Today I’m giving us all the permission to pause.
Every so often I find myself full of such inspiration that I take on a variety new things without really analyzing whether or not I have the capacity to fulfill them to their completeness. It’s in these moments that I come to find that my Aries-ness can open the gates to overwhelm my state of mind and therefore end up binding my energy, my time, and my money. Although I can admit that over the years (and becoming a mom has helped) I’ve gotten better at managing these moments, I’m also very thankful I also have my Virgo husband (read: methodical and logical) to keep those impulses in check.
I’m a creative. It’s what I do. It’s what I feel my purpose is so divinely tied to.
However, it’s also this creativity that can easily overwhelm and distract me from myself, my family, and my attentions away from what really matters.
The flip-side is that this creativity is the essence that gives me fullness and life. It inspires my teaching and therefore the connections I can make through my teaching blog. It inspires this space – something I was extremely excited write for even if it meant starting from the bottom all over again and gets one page view. It also inspires my lettering and my Etsy shop, Little Fox Lettering Co, by giving me an avenue to letter and design meanwhile sharing such a gift with others. You see, this creativity is something that both fills and takes from my cup.
But, today it’s discussing the permissions we must give ourselves to pause and remember that we’re human. We are given only so many hours in the day and years in our lives. It’s time we grant ourselves at least that.
Pause to enjoy.
In my pause I have been spending more time within myself and with my family. A big part of my 20 in 2020 has been inspired by my desire to renew my mind, body, and soul and a big part of that is getting outside. It’s amazing to see the results of spending January and much of February just outdoors – taking hikes, going for walks, and getting motivated to run a bit by signing up for a 5k. All of which I am getting to do with my husband and son. What’s even better, is that we’re all benefiting from it. This study, written about by Huffington Post, shares that simply being outdoors is one simple way we can all combat recurring depressive states and improve our overall mood.
Pause to sacrifice.
Sacrifice seems like such a strong word and when it’s used it can cause a sort of visceral reaction. Yes, to sacrifice in it’s most literal sense, means to give something up, but for me, sacrifice means accepting I cannot say ‘yes’ to everything. I have to be willing to admit that in order to give myself (and others) grace, I need to evaluate where I need to sacrifice and this has a lot to do with where I spend my time.
Oh, time. The most precious thing we have yet it’s something we can’t get back or change. All we can do with the time we’re given is to be aware of how we’re spending it. I can tell an awful lot about myself when I take a look and see where it is I’m spending my time. What about you?
As a teacher, and within my first year in a new position, I can admit much of my time is spent planning and getting inspired for next year (in hopes to cut down on time spent doing what I have to do now- plan). Some of this time is also dedicated to documenting my life in the classroom at Little Fox Teaching and us bloggers know how long it takes and what’s involved to draft up a single post.
Next, I decided that I was taking on too much so I decided to sacrifice my lettering shop. And by sacrifice I mean put it on “vacation mode” at Etsy. My love for lettering is still very much alive, I just realized that I don’t have the capacity to do it well enough for my customers (i.e. getting orders out on time). So, instead of fretting over what it takes to run a small business on top of working full-time, I simply let it go. For now.
Another sacrifice I made was here. Again, I adore this blog so much and love how it reflects who I am now and the ways in which I’ve evolved as a writer and how I share my life. I love that my vision for everything Little Fox has come together so seamlessly. However, the plate balancing act has often become too much and above all I believe in being authentic. It’s not about the page views, the number of likes or follows on social media, or even how many newsletter subscriptions I have. All of those things are wonderful and definitely a vital part of the success of a blog, but it’s not why I do this.
This blog may never become a full-time job and I don’t even know I want it to be. It’s like taking a passion project and tainting it by making it your work – it slowly becomes about everything you were against and I don’t want to risk that for this precious space.
Pause to have vision.
Finally, this brings me to my essential point: have a vision for your life because that will be the driving force behind what you do and the effort you place ever single day. I love the life I have and through it all I love being able to share it – whether it be here as a mom and wife, as a teacher, or creative. Little Fox embodies all of those things and I’m thankful you’ve been here for the journey!
I just encourage all of you to permit yourself moments to pause this year, this week…or today. Give yourself grace in the process and be willing to pause to reflect where you are. Build up the areas that are weak or need attention and be okay with sacrificing, saying no, every once in a while. Remember what you love, what sets your soul on fire, and where you want to spend your time in this life.
Because for me, it’s when I can master those things is when I can really feel alive.