For the past months, even the past year, I have felt overwhelmed... overtired... overworked. That might be typical for a new mom, but none of that exhaustion has been as a result of having a baby. Of course I get less sleep and have more demands on my body and time, but for me that results in a satisfied, rewarding kind of tired. I'm tired because I've been pushing myself too hard in all directions. I've been doing too much. What's resulted from this chronic over-work is that my home is disorganized, my relationship with Kyle feels strained at times (probably because when I'm stressed I tend to be a little sensitive and snippy), Sesame Street and Winnie the Pooh are regular babysitters in our house, our dining room table is my (messy) desk, about 10 times a day I realize I've forgotten to send that check/call that friend back/burn that disc/take that bottle of milk out of the backseat... I could go on but you get the picture.
I knew when I signed up for full time school on top of everything else that I do, it was going to be insanely challenging. But the trade off of finishing my degree in one go, rather than drag it out over another year, was worth a little sacrifice. During the quarter I found myself saying to Kyle, "When the quarter is over...", "Once this is done..." The quarter couldn't be done with soon enough for me. As of last Friday, it's done. My BA from Portland State is complete and I will be graduating with close to a 4.0 GPA. I finished something I started 11 years ago. While I'm very proud of this accomplishment, I underestimated how hard it would be and how much stress and strain it would cause in my home.
I have always had very high expectations of myself, and I derive great joy in challenging myself to try new things, do more, see more, do it all. When I would tell people that I'm a full time mom/photographer/blogger/website runner/full time student/actress/etc. I used to feel a little pride at the surprise on their faces, now I just feel a little ashamed. As a reflect about this past year of doing so much, I am surprised at how little satisfaction I feel about the quantity of things I've done, and seen, and tried. Because the cost of those explorations and challenges was a hell of a lot of stress.
When I look back at my journal entries from these past months the focus is on prioritization. The older Gigi gets, and frankly, the older I get, I want more simplicity and organization. I want focus. I want my values to be clearly reflected in my actions and choices. I want my family to know that they are my priority. I have a lot of catching up to do to achieve this simplicity but for the sake of my happiness, my families well being, my marriage, and my passions, it's time. It's time for me to weigh and reevaluate and consider each and every item in home, every hobby I put energy into, every thing on my schedule... I'm pretty sure there's going to be some sacrifice, some letting go, some weight lifted. It's time to simplify and prioritize.
When I started this blog I was younger, was a nanny to Miss Poppy, had just gotten my photography business off the ground, was a newlywed, was working more as an actress, was renting a little apartment. I had all the time in the world to blog about pretty things, new shoes, books I was reading, movies I loved, fashion fresh from the catwalk... Sometimes looking at my old blog posts makes me laugh a little. My life, my days, my time, my interests are so different now! It's hard to believe how much I've changed in just a few years. I started this blog as a way to find myself, to discover, create, be active in and distill my passions, and now I'm kind of drowning in them.
While I was in school Kyle suggested, more than once, that I take a break from this blog. I absolutely refused. This blog, this space of mine, this creative outlet, is very important to me. I have made some wonderful new friends, learned a lot, been creatively inspired, and touched a few lives. When I get an email from a reader saying that my blog makes them look at their life differently, makes them happier as a mom, more positive in their pursuits... I feel so fulfilled and grateful. I won't give up blogging, but over the next few months I'm going to be reevaluating what it is I want this space to be. As with all aspects of my life, expect it to be simpler, more focused, cleaner, and more organized. I so appreciate your coming to visit my little internet space, and I simply want to make this website a more accurate reflection of what I love and who I am.