I want to start this post with a really big HEY, how are you guys!? I know today is the day we are all crawling out of our pjs, and finally getting back into routine. For some of us it’s a welcome shift out of the holiday fog but for the rest of us, we are dragging our feet crying along the way (whomp whomp). But really it’s not all that bad, especially when you really do love what you do and your routine is pretty awesome.
What’s with the crickets lately, am I right? Yes, I’ve addressed how things have been a bit more quiet around these parts a few times, but I feel like I should do it one more time — for good times sake. But mostly because I feel like my reason of; being overwhelmed with summer (kids, kids, kids) no longer holds any water. See the thing is this is not an apology, just me sharing where my brain is because it’s sorta stuck here. And this is not an apology, because it’s always lame to hear people apologize for their lack of blogging, when that happens everyone is always thinking “okay, just get to the blogging already” — and because I’m working on my excessive amount of apologizes (it’s the Canadian in me).
Since we are past that awkward introduction. Summertime is always a little blog slow for me (kids being home from school and they just take priority over all other things) and that all works out pretty decently since the internet is a little more slow over the summer as well. But blah blah blah, we already went over that and newsflash it’s not really summer anymore. Though it still sorta feels like summer with this weather (at least in Toronto) and I don’t want to talk even talk about falling leaves and pumpkin things juuust yet.
Summer vacation, I always have such high expectations and I get so darn excited when the time leads up. High and happy expectations for really fun summer outings, that everyone is going to get along and be happy to spend all this time together, and that I will be able to fit in work between all this awesome time. All rainbow and butterfly like. But really summer vacation, is never a vacation — a vacation literally means a period of rest or recreation. What is this thing they call, “rest”?
Since both my kids started full-time school, I really honestly do get super excited for summer holidays (actually every holiday they have off school) and my expectations are never (well not anymore) that we will be relaxing or resting (because duh) but I always have fun and happily getting along expectations. And every year, the first two weeks of summer I’m pretty much hit with a hard dose of reality. I had a really rough week last week, well more a week where I couldn’t catch my barrings and I really just didn’t feel like myself (like at all). So I spent a lot of time resetting my expectations back to reality and reminding myself that all of these summer realities are also really awesome (if I just look at them in the right way):
1. The House Is Going To Be Messy, Like The Whole Summer Long.
Our home is always messy and in total disarray because we are (I am) never home to clean it — but it smells like summer sun, sunscreen and it’s kinda great to only see it in our passing as we are off to have fun.
2. The Kids Behavior Isn’t Going To Be….Wonderful, But They Are Still So Freaking Great.
The kids behavior was super stinky, after a year-long stint of picking up not so great behavior here and there at school — we spent the first two weeks working through a lot of that and getting back on track. And a good reminder what great little humans they are, sure they picked up some junky behavior but they also picked up so many awesome new things at school plus they didn’t lose any of their little manners or great behavior either.
3. Cooking In Summer Is For The Birds.
Who want’s to cook? No one, it’s hot and there is no time to prep dinners when you are out all day — but somehow we still eat and it’s usually good food and really what else matters.
4. There Will Be Little To No Time To Work (from home).
When there is time to work, concentration is hard because the kids are home — but I somehow make it work, fitting in some time in the mornings before we head out and working at night when everyone is off to sleep. Basically took about two weeks to adjust my schedule, but it works for now and I don’t have to miss any of the summer “vacation” fun.
6. Summer Nights, Mean A “Crapola” Next Day.
We often stay up too late and then ruin the whole next day. Summer is so short, we might as well take advantage of the long days while we can — and honestly why am I complaining about a few extra PJ days?
7. I Miss You Studio Yoga!
It’s much harder for me to keep a consistent every single day studio practice when the kids are home. I still go but it’s more sporadic, I take the opportunity to go whenever it presents itself and I squeak in a home practice, even 5 minutes whenever I possibly can.
And once I got a handle on all of these realities and found that they actually weren’t bad, things were so much better (I got my groove back). Of course this week is one of the few weeks both kids are in a day camp, so this might very well be the; clean house, warm coffee and actual time to work talking.
We do a lot in the summer, the kids and I are out and about in the city almost everyday, everyone is just happier when they are outside and doing stuff (me included). I am trying to work on a post about some of the things we do, in Toronto and also a general list of awesome things we do — things are different and more active now that the kids are school aged.
How has your summer “vacation” been? Do you have any summer expectations that were squashed once summer started? Or maybe a few realistic expectations that you set? Do Share!
Or if you just totally feel this but don’t have much to say, go ahead and give it a share!
This practice, this time on my mat it’s just so much more than those two titles even give it credit, it’s apart of me, my day and my life. Next to motherhood, losing a loved one and wifehood (that should be a word) it has been the biggest source of self discovery of my entire life. Not just physically, but since we are on that topic the physical discovery has been full of WOAH (eyes popping out, I CAN’T BELIEVE I CAN DO THAT, type Woah) moments. But I’m talking about the inside, feeeeelings and thoughts (the cheesier) type of self discovery.
For me, there is no bigger reset then a good (heck even a bad, but there really isn’t such a thing) yoga practice. I could have had an argument with Chris before going to a class, a conversation where I’m super stuck (stubborn) on my points and super foggy (totally blind) when I try to see his side, but after class? All of a sudden I am like the most understanding, kind and compassionate version of myself, like ever. I see his side and mine and most importantly the middle, I’m easily able to swallow my pride and properly fix an issue (or my issue, usually it’s my issue). Literally the very best version of myself is in those first couple hours after I finish practicing. Yoga is my super power, actually yoga is my power up to my super power.
As a Mom, after a really hard day with the kids (yesterday categorizes under this heading) I always say to myself “tomorrow will be better” and it’s true, tomorrow always is better. Actually the moment the kids fall asleep everything is instantly better, because I go over the day in my head and realize all the places I could have been better — and then I miss them. Yoga does a similar yet even bigger reset for me. It’s so much bigger, that the “tomorrow” reset falls second to the yoga reset, if you can imagine that?
Being naturally anxious, working for myself, managing a house, being a wife, Mom, friend and just an all around human being I need moments for me. But not just moments where I put my feet up with a glass of wine and watch some trashy tv (I need those too), but moments where I can lose myself, my ego and come out the other side as a slightly better version of myself. Even if that better version only sticks around for a couple of hours. I just need to know she is there on a consistent basis, and I’m sure my family does too.
Deep thoughts for a Friday, hey? Also please notice I didn’t say, eh — if I had you would have had full permission to make fun of me.
What is your ultimate reset? Do you have something you do for yourself that makes you feel like the very best version of yourself? What is your “tomorrow will be better” moment/thing? Do you have something that gives you a “super power”?
It happens a couple of times a year, maybe even more? I can’t remember now. That feeling of things just not feeling like they fit, like my brain just can’t quite focus, that old burned out brain feeling. I know I am not the only one that gets that feeling from time to time (funny/not funny that it also coincides with allergy season?). This bogged down feeling tends to happen when you are constantly using your brain to churn out new content and you work totally alone — plus when you over think every tiny detail that goes into each item and every detail that follows, now that’s a recipe for a crispy brain burn out. And by you, I mean me.
I have big dreams for this space and other projects I am trying to get rolling, it seems whenever I feel like I am getting things moving, I get overwhelmed with my own thoughts and burrrrnnnn myself right out. Also since the kids both went off to school my content on the blog did a giant shift, at first it was totally unintentional when my daytime focus changed so did my content. I find the “cultivating a simple, stylish and content every day” focus (mostly general lifestyle stuff like usual, but that sounds way better), takes more from me in a different way and makes this whole working by myself at home all the time sometimes a little taxing. SO because I know this feeling is something that happens every so often I am trying my best to take this as a moment of improvement rather than a sad burn out moment (no violins). A few things I am doing to make things feel like I’m back on track refreshed/recharged/kicked in the pants and ready to jump back in with a smile:
- I am going to look at maybe renting a wee space inside of that bigger studio/warehouse (eeee!!!). Which feels pretty huge to me, a big step! And it will surely be a huge help to not always working on my lonesome, from my kitchen table.
- Reach out for help more often, I just can’t do everything myself (even though I really like to try). I have an amazing network of friends and talented people, I need to use them more — but not in a use and abuse sorta way.
- Take smaller steps towards my end goals, take my own advice and start smaller but START.
- Stop and smell the roses, it’s okay if things are a tad quiet for a day or two — something I need to remind myself.
- Focus on my consulting and contributing projects, I often find the best inspiration when I am helping others attain their goals and dreams — it’s empowering and totally gratifying.
- Yoga, yoga, yoga and maybe a little more yoga then normal. Basically I plan to stay on my everyday practice, but take things slower when I’m finished and try my best to take my yoga with me and into every single moment of my day.
- Get the F outside and find some real inspiration, I mean it’s beautiful out there.
Do you get that brain burned out feeling every so often? What are some of the things you do to kick yourself out of it?
We are really (really) big on surprises around here, if there is a way to turn a plain old cheese and spinach sandwich into a surprise, in our house it will be done. Big surprises are our favorite but much harder to pull off; the old showing up on our families doorstep and not telling a soul we are making an across the country trip, is our favorite, it never gets old. Without ever talking about it with Chris or intentionally making it our “parenting strategy”, Chris and I have successfully turned the kids totally normal childhood into a world of surprise and wonder (insert: magical magician hand movements). In our home, we are all about making the tiniest of moments like “mom, what’s for lunch?” or “what are we going to do today?” into a surprise (jazz hands, this time).
Want to learn the art of serving up a lifetime of surprises (for your kids or just friends)? Basically just never tell anyone what you are doing, till it’s done and then sit back and look at all those smiling faces (they are so smiley, aren’t they?). Okay not literally that was actually really bad advice but I was half-joking, to be clear — but also it’s basically sorta just like that.