“Should”s, “Could”s and Nooks, Oh My!

Life is juggling. Sometimes there are many balls in the air, rotating, demanding your attention: kids, work, love, family, friends, church, exercise, volunteering, quiet times, following your dreams, building an ADU (more on that later)… can you relate, even a little? It scares me a bit to let one ball drop, throwing all else off. “Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!” I feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. A tornado swirls about.

And when the holidays hit, you toss in extra balls and somehow, keep it going: Christmas cards, holiday parties, masking to not get sick, mourning loved ones past, celebrating what makes living beautiful… So I feel the pressure. I feel the guilt of wanting to do it all, really well and failing often. In my good moments, I realize that this is simply how it is. Some people can handle more. Good for them! Some people, like me, will never have a clean and organized house. And I’m at peace with this. I can only do things at my speed. But the guilt still creeps in from time to time. I should be cooking. I should be writing. I should be helping… The “should”s are dangerous if not kept in check. So as I’ve heard in the past, I will try to stop “shoulding” on myself. It’s a constant battle within.

To handle the “down times,” I celebrate the small wins… or maybe a big one for me these days, we are done building our ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit or back house/granny flat…) Turning our garage into a fully-functioning, stand-alone house has taken about a year and a half from looking for a contractor and setting permits in motion with our city, to having the last appliance delivered.

Bonus: I get a writing nook where the shed used to be. It’s a separate room where my husband, Mike, can also use as an office when he needs. But it’s mostly my space for creativity; and it’s perfect! In the last few months especially, a lot of my waking hours have been spent researching, buying, and decorating for the ADU (including the nook.) There’s a wall of grass/straw wallpaper, modern asian decor in the main house and bamboo decals on yellowish/mustard painted walls with all my story inspiring decor in the nook.

For the main unit, I used the motto from the movie “Field of Dreams.” “If you build it, he will come.” Or in my case, “If we build it, she will come.” My mom, almost 80 and healthier than many 50-year-olds (including myself) is perfectly happy on her own. But I am thinking of the future. Things happen as you age and selfishly, I want to spend the rest of the best years with those I adore, close to me in proximity, like mom. It’s been 8 years since dad passed away, so now seems as good of a time as any to have her closer. And finally, she has agreed.

So with this huge project checked off, more have flooded in: moving mom, moving all my late father’s viewing stone art (more on this in another post because it works its way into my writing all the time) and rewriting my novel (for the 4th time,) among other things. It’s all good stuff, so no complaining here. But even good things can become overwhelming. So like in anything, it’s one step at a time. Breath. Prioritize God and people.

Now, I pause – not because I can, but because I must. There is good in each day. I’m absorbing that truth. I’m choosing to see it that way (though the “hard” is still wildly out there.) My eldest is back from college for winter break. My younger one just got his 3rd degree black belt. My husband has a job. We are done with our ADU. I have a writing nook. There are loving people in my life. Now I’m juggling the things I’m thankful for in my head… Oh my!

Happy Holidays! May this season bring thoughts of thanksgiving to the forefront of your mind.

Please share: How is life hectic for you and/or what are you are choosing to to be thankful for?

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