May-December: the discipline of letting go

This time a year ago we were dreaming big dreams. There were multiple dreams in play, and we didn’t know which ones would come to fruition, if any, and so we began them all at the same time. We desired to start a family. We desired to live more intentionally with our lives. We wanted to set ourselves on the path that would lead to a more simplified life where we could pursue our joys as a profession.

From that time of dreaming we began to work towards thinking about adding children to our lives, and we developed our Fast For a Year.

We began our Fast For a Year on January 1. We also found out that same day we were pregnant with our son. A little daunted we decided to try and continue both at the same time.

As you can see from the other posts from this year, our attempts were revised and revised as pregnancy slowly derailed what we thought we would accomplish. At first, we were resistant and disappointed that we weren’t holding to the goals we had set for ourselves. I gave up writing monthly posts because I didn’t want to keep reminding myself of the failures we were experiencing.

My busy, do-it-yourself, get-it-all-done attitude was scratched away one bit at a time, and then it came to a grinding halt with the birth of our son. To be painfully honest, our birth didn’t go as planned. I had to have surgery hours after giving birth. I lost too much blood, and I could hardly walk once we got home from the hospital. So there we were, with an infant to care for and me benched on the couch for the next few weeks.

It was hard. So, so hard.

We happen to be blessed with the most incredible community. Friends and family came. Food was gifted to us; our house was cleaned. I could rest and recover. We are so beyond grateful for each person who encouraged us and helped us through that first month of our son’s life.

We recovered. We started to figure out how to have a baby and continue on with life. We learned the art of letting go and being disciplined at the same time.

Crazy as it sounds, we are finding our feet with this tandem balance. It’s a dance where we temper our desires for each day by discerning what must be done, what could be done, and what we would like to do.

Some days we’re on fire, making the most of ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there, and incredible work is accomplished.

Some days we get “nothing” done, choosing instead to take care of our mental state and make the most of all the small moments with our little one.

In the rhythm that has been developing the last two months, we are finding ourselves start to naturally take on those goals we set on January 1st so long ago.

We are mindful of the food we consume. We are finding it even easier to give things away and simplify our spaces. We create very little waste and shop secondhand first. We are setting boundaries on our media times, and we Sabbath more than every before.

We are more productive with our precious minutes each day.

I will attribute much of our recent success to our son. We want to make our time and spaces intentional so we can best love him and our fellow human beings around the world.

So we exhale from what has been a topsy turvy year and collect ourselves to greet each new day with the discipline of letting go.