Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Minimalism, OCD and Digging Up The Foundation.

I'm in a season of change right now. I considered waiting to write about it until I felt as though the season was over, or at least until I had it figured out more than I do now, but instead I think I'll just bring you all along with. Chris always says that you are under no obligation to be the same person you were yesterday. It's true, but how many of us hold an obligation to ourselves to continue being the same person? Or maybe we hold an expectation to be "better?"

Ok, so in the middle of the soul wrestling I've been doing, I have tentatively jumped on the minimalism train. Like... I'm on it, but it's still moving slowly as it leaves the station and I still think about jumping off if it starts picking up speed too quickly. When I told Chris that I was starting to get excited about minimalism he looked at me like I had three heads and asked if that meant we had to take down the gallery wall in our living room? Because minimalism looks like a room with white walls and a wooden chair in the middle, doesn't it? Well... no. I don't really know how to do it "right" but I do know that when I went through the kids' closets and dressers, I felt a significant shift inside myself. I don't want to sound like a weirdo, but I also can't downplay this because it really felt... significant. Then a week or two later I read a blog called "Using Minimalism to Balance Your Uptight Soul" and I read a quote that says:

"If you're like me, you spend a lot of time up there in your ever-whirring brain. It might even be why you like to keep your physical environment so neat. The calm around you balances out the chaos inside"


I thought back to myself when I was a receptionist at a busy vet clinic. There were often days that appointments were all filled up, and even if nothing went sideways we would have to all be on our A game to keep things running smoothly. And then.... a little shih tzu named Daisy would come in as an emergency visit because she ate a chocolate bar, and the phone would ring with another worried owner who had to bring her dog in *right now* because he hadn't pooped in 4 days, and two people would be trying to pay their bills... all at the same time as me needing to take Buster to the treatment room for his cartrophen injection. And I would stop and straighten out the stapler and the tape dispenser before doing any of it. I'm serious. I would straighten the papers in front of me. Pick up any loose paper clips off the desk, put the pen back in it's holder, I would feel myself calm down, and then I would answer the phone.

Obviously this is an extreme example, but I still experience these panicky moments, and have the same need for tidiness and order. I really believe that I feel calmer when I'm surrounded by a neat and tidy environment.

So, to say that motherhood is a challenge for me is an understatement. Not because of the physical mess- I can handle toys all over. I run a dayhome for goodness sakes. But the mess of all the stuff going on up here (I'm pointing to my head.) That can feel like too much sometimes. Because the questions never stop. Am I doing this right? Are we disciplining the right way? How do I get him to sleep all night? Do I feed him enough vegetables? Does he watch too much TV? The list goes on and on.

And I don't know how to explain this in a way that makes sense, but cleaning out their closets.... helped.

Ok, so back to this season of change. I'm under no obligation to be the person I was before kids. Well, thank goodness for that because A: I don't know how to be, and B: I don't think I want to be. Yes, motherhood is a challenge. Yes, it is stretching things in me that haven't been stretched that far before, but I think God has a purpose for it. Well, I know He does- He has a purpose for everything. But I mean, I think He has kept me here- in this hard season, because he doesn't want me to feel normal again. Not the normal that I used to be. I think that maybe God wants to fundamentally change some things in me.

I just started reading a book called "Present over Perfect" by Shauna Neiquest and I'll end this with a quote from it.

"I've been remaking my life from the inside out, and I want to invite you into that creative, challenging, life-altering work.
It is work, of course. It feels, I'd imagine, like adding a basement to a house that's already been standing for decades. I thought it would be more like adding new shutters, but I'm finding it to be more like lifting up a home and starting to dig, reorienting the very foundation. There is nothing superficial about this process."

Stay tuned, it's bound to get even messier if I plan on truly digging up the foundation, but I'll do my best to sort out my thoughts and share them with all of you!

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