As I pulled the covers up over my shoulders and turned to my husband to chat, I felt a wash of relief come over me.
“We don’t have to push so hard to accomplish everything by June 1st do we?”
“No,” he said. “This is supposed to be about reprioritizing our lives, not driving us crazy.”
Up until this point I had been going about a million miles per hour. Many mornings I was up at 5am. Often I went to be around midnight.
During the day I was trying to squeeze in health coaching, practicing violin, teaching, gigging, picking the kids up from school, taking them to music lessons, cooking supper and being home with an 18 month old all while our garage was being ripped apart and redone to possible get our house ready to sell. Oh and I forgot to mention my laundry was over-flowing, I was selling things on craigslist to clear out our house and was keeping up with our on-line businesses.
To say I was stressed out, was an understatement…
I tried to keep it all together. I took deep breaths.
I reminded myself that my life is really quite great – we are healthy and safe and that we have more then most people on the planet, but when a real estate agent came into our lawn as I was raking up the leaves, I found myself just finishing reprimanding my son for not helping fast enough.
As I turned to her, she mentioned that she heard we were possibly selling and that she already had someone interested. (This was the same day that someone e-mailed us saying they knew someone that wanted to rent our house.)
It took me a few more days to realize that I had put my body and mind (and possibly the rest of the family) on alert. A normally calm person, I was starting to treat everything like an emergency.
“We are leaving in just over 2 months!!” I kept telling the kids and my husband. “We have to keep moving forward or we will never get ready.”
But the other night, as I lay awake in bed, I had time to think and realized that the most important aspect of Project Gap Year is not that we physically leave our house June 1st, but rather the most important reason that we are taking a Gap Year is to take steps every day to create the life (and schedule) that we want to live, verses just talking about it.
It is the steps that are important, not the actual day. Sure, I would still like to leave by June 1st, but I realized that you can’t overhaul your life in 5 months. It takes time. And a little bravery.
You don’t wake up one day and your life is different.
You take steps on you knew path, somedays you run, other days it’s baby steps, but they all matter.
Anyone can say they want change in their lives, but it takes guts to actually do it.
It takes A LOT of guts.
Changing your routine, your habits isn’t easy. It’s sometimes nerve-wracking and overwhelming. A few hours before we sent a letter to the students in our music studio that we were taking a year off and hired new teachers in place, I was physically sick. I was nervous.
Yet as soon as we sent the e-mail I felt a huge weight lift off of my shoulders. I felt like I was finally being me for the first time since I was in college because I was keeping true to myself and my family. I felt lighter. I felt like a bunch of doors just opened.
And indeed they did.
In January, things started falling into place so easily for our Gap Year. Opportunities suddenly became visible. Our perfect housing in Sydney, Australia became an option. Everything was working.
But then I started adding pressure. I started feeling like everything had to get done on this timeline. A timeline that we created. A timeline that was just a timeline and nothing else. A timeline that I had somehow turned into an emergency.
As I created that pressure, things started slowing down. Not the pace of life (I was crazy busy), but the opportunities. It was like all these great opportunities were waiting on hold until I got my head on straight.
I’m not sure if you have noticed this in your life before or not…
Life has this way of presenting itself when you are ready. Not just physically ready, but emotionally ready.
We’ve probably all seen it when others missed opportunities because they were so engrossed in something they didn’t even notice it.
And we can probably assume that the same thing happens for us.
I was talking to someone the other day about stress. It is such a funny thing.
Stress isn’t something that others apply to us. Stress is something we apply to ourselves.
In a weird sort of way, stress is a choice.
So then the question becomes…
Do you want stress to be a part of your daily life?
Let me know in the comments below if this post was a lightbulb moment for you and what you plan on doing to reduce the amount of stress you place on yourself on a daily basis.