20
Oct

Left Neglected

"I have had my head down, barreling a thousand miles an hour, wearing the flesh of each day down to the bone, pointed down one road toward a single goal."

In NY, the seasons have changed. Everyone is writing about how fall is a reminder of how beautiful it can be to let things go. How shedding your weight and letting a part of you go doesn't mean an end, but a different phase of life. But when left-neglected, you don't see it as clearly. You don't see the entire picture and you roll your eyes at people stopping to take it all in. Until you too enter this phase, until you too start to take in all that is happening and start to put the full picture together. As a family, we are all entering this new phase and it is with great beauty that we are stipping what has always been there. All that we have ever ever known. All that we have ever shared, all of it is about to change and be stripped away.

And the truth is, although I am tired and done, I really do love my life. I love my current life. I love what I have done, what I have been able to do, what I have been given the opportunity to do. I really do love the work I have been doing. I really do love the mission I was working for. I really do love my office and the environment. I have loved the pace. I have loved the commitment, my commitment. I love big ideas and the capacity. I have loved the amount I have had to dig down. I have loved those that I have met, those that get it, those that understand why. I was good at it, I was comfortable there, and I will miss this. I will miss this part of me, this work. I will miss this life.

"I walk down the long hallway, slower than I ever have, and feel like I've come home. The predictable order of offices as I pass by, the framed aerial photographs of major world cities on the walls, the lighting, the carpeting, all feel inviting and comfortable in their familiarity."

Not only am I scared of what this will all mean for us and our future, but I am also scared of what this will all mean to me. To who I am. To who I want to become, to what I stand for. To what I now believe in. To letting go and finding beauty. Because when left neglected, I didn't see things so fully. I didn't see me fully. It was as if I was seeing just half of the full picture. And now I have to find myself in you and the life we can create without all of this. All of this busy. Time-consuming busy. Busy to be busy kind of busy. Who will I now be without all of this weighing me down? What kind of mother will that make me? What kind of life will we now lead? What will we do and what will it mean for us from this day on? How much of my old life will I miss? How much will I rely on my old ways and keep leaning into them but it feels so comforting to live there? So familiar, so logical and productive.

"I miss my life here - the fast pace, the high intensity, contributing to something important...being effective."

But, I broke up with myself once before. I faced a fear that was bigger and more of a commitment than I have ever in my life made. I became your mom. And I had to change. I had to become something brand new. And for a few years, I had to get lost in the fog of you until I came out the other side...me but different. I'm still in here though. I'm just different and different things are important to me now. But my foundation, my me-ness is still right there. It's time to once again be lost but found in a new me, a new us, a new life, a new phase.

It's time to linger, to really really be there for you. To really find new joy. To find new meaning, new purpose. "You're still a good person, even if you don't run a life-changing agency, you're still a good person." But it's time to find out what good I can continue to bring to this world. It's time to find out what being committed to this new life means for me.

"For the first time in almost a decade, I stopped barreling a thousand miles an hour down that road. Everything stopped. And although much of the past four months have been a painful and terrifying experience, it has given me a chance to lift my head up and have a look around."

And when I looked up, I saw all of you. I saw a little girl reaching for me and wanting to be close. I saw an active boy that wants to play and then play some more. I saw a smiling puppy who loves to cuddle and run and feel loved. I saw a husband that doesn't need my stress, doesn't need my tension, just needs to be reminded of how hard we are all trying and how good it feels to be together. I saw a family we created. One I most likely have left neglected, one I didn't see as clearly as I needed to. One I didn't smile at as much I should have. I didn't see the full picture yet, I didn't stop to see how it was all changing.

So last night, you slept in my bed, a little scared from a bad dream. I looked at your long lashes and eyes as big as dad's. I saw my mouth, I saw you calm and I felt your breathing. No matter how old you both get, there is something so soothing, calming and loving about watching your children sleep. And I was overwhelmed by the gratitude for the life we picked.

"And I'm starting to wonder. What else is there? Maybe success can be something else, and maybe there's another way to get there. Maybe there's a different road for me with a more reasonable speed limit. Whether it's because I can't, I'm too afraid, something inside me has changed and wants something different, or a complex blend of all three. I can't say but I don't want to go back. I don't want to go back to that life. The same intuition that led me to you, is leading me somewhere else. And I trust it. I'm not going back."

I said a quiet prayer of thank you and a louder apology. In these years of little, there were moments I almost lost all of this. There were moments of busy that could have made us a statistic. There are countless times I have been careless with the responsibility I have in your safety and protection...too busy to do one thing at a time. So I said I was sorry for being so rushed. I said I was sorry for not taking this as seriously as I should and taking stupid parts too seriously. I said sorry to you feeling like you were left neglected. I said sorry to myself for being left neglected. I said thank you for babies I was so scared to have. I said thank you for a husband that believed we should. I said thank you for a husband that made me feel that I could with him leading this part. I said thank you for a family that never gives up and always comes back to us. I said thank you for Cole's energy and heart and even his ability to cry as easily as he does. I said thank you for Anna's mind, how deliberate she is, and even her ability to be stubborn.

I am going to trust my instinct on this new life in front of us and I am not going back. I won't leave us neglected.

18
Oct

Five Minute Friday - active

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on active.

Since I can remember, I have been on the run. Going going going under I'm gone. Running from something, from someone, from myself. Never wanting to sit idol...always something to do. Always something else to get to. Always go go go. And recently, the universe has been screaming at me to stop. Just stop. Shut up, sit down, calm yourself and just stop. Being active and busy, put your badge of honor away, no one cares.

So, I'm done. Well, trying to be done. Trying to find my new normal of done but still me. Finding new ways to find joy. So universe, I, once again, am listening. Like when you called a book to me about a crazed family with too much on their plate until the mom gets into a serious car accident and has brain damage and can't be left alone and therefore has to put busy aside. Like the people that I am randomly meeting with that tell me things like, "no one is that busy...everyone just needs to calm down and shut up". Like the woman I met last week who over a cup of coffee and in a matter of minutes said to me "Sabrina, you're a good person...with or without running an incredible agency that does good. You're still a good person. And even if you do not work yourself to the bone, you're still a good person. Even if you find your new normal, you're still a good person. Even if you're not active, all of the damn time...you're a good person. Just find your joy now.

So, I have hung my training shoes and am taking long and gorgeous runs with my puppy. I am not worried about the mileage of next week, having to add on. No longer worried about the time but taking in the beauty of fall in NY. I am swimming to keep myself able to swim, not worried about having to do an open water swim soon, because I won't. I am going to go for walks with my daughter and my son. Walk in the quiet and walk in the cold. I am going to try meditation, because we all know how much I now need my mind to rest too.

I'm listening and finding ways to be me without all the activity.

Stop.

13
Oct

Emotions

It's clear that I am one big puddle of emotions. Most times mom is laughing so hard she is crying, scared and therefore crying, so proud she is crying, heartbroken and crying, upset and really angry and crying. And now I see how much I have passed that on to you. I see how your voice starts to shake, and how you don't want to, but it's right there, right at your fingertips so you can't help it...it's going to spill out. Or, how you might not care at all if it is spilling out, because you are so okay with crying, and so okay with having this, what to everyone around us thinks, is an over-reaction...but to us, it just is.

I'm not going to lie, it's hard kiddos. It's embarrassing, it's a lot, it takes over all of the time. It doesn't go away, it doesn't get better, it just comes and comes and comes. Now, there are times you can control it a little more than others. There are times you can push it down a little. There are times you can be a grownup and say, I can make this statement without crying, I can do this. But most times, you succumb to it, you can't resist the pressure that is building inside of you.

But, it also comes with a heart that is full. A heart that carries with it those that you love. A heart that really feels for others, even those you don't know. A heart that can't get over things and let things be swept under the rug. A heart that protects. A heart that is loyal. A heart that loves, just loves, loves so hard that it can't stop. Loves so hard that it won't let anything happen to those that you love. A heart that will stand with and by those that you love and lead with that one organ. A heart that is worn on the outside of your body all of the time. Imagine a world in which we all lead with our hearts...sopping messes we would all be yes, but imagine how much we would all take care of each other.

So yeah, we're emotional. We are. There are times that we are seen as really immature, really childish. Now, for you, you are kids so it's still okay. But even getting up there in years, it's starting to grate on those around you, myself included. But, I also very much get it. Frustration, anger, happiness, joy, love, fear, every emotion flows out of our eyes. It's something you will want to change about yourself a million times over. It's something you will wish away, but remember, it also comes with so much good. So much love. So much kindness. So much to give. So much to hold. So much that is trusted with your heart. We are the ones that others come to because we are reliable, we are good listeners, we are loving souls. So what if we cry?

6
Oct

It's always darkest before the dawn

It's one of life's little secrets. Something that when you are going through it, it's impossible to remember. And having anyone remind you doesn't help, trusting that it's true doesn't help, but eventually seeing the sun on the horizon, you'll always get that.

It was last year when I heard this line in a song that I adore and out of nowhere, I started to cry. 2018 was really hard for your mom lovies. Really really hard and really really trying and really really out there for me. My mind stopped working and I couldn't get a grip and I was drowning. Everything felt dark and then, something happened. Something woke me up and I realized that I can see the sun and the light and I can be okay. But, I had to hit the darkest hour first. It's always darkest before the dawn.

In 2019, I decided to really embrace change. Really lean into all the changes that I was trying to make happen around me and instead, I called changed into every area of my life and I felt like I was going to crumble. Since change feels like a loss to me, and everything was changing, I felt like I was losing it all. My head hurt, my body was aching, my exhaustion really took over. Once again, it all felt so dark and so lonely and so scary. See, as true as this line is and as much as it really represents life, it is so hard to remember it when you are in your darkest hour, or to try and figure out when you have reached it. It's really hard to figure out if you are moments away from sunrise or if the night is just starting to settle in. Because when you are feeling this lost, sullen, alone, scared, empty, exhausted, shaky, unsure, nothing is clear. Expressions like, tomorrow is another day, or you did the best you could, or even it's always darkest before the dawn...they don't help. It's so difficult to imagine the dawn and the sun rising and the light and warmth hitting your face.

Until it does.

Because eventually, the sun does rise again, things start to shake out. Obstacles are overcome, problems are figured out, or they aren't. No matter what, time moves us forward and the world keeps going. And then, out of nowhere, joy finds its way back home to you. And you realize it's morning again, it's time to remember who you are and get back to being you.

So, it happens lovies. There are days that bleed into weeks and sometimes months when it seems so dark. I will hold your hand through it, I will allow you to sit with it and eventually you will see on your own that tomorrow does come. But it's always darkest before the dawn.

4
Oct

Five Minute Friday - listen

Every Friday we unite for five minutes. Only five minutes, that's all we get, that's all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on listen.

Go.

Lovies, mom isn't a very wu-wu person, I live much more in the practical. But over the last several years, I have stopped to really listen to the universe and figure out what it is trying to tell me. Or what it is trying to protect me from. Or what it is asking me to let go, or get over. Or what it is asking me to pay attention to. So, maybe that's wu-wu, maybe it's getting older, maybe it's setting up priorities and owning my life more, maybe it's giving up control and realizing I'm not in charge anyway, maybe I have been talking for so long that it's finally time to listen.

So, I am taking in the sounds of rain. I am watching the fall season land in NY with all of its glory. I am listening to my intuition tell me something is off. I am listening to you talk more, really connecting with you several times a day and listening all about your day. I am listening to what is important to you, right now and today vs yesterday. I am listening to our puppy when she is asking to be paid attention to or be run and played with. I am listening to my body when it is telling me it is tired. I am listening to my mind when it is telling me the same. I am listening to my feet, legs, arms, and muscles when they are telling me to stop fighting and running and climbing and pushing...instead, just take it in.

In my year of change, I have spent time listening to you universe. I am still a little rocky, shakey, and unsure of all you are trying to tell me. I am still trying to figure out if this is you talking or life just being life. I am still trying to figure out if I need to back off or show up harder. I am still trying to figure out how to be okay without being the tightly wound me. I am still trying to put it all together.

But lovies, I hear you too. I see the change in you when I changed. I see how much stronger we are, how little tension there is, how much more loving we can be. I see that you too needed to be heard and were asking me to listen and pay attention. I see that I needed to regroup, restructure and reprioritize. I'm listening lovies, I'm going to continue to do so.

Stop.

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