After over a month’s break from knit-blogging, where do I begin?
I have spent the last two months experiencing life as I have never experienced it before.
I spent 35 hours a week at a job in the city.
That job consisted mostly in just talking to people about their lives, their families, and their faith.
I spent 90% of my time at work completely focused – on people, not tasks – and no multi-tasking allowed.
It was often Wednesday before I realized I hadn’t knit a stitch since Sunday.
I was usually just too spent to miss it.
… and too fulfilled to be anxious about the fact that I didn’t miss it.
I had an hour commute that I enjoyed mightily, as it was almost my only “me” time.
My main indulgence was NPR.
I let others care for my baby, most days not seeing her more than an hour after she got up, and an hour before she went to bed.
She was fine.
She also started walking.
I made friends I couldn’t have expected, and I grew to love people who surprised me.
One of them got a shawlette from me at the end of it…
… because I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving without giving her something of mine to hold onto.
(She gave me a necklace. Don’t tell anyone.)
Without this experience,
I learned how to pace myself during an emotionally exhausting job.
This program was an absolute sprint – for 10 weeks. There was no way not to be tired almost every day.
I learned now to neutralize the anxiety and guilt that makes me such a driven person.
My drive is part of what makes me task-efficient, but in ministry (or any relationship-centered work) it will end me.
I learned that guilt is not a truth-teller. It is a flag that there is something to reflect on.
I learned that I make my life harder than it needs to be.
I learned that vulnerability is not one of my strong suits.
But if I can channel it, vulnerability is the very trait that can make me powerful, because I live in the power of Christ.
I learned that overfunctioning is for the birds. The BIRDS, man.
I learned that I am actually good at pastoral care, and I could do chaplaincy as a job.
I learned that working moms are hardcore women who walk between worlds and sacrifice at both ends.
But I also learned that I am absolutely, 100% called to be HOME right now.
I will not be happy at any job while I have small children at home in someone else’s care. Being apart from Naomi was a great experience for both of us – we both needed a little distance, a little differentiation. Really, both she and I have changed so much in the last 10 weeks, that today, my first day as a solo stay-at-home-mom again, I feel like I’m starting a new job. Or, like I’m starting at a new company in the same position I used to have – I’m tempted to be constantly like “well this is how we used to do it.” What I really need to do is pay attention to how we are now and learn new ways of doing things, while simultaneously offering leadership along values that haven’t all changed.
I feel a lot more calm. Less rushed. Less pressed. Plenty type-A, but less high-strung. More confident. Less ambitious.
I don’t want to go back to the way things were. That’s the one thing I’m a little afraid of – that I will just revert. But I don’t think I need to be too worried about that.
What does that mean for this space? I’m not sure. I have been looking forward to getting back to blogging about what I’ve been knitting (and spinning, and cooking), just for the fun of taking pretty pictures and talking about them. Especially the Lord of the Rings project – how I can’t wait to be neck-deep in that story again! But knitting has become less of a mission and more of a… well… a hobby. With blogging along with it. I have lost the power to write from anywhere but honesty.
So will you come along with me, patiently, and discover what that means? I am always grateful for your reading along with my journey. We’ve had a lot of unexpected twists and turns since this blog began, over five years ago. I don’t doubt we’ll have more.