Mar 16, 2011

Treading water

It has been one month since I last posted on my blog. To be honest, it's not that I haven't had time. I haven't had much to say. What's the point of reading this if all you're going to see is a series of complaints? Yes, lately my life has been stressful and frustrating. Whose life isn't? We all experience ups and downs in life. I'm no different. I took a long break during my most recent down. Not a real break, but just a break from my blog. It was one more stress I didn't need. Instead, I took that time to focus on just surviving. Getting by. Taking care of the basics in my life.

There is a lot of pressure to do it all - work a full-time job, take care of your family, stay on top of bills, etc. Then there's that little matter of actually taking care of yourself. What? You mean it's okay to take time to take a walk (alone)? To read a book (not one with pictures)? To browse the aisles at Target (and not have to explain to a two-year-old why you won't be visiting the toy department)? So that's what I've been doing lately. Reading. Enjoying the weather - taking walks, getting ready for our garden, sitting on our porch doing nothing else. You know what? It feels good.

My boss and I had a serious conversation this time last year. It was the first time I told her, or anyone outside of my family, that Patrick was unemployed and we were struggling. After telling her how the whole situation had been weighing on me, and how the stress of keeping everything (and everyone) together was overwhelming, she said to me, "Sometimes all we can do is tread water." In other words, all you need to do to survive is stay afloat. No fancy moves, just keep your head above water. That's exactly what I've been doing this past month. The pressure is still there. I feel it all the time, but the difference is that I can weigh what is truly important. Sometimes the laundry sits longer than I would like. Other times, I don't cook and we have sandwiches for dinner. Writing has fallen down my list of priorities. Instead, I choose to sit in my living room with Griffin, watching him squeal as I blow bubbles.

There is comfort in letting go of the pressure - letting go of the excess. I'm not trying to keep up with anyone else. I'm just trying to do what I need to do to get by. I'm treading water, and that's okay.

Sometimes good enough is all we can do. And when you think about it, what's wrong with that?


Katie Ganshert said...

I agree. There is something so freeing when we extend ourselves grace. In letting things go. In knowing that life is full of seasons and sometimes, God just wants us to sit and be still and rest in Him, even if everything around us feels out of control.

Praying you find MUCH peace and much grace for yourself, Tracy. If you ever want to get together - give me a holler keganshert(at)gmail(dot)com

tracyellen said...

Thanks, Katie :-) It's easy to get caught up in the chaos that surrounds us. I never knew that slowing down could be so rewarding.

It would be fun to get together (with or without the little ones). My e-mail is te95moore(at)att(dot)net

Jason said...

A Tracy blog entry makes me smile. So you've got that going for you, which is nice. :-)

Anonymous said...

I can totally relate. You really need to think about yourself once in a while. I hope that you start feeling better as you return (GRADUALLY) to the things you love.