I don’t know if it is my sixth wedding anniversary this week (and thus the one year anniverary of the day we found out we were miscarrying baby Bennett #2);
or the fact that the day before that is the three year anniversary of my adoptive mom being taken from us too early after a hard battle with pancreatic cancer, leaving everything I thought my life as a mother would be like completely changed;
or the fact that my baby girl is going to be 4 very soon;
or just the fact that I am female;
Or my status as a recovering work-a-holic with a chronic sleep deprivation..
but man, life is overwhelming!
I have had about a million things I have wanted to blog about, but very little time and even less brainspace for the ideas to form themselves into words and find a way out my fingers into the keyboard. It actually makes me quite stir crazy. So, if this rambles… i apologize. Try living in this brain!
First things first. SIX years of marriage. There is something about six that feels very right. We are not newlyweds by any stretch of the imagination. We have lived enough life together to be past anything superficial (eleven years of life we have shared now, with many ups and downs). We have a CHILD now, not a baby. We have a dog we actually like and a house that we aren’t trying to move out of and our cars are getting close to paid off. There is a sense of accomplishment in where we have come from and where we are now. We have tried very hard to do everything in a way that makes sense and is responsible and brings glory to God. We have sacrificed and pushed and given and felt tired, worn out and detached from one another.. but with our decision to not try and get pregnant again after last year’s miscarriage, and now a year removed from that still feeling like our family is probably done growing; there is a sense of sadness for the end of the baby era in our home, but also excitement that we survived it and now can slowly but surely begin to reclaim marriage as we knew it before Ana.
portraits by Feuza Reis Studios
I gave up my home office so Ana could have a playroom and can I just tell you how great it feels to not have 78 toys in my living room? I feel like a real adult with a real living room. (some days. LOL.) We are taking a couple trips for work this year together without Analeigh as well as a week each solo (Tim went to the Dominican on a mission trip, and I am going the WPPI the photographer convention in Las Vegas soon!) and I don’t have one ounce of worry or guilt about leaving her! We have arrived! I no longer feel the umbilical-like obligation to always be the one meeting Ana’s needs, and I am trying to wean myself off the urgency toward jumping up and coddling her every whim. (It’s hard being mom, right?) So to you moms still wading through the trenches of babyhood – there’s some hope for you! When you decide to be finished with it, and your baby becomes a child.. sure there is the sadness and the “I’m gonna miss this” but the perks ain’t bad either! 😉
With all these realizations flying around in my mind, even more things that need to be let go have come to my attention. For four years now, I have worked from home running businesses and have always been Ana’s primary caregiver. This was a conscious choice we made before Ana was even around; but it has definitely always been way more than we thought it would be and the anxiety, stress and pressure has been way more prominent in my life that I would have ever imagined, or until more recently, admitted. I have been upside down, over-run and sleep deprived for four solid years and to be completely honest, my health had paid for it, my sanity has paid for it.. but mostly my family has paid for it, specifically my marriage.. two echoing realizations came to me..
1 – My clients don’t want this for me.
In fact, the overwhelming majority of my clients would be upset if they knew how much sleep I have sacrificed for their photographs.
I only want to work for those people.
2- I would never, ever, in a million years expect as much as I expect from myself from someone else.
My standards are completely unattainable and I give grace to everyone but me.
So 2014 is a year of changes.
My mission is this –
Make it meaningful even if it takes MORE time.
Be GRATEFUL, be graceful and be gentle.. with others and with MYSELF.
LOVE, Love, love.
Watch it grow.
print available at emilyley.com
Can’t wait to see how these realizations come into play and to see how I work through the obvious anxiety I have about trying to take things slower and with more purpose. Do you ever feel like I do? Do you need a little bit of grace for yourself? Let’s do better at that.. shall we?