I seem to be in a season of slowing down. Not every day – but most days. I know I’m cramming too much into my day when I’m short with my kids and my husband. Or when I forget to pee. Well, I don’t really forget to pee – but you know what I’m talking about…you know you have to go but you hold it because someone’s asking for this and that and you just figure you’ll go later. That might be too much information for me to share but it’s the truth and it’s a personal red flag for me that I’m doing too much, I’m too busy, and my priorities are out of whack.
It might like different for you. What happens when you get too busy? Do you forget to do things? Do you lose sleep? What is it in your life that causes you to stop, look in the mirror and say, “I’m stressed out. I’m overwhelmed. I need to slow down.”
If you’ve been following me on Facebook you’ll notice that I’m traveling right now. I’m back in Massachusetts which is where I grew up. The kids are back in Arkansas with their dad and my mother-in-law and while I miss them, I am relishing and enjoying in the slowing down of my life this week. Things certainly move at a different pace when there aren’t any kids around. We took a drive through Heath yesterday and it’s one I’ll remember forever. My sister took the driver’s seat while my grandpa navigated from the passenger’s seat. Me and gram sat in the back of her Trailblazer and we both stared out our windows taking in the beauty of the country.
We had only intended to take a quick drive up to a family member’s house to take a look at the view from their barn but our excursion turned into a family history lesson that I could have never anticipated. Grandpa pointed to different one-room school houses along the way. He told us about who went where and who lived here and there. He told us about the red building where he started his job as a plumber and almost every home, business, and building he’d say, “Yep. I worked in that one too. I did the plumbing there.” It was a rare glimpse into his past and my grandpa, who is a man of very few words, talked more than I’d ever witnessed before. We wound up eating lunch out on the back deck of Charlemont Pizza. It was the first time and most likely the last, that the four of us had ever been out to eat together. Emotions started to whirl around in my heart and in my head.
Grandma looked over at me and said, “You having a good vacation, Meg?”
“Oh grandma, this is the best vacation I have ever had,” I squeaked out. And with that, I fell to pieces. The tears came without permission and I crumpled into her embrace. My sister moved her chair around to hold me and it was in her arms that I felt safe enough to let it all out. The reality of having grandparents who are undoubtedly, getting older right before our eyes is hard. I wanted to stop time yesterday. I really did.
Have you ever been so completely overwhelmed by an overflow of love? That’s my family. That’s me, out here, right now. It’s almost impossible for me to capture these moments when I have my children around me. They are my priority, of course, but this trip is an absolute reminder that I must be intentional about slowing down in the midst of raising toddlers. I don’t just want to save the bird watching, blackberry picking, and coffee morning chit-chats for once-a-year visits to Massachusetts. I want to take those traditions and bring them back home with me so that my children can taste a little bit of what it’s like to slow down and embrace rest.