Sunday, March 9, 2014

Living With More Intention

I am writing this from my birthday present to me – a brand new, shiny lap top! I’m a little nervous, because it’s the first non-Toshiba lap top I have ever owned, but it’s a touchscreen, so that’s fun! My old lap top, which turns five in about a month, has served me well, but the screen turns colors or completely black when the computer is wobbled. No good. So I decided that this was a perfect gift for me, considering all the new plans I’m making for my final year in the 30’s.
 
In less than two weeks, I will turn 39. That’s one year until 40. I’m not afraid of turning 40, but I do have a lot of things I want to get done in the next year. For one, my poor blog has been totally neglected. It’s been months since I’ve actually typed or posted anything, even though I have all of these things roaming around in my head.
 
I’ve spent the last several months finding out answers that have led me searching for more. At the end of the summer, I was diagnosed as ADHD. It cleared up a lot of things for me and kind of put me on a clearer path. Since my diagnosis and finally understanding what was going on with me – that I wasn’t broken – I feel much more focused and confident than I have in a long time. Then, before Christmas, my daughter was also diagnosed with ADHD. To finally have the diagnoses was both scary and good, because it meant we could get her help. The medicine has been helping a lot, and she’s been talking to a counselor just to make sure she understands what’s going on, and to possibly help her learn how to handle certain overwhelming situations. Anything we can do to help her be more successful and happy, we’re all for it. It’s definitely a learning process, trying to figure it all out, but I’m hopeful we figured it out early enough that with trial and error, and a lot of support, it will just be part of her by the time she gets into the older grades.
 
Aside from all of that, I guess you could say I’ve been doing a lot of “soul searching.” I’ve been reading a lot more. About faith, about minimalism, living with intention, being more present and in the moment…things that are becoming increasingly more important to me. I feel like it all started with the trip to New York City last May. It opened my eyes to all that’s out there. The people, the adventure, the experiences, the possibilities… And the visit to Hillsong Church NYC was amazing and life changing and uplifting and awakened in me a desire to explore my faith more.
 
But upon returning back home, a lot of that inspiration, motivation and the awakening that I experienced while visiting NYC was stifled with all of the stuff I came back to – increasing insecurity, anxiety and frustration (mainly at work) that I truly feel was magnified 10x because of my ADHD. There was also the feeling that something was off inside of me…I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do, I was feeling inadequate and restless and I wasn’t sure where I was going. Things have calmed down since the diagnosis, and also a relocation of the office I work in that wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. And now that we’ve got a bit of a handle on what’s going on with our daughter, I’ve been focusing a lot on myself and our life as a family.
 
About a month ago, thanks to an Instagram post by Kelle Hampton (ETST), I discovered Tsh Oxenreider’s book “Notes From a Blue Bike, The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World.” It’s the first book I’ve actually finished in quite a while and I was so inspired by it. It made me want to travel, to spend more time doing quality things as family, to explore, and to cook and bake more (among many other things). But maybe more important than all of that are things that I can’t quite explain. The things I feel but I can’t quite put into words – yet. The inspiration and stirring in my soul.  The things that have me very excited about the journey I plan to take. I can’t wait until the warmer temps are finally here to stay, when we can go exploring, playing, seeking out new experiences, writing our own stories.
 
Reading Tsh’s book has led me to seeking out similar stories, finding more inspiration on how to better myself and enrich our lives. I’m having fun with it! I’m sure it will be one of those books I read over and over again.
 
So through all of this I have created what I hope to be our new family “moto”, if you will, and it’s simple:
 
"Life is about relationships and experiences."
 
“Stuff” is great, and can be fun, and it can even enrich those relationships and experiences. But in the end, you can’t take it with you. When your kids are sitting with you at your bedside, at the end of your life, they aren’t going to say, “Remember that time you bought me that thing-a-ma-jig?” Or, “Remember when you let me play that video game? That was a great moment!”
 
No, the memories that will be relieved – that will be most important – are the hours spent in the car heading to a vacation destination, the ACTUAL vacation destination, the weekly movie or game nights, trips to the zoo or the park, the dinners spent at the table, the bed time rituals…
 
So I will try to remember that with every decision I make. I will try to be more intentional with my time. I will try to make the moments count more. I am constantly learning and loving what I’m discovering about the world and myself, and I’m hopeful that all of this will lead me in more enjoyment and love of the little things.

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