My life has started to feel extremely overwhelming lately. There are times that everything seems easy and everything goes smoothly. There are other times that it seems like nothing is going right. I get behind in everything, I get disorganized, and I feel like I don’t have time to do the things that I love because I am spending so much time running around forgetting to slow down.
I find myself at times like these feeling lost, confused, and drowning in self doubt. I been feeling like I’m losing who I am because I get tangled up in things that aren’t necessarily me but are part of life and I have to manage them. I felt like I’d lost my voice, because I had lost the time I needed to slow down and think about and appreciate all that is around me.
Simplicity isn’t just something that happens and then takes no effort. At least for me. I have to constantly tweak, change and work at keeping my life as simple as possible. Some days, that is simpler than others.
To try to drag myself out of the funk I’ve been in, I knew I had to focus on me, my family and the things that I love and I needed to just immerse myself in it, forgetting about everything else. I had to consciously seek out the slow pace and simplicity I found myself craving. Even if just for a day.
Saturday was the day.
It was a cool, crisp, sunny afternoon. We spent the afternoon outside, taking turns giving wagon rides through the yard, taking care of gardens, carving pumpkins, playing on the swingset, relaxing, laughing and enjoying each other. By evening we were ready to start a fire in the firepit and enjoy the peace of a cool Florida evening. We ate hot dogs on the patio and then sat by the fire and roasted marshmallows.
We put up a tent in the yard and the kids and I snuggled ourselves up in there to have their first camping experience. Those who know me, know that I spent 11 years of my childhood going to summer camp every year. For two months each year, I left home and headed off to the rustic wilderness, living at a camp for girls with no running water or electricity. It’s been a while since I’ve camped but it’s definitely part of me. So I felt like it was a good way to introduce my kids to the fun and excitement of it and to also find some quiet for me.
It was all that I hoped for and more.
The kids could not have been more excited as I put the tent up.
After making a fire in the fire pit and roasting our marshmallows, we grabbed a flashlight and some books and curled in our sleeping bags to snuggle and read. No ghost stories involved, but we did read a Curious George book about camping.
Turning off the flashlight and finally laying in the quiet, a child on either side of me, curled up in my arms, I finally felt relaxed. I felt at home. My family has spent a lot of time making our house a home, focusing on the physical aspect of home, making our home a haven for our family. I care about making our house comfortable and cozy for everyone. I think an inspired and beautiful space for my family is important.
But as I lay there in a tent, sleeping on the ground without a mattress under me or beautiful walls or any of the comforts at home around me, I realized that home isn’t just about walls and floors and pretty decorations. Home is who I’m with, how I spend my time and what I feel in my heart. My family is my home. I needed to focus on them, without schedules and appointments and plans all over the place. Laying there in the quiet of the night, staring up at the stars, I felt like I’d finally found myself again.