He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. ~ Lao Tzu
Over the last few weeks, there have been evenings I’ve fallen asleep exhausted on the sofa, days when I’ve understood why folk drink at noon and mornings when I’ve woken and wanted to crawl back under the duvet. The anaesthetised version is that I’ve had some ‘challenges’. Out of respect for their privacy, I never talk about my birth family here, and rarely about my kids’ lives now that they’re in their late teens, but as those challenges involved multiple smashed bones, family dynamics, care of the elderly, unexpected building work and two hour daily round trips to spend my days in a wifi-free zone with tradesmen and someone on the cusp of ninety – all during my son’s university entrance exam period – I’m hoping you’ll forgive my silence.
In turbulent times, I get very clear on what’s within my control and do what I can to avoid getting whipped up into other folks’ stress whirlwinds. Trusting in a universe that always ensures I have the strength to do what’s asked of me, I simply try to do the next indicated thing: I work, I coach, I plod, I listen, I hug, I scrub, I cook, I create, I read, I visit, I shop, I sleuth, I gut, I watch box sets, cry at music and just generally trust myself to do what needs to be done. Luckily, my husband’s an angel whose wings shelter and carry my whole family, and these last few troubled weeks, I’ve gone to sleep at night exhausted, but knowing I’ve done the best I could. And that’s a good feeling. It’s enough.
Being a homemaker, a supporter of souls, someone who longs to be compassionately connected, rather than constantly connected, is part of how I define myself. It’s a part of me that’s inextricably linked with my creativity, and I don’t feel as if I have to be all of my me’s at once. I’m an introvert, always have been, and I know what fuels me, what drains me and what my overwhelm limits are. I know how much silence I need and what my people and privacy limits are. There was no way I could do anything other than focus on my family these last few weeks and that’s fine. I’ll soon be an empty nester, and menopause beats all the spiritual books I’ve ever read on the beauty of letting go. Some of its lessons are brutal, but the clarity it brings, about what’s really important, about how I want to feel at any given moment in time, has bleached my soul bare.
Breathing, noticing, loving, creating, learning, letting go. The quiet, wise voice that tells us to keep sweeping away the dust and debris that settles when we resist change, that tells us to let go of the pain we beat ourselves up with when we resist what is.
I missed being able to log on, but after three years of deliberate exile, I knew the sky wouldn’t fall in, and I was right. The sun’s shining today, there’s a breeze blowing through the branches and the grass still smells greenly damp from yesterday’s rain. The birds are loud, my son’s snacking on pizza and here you are, still visiting, still reading, still breathing life into my words.
More than enough.
Are you facing any challenges right now? Family? Friends? Loneliness? Menopause? Sandwich generation exhaustion? Empty nest syndrome? Blog envy? Life purpose crossroads? How do you thrive through it all?