Slow Living Update: February

Ah February.

Slow Living Isn’t Solo Living

If you read my first slow living update you know that January was a struggle. Things simply didn’t go as planned, but I learned something, so all was not lost. I learned something in February too, but a slightly different thing.

February was punctuated by our first honest vacation in a long time. It was way too short, but it was seriously wonderful. We spent five nights in Maui and fell in love. And then it was back to the daily grind in good old rainy, cold, grey Seattle.

Enough is Enough

By the week before we left for Hawaii I was finished. My stress levels were through the roof trying to potty train a puppy, manage a house, pack, work, rehab my horse, and probably some other things I’ve blocked from my mind. I think there might have been tears one night, but I’ve blocked that too. As you do. (No? Just me?)

Anyway, we handed our tiny puppy over to beloved friends, I asked for help with my beloved horse, and we left. I took the first step by getting away, asking for help from folks I trusted so I could go take care of myself for a few days.

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Know Your Limits

It turns out that I had hit my limit. And this is where slow living proves that we cannot in fact do it all. There was no way for me to do everything that “needed” to be done in January and still keep my sanity. There was no way I could keep doing everything that needed to be done and stay sane and happy.

Which is why we need a tribe. My people. Whatever you want to call it, community matters. It doesn’t just take a village to raise a child, it takes a village to keep any human being upright, healthy, and happy.

For us that meant beloved friends who cared for our puppy through a bout of illness, we came home to a house broken (they are saints, y’all, saints) healthy little boy.

For me that meant letting my barn mates know I needed help, and they stepped up, cheerfully and happily.

Super Woman Doesn’t Exist

For many of us the myth we’ve been sold is that we can be and do it all. But that is most decidedly not true. There aren’t enough hours in the day, nor do you have enough mental and emotional bandwidth to do everything. Something has to give, and if it’s something that must happen then it’s time to ask for help.

Maybe the most important thing for me this month has been the reminder that I am not Super Woman, I am not God, I can’t do it all. I do in fact need breaks with my sweetheart where I have absolutely zero responsibilities. We all need sometimes to hand our responsibilities to someone we trust and walk away, even for just a few minutes.

Going Forward

So I’ve made some changes. I’ve offloaded some of the critter care I am responsible for to others. I have intentionally asked my husband for help getting things done I would normally struggle through on my own. And I continue to give myself as much grace as I can when something falls through the cracks.

As I move into March I am setting a goal for myself to make time for physical training, I am out of shape and stressed which isn’t “slow” at all, it’s just sloppy. So, three days a week in the yoga studio. It’s good for me body, mind and spirit and setting that as a goal will require me to let other things go.

So there you have it, the slow living update for February and a spiritual practice for you to join me on in March: letting go the nonessential to make time for what we need.

Just a reminder, the planning tool I use to tackle this challenge is available for you all for free, download it and join me!

 

 

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