While traveling for Thanksgiving this year, I found myself alone in a hotel room with a king size bed. Bradley had to stay home to watch our circus – this show isn’t quite ready to hit the road yet – so I was the sole representative for the Lowe clan. We had enough hotel points from all of Bradley‘s travels that the hotel room was free and it seemed like a better alternative to possibly sleeping on the floor at my Nana’s house. (It wouldn’t be a family holiday if someone wasn’t sleeping on the floor. There were plenty of times when it was me. However, my back now dictates that I consider other sleeping arrangements.) So after a full day of early morning travels, stretching the seams of my pants, and family laughter, I found myself alone. In a king size bed. (Can you tell that I was genuinely pumped about having that much bed to myself?!) And while I missed my husband and I even missed those little pooping puppies, I had some serious down time to invest in myself.
I am continuing to read Lara Casey’s “Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life.” While sitting in the middle of that king size bed with trashy television playing in the background, I opened up the book and read about cultivating what matters. Per my previous post, her chapters are full of interruptions that ask the reader questions with the intention of having you think about how this dialogue applies to your own life. In this chapter, she asks you to consider what areas of your life need more opportunity to flourish, what are things that you want to start but have put off, and what are things that you consistently say “Yes!” to even though they don’t bring joy to your life. Because I was alone, I had a chance to let each question sit and simmer for a bit. As the answers came to me, I jotted them down on a notepad. It took me almost two hours to complete the chapter…and it was awesome.
Once I got home I taped the answers to the pages (I’m still not to the point that I can write in the book…don’t judge) and flipped through the pages once more. In true nerd style, I then took some of those answers and made a handout. I have probably looked at that handout a million times. There are some hard truths there – like the fact that Junior League wasn’t bringing me happiness. It felt more like a distraction rather than a blessing. I couldn’t be fully present or motivated because my heart felt like I should be doing something else. So, I quit. I said “No” and it created some serious guilt. I wrote that email a dozen times, carefully rereading each sentence to make sure that I didn’t place any blame on them, before sending it in a state of mild panic. But the truth is that I want to dedicate my energy to other areas of my life right now. And that is perfectly ok.
I’m going to keep writing on the note paper. I’m going to keep taping those pieces of paper to the pages, and when I am done with the book, I am going to pass it along to another woman. She will have all of my answers in front of her. Hopefully, it will provide her with some comfort, some reassurance that her own fears and concerns are shared. Maybe she will write her own answers in the margins (it won’t be my book at that point) so that the next woman she shares it with can be witness to our process. The thought of that makes my heart incredibly happy.
What is an area of your life that you need to spend more time on so that it can flourish? What is something in your life that you need to say “No!” to? What is stopping you from doing either?