Self Sabotage

It’s 5:00 am. I have been up since 4:20 am when my daughter called to me over her monitor. I haven’t slept well these past few nights, so at least this morning I have an excuse to be up. My house is dark and quiet. Having had an early morning potty session my canine companions have settled back into a rhythmic slumber, as have the cats, who had to get up with the dogs to ensure they didn’t miss anything. My daughter is now sleeping peacefully in my bed.

Outside I can hear the waterfall from our pool. It’s been running nonstop for the past 48 hours due to below freezing temps. I enjoy the sound. It’s peaceful and tranquil and steady; all the things my life is not right now. I long for a more peaceful, lazy existence. I daydream about sipping hot tea on cold day, curled under blankets with cozy socks on my feet. The dogs will be taking up too much space on the couch and the fire will be crackling. I’ll be lost in a book and be completely and utterly happy. It’s been mentioned before and I was reminded, with a careful guarded tone, by husband last night that I often sabotage my own daydream.

I am a fixer. I think most mommas are. I’m can’t pinpoint the exact moment it happened – when I became frantic and quick to react to a situation as opposed to carefully and thoughtfully considering a response. Maybe it’s when I became a mom at 20 and had to quickly react to and prepare for all the ways my life was about to change. Maybe it was during my first marriage when things felt a bit off beat and I constantly scrambled to try to create the family I’d always wanted. Perhaps my affliction dates all the way back to my freshman year of college. Nothing in my world felt safe and familiar anymore and I was easily distracted by the big city, taste of freedom and the guy I was dating. I think perhaps I have been chasing peace since then.

This compulsion has lead me to jump from one thing to the next as I search for something that feels right. Something that feels like where I am supposed to be. The reality is that if I can’t find a way to slow down and be present in this season of life, it will pass me by and I’ll never have appreciated that it was exactly where I was meant to be. The daydream doesn’t have to go away. There will be a time in my life when I find myself crunched into that couch corner reading my book and missing the daily noise that once filled my home. Yes it’s chaotic and sometimes loud; it’s fast paced and stressful. But can also be filled with laughter and warmth and joy.

I know that making a change like this will not be easy. I picture in my mind tying myself to a chair so I am forced to sit instead of trying to find something to fix. But cultivating peace isn’t about controlling my external environment, it’s about simply being okay with what life is right now. So in that spirit, I am going to go back to bed. I am going to wrap my arms around that precious daughter of mine and feel her little back and she breathes against me. I am going to allow myself to just be in the moment. And I am going to practice enjoying it.

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