My day begins with the beeping of the third snooze alarm going off at the exact time that I need to wake up my son for school. My coffee brews during the mad rush to get him fed, lunch packed, and out the door with my husband. As soon as they leave I turn to the sound of little feet on the stairs. My other son is awake and ready for breakfast. After getting him settled I notice my cold coffee on the counter. My coffee goes in the microwave to heat up and during that 30 seconds I hear the baby. Off I go to get her up and dressed and fed. . .
You can imagine the rush that is the rest of the day. Maybe it’s similar to yours with it’s surging stream of constant movement; the endless activity of social media, the nonstop yearning for more, and the perpetual state of productivity that we are expected to live up to.
Recognizing the Noise
I lived in the constant chaos for years, it didn’t matter how many kids I had at the time, it was always something.
After a trip to Kenya in 2012 I woke up to how busy I truly was and I craved change. I started devouring blogs on simple living and minimalism. My schedule and my stuff became overwhelming to me but in the midst of pregnancy and then the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn I didn’t take much action.
But I finally reached a breaking point. I could not handle three kids with this type of lifestyle and I was losing it both physically and mentally.
Learning to Live With Purpose
I was tired of mindlessly going through my days reacting to whatever was happening around me and wasting hours of time with things that didn’t really matter to me.
A few major things changed.
- I started waking up early and I have been successfully doing that for about 6 months (despite being a night owl before). I had to sacrifice staying up late, but it has been a wonderful adjustment. Now I enjoy hot coffee and prayer to better prepare myself for the day.
- I started ruthlessly getting rid of stuff everywhere I could. There is still room to get rid of things, but I think it would backfire and the rest of the family would become hoarders!
- I stepped away from the internet and social media. Not completely, but I am very aware of how much time I am on it and choose to limit myself. I’m also aware of the example I’m setting for my kids and didn’t want them to remember me being attached to my phone or computer for their whole childhood.
I still have many things I want to work on but small changes stick better than large ones. I’m choosing to be comfortable with where I am at, being thankful for the progress I’ve made and not overwhelming myself with everything I want to change.
Does Stitching Really Play a Role?
I started to realize why I looked forward to stitching at the end of the day. It relaxed me and brought me closer to the quiet I was craving.
The number one objection I hear when I tell people I stitch is that they don’t have the patience for that. I see it another way. It’s not about the finished project and maybe that’s what they think about when they say they aren’t patient enough.
It’s all about the process, it doesn’t matter when a project is finished or if it is ever finished really. Just picking up a stitching project and letting the repetition carry away the worries of the day is where I find the joy and peace. That is why I stitch. It helps me be still, allows me to process my day, and is an excuse to sit and rest.
A simple stitch kit can lead you to a lifestyle filled with white space. Filled with more joy and purpose and peace.
I am learning every single day how to live slow, to meander through my days like a softly bubbling stream instead of rushing through it like a thunderous overflowing river. It’s not easy, I feel like I’m swimming up stream against other people’s expectations and the flow of our culture, but it is worth it.
“If your life has no margin, no space for rest and reading and music and walks in the park, then you must cultivate that space on purpose and protect it from all the things that would threaten to choke it out.” ~Edie Wadsworth, lifeingraceblog.com
Do you need more margin in your day? What is one thing you can do to add some tomorrow?