the Aveda tea, I’m going to insist that we become BFFs tomorrow.

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