The Good Work

Last night I sat hunched in the far corner of my couch, head low, shoulders shaking, tears just flowing. Mind you, I find myself especially emotionally vulnerable when I’m sick, so the head cold I have probably just added to everything. Even so.

Shawn came over and sat gently next to me on the couch while I blubbered about feeling like a subpar mom; about the pressure I feel and to have all green, clean, eco friendly products throughout our home and to serve only organic food, ever, all while maintaining our meager budget; about the shame I feel when I look in the mirror and see my soft overweight body, tired eyes and unstyled hair; about how I miss our nice, big house in Oregon and how our tiny apartment makes me feel claustrophobic; about how I’ll never be able to do anything because I can’t do it all.

I was falling apart because I was convinced I was falling short. Shawn offered hugs and encouragement and listening ears and I just sort of shrugged off my meltdown and went to bed without really giving it much more thought. (I was also in a complete Nyquil daze.)

As Emily P. Freeman says in Simply Tuesday, “Maybe your small house with your small people has somehow convinced you that you are too small to matter.”

Yes, on the nose, Emily. That’s exactly how I was feeling.

Trying to grow and rebrand my blog, along with some other creative projects, has kept me glued to my phone lately. Inviting friends to “like” my page, tweeting, posting snapshots; all in hopes of being acknowledged, of being heard, of being seen, of being someone who matters.

Emily also writes, “We’ve been tricked into believing that higher up and further on equals impact and importance.”

I’ve told Shawn over and over again how I feel like such a failure. He keeps reminding me that as long as I’m trying, I’m not failing. Yes, well, those words tend to go in one ear and out the other with me.

This morning, I woke up before the rest of my family. I made some tea to soothe my sore throat, emptied the dishwasher, started a load of laundry, got Nora up and made her breakfast. The rest of my day didn’t look much different. I worked on a project, put away the clean laundry, started the dishwasher, made lunch for Nora. All seemingly routine tasks; nothing terribly glamorous or sparkly.

It wasn’t until I was on the floor, crawling around and making growly noises at my daughter in exchange for toothy grins and belly laughs, that I realized; she doesn’t think I’m a subpar mom. I matter to her. When my husband kisses me and tells me I’m beautiful and that he loves me, I realize; he’s not ashamed of my soft overweight body, tired eyes and unstyled hair.

My website, writing, creative projects, etc. are important to me, yes. But are they important for the right reasons? I started this blog because I wanted to write about things that people could relate to, with hopes that even one person might feel just a little less isolated in their circumstances, feelings, or situation.

I don’t want to live a life so caught up in being heard and getting ahead that I lose sight of my real treasure, my people.

To quote Simply Tuesday one last time, “Let’s take back moments that are lovely even if they are imperfect, words that are powerful even if only one person hears them.”

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