Picture me as a great big ball of energy…..when I head to a conference, I think it seeps from my pores. I’m smiling, I’m nervous, I’m jumpy….I can’t wait to pounce, to bounce, to hug, to jump, and to LEARN.
I figure, on some level, every person there is smarter than me….everyone has something to teach me.
But something about TypeAMom was different.
Because I am different.
It wasn’t until I was there…..Until I hugged…Until I laughed…until I LISTENED that I started to figure out just WHAT is different.
I am off-balance.
It is as though I am wearing one super high heel and one flip flop. Like being on the high end of a see-saw and waiting for the other person to push off. Or get off.
But I realized something. Something about that very see-saw.
It shouldn’t be about someone else pushing off or getting off. My balance should be all about me.
At TypeAMom, I realized I had forgotten how to breathe. I have been doing and doing and doing. I have been dog-paddling my way through my days – just keeping my snout above water but not making great strides. I have been making lists and managing life. I have been doing laundry and making dinner, I have been handling carpools, packing and unpacking for trips, writing posts and editing videos. I have been drowning under the weight of a full inbox, stressing about deadlines I should be able to control, saying ‘yes’ when I should be saying ‘no’, losing sight of my goals, passing over my passions and forgetting to breathe. Even as I sit here writing I find myself holding my breath. The very notion of sharing this with you makes my lungs feel tight.
You know who I am? I’m the girl who, from the outside, appears fine…..her kitchen counters are clean, no dishes in the sink, no clutter on the bed side table but DAMN don’t look under the bed or in the kitchen drawers.
Underneath it all, I’m cluttered and chaotic. I’ve just been getting by.
And really? Really? It isn’t good enough.
When was the last time you took a deep breath?
Do it with me. Right now.
I can thank my friend Ria for reminding me to fill my lungs. Not only does she talk me down when I’m walking a tight-rope of mental chaos, but there is something in her demeanor that makes me pause, that stops the clock and says, “Danielle, it’s time….breathe.” I hope you met her last weekend or had the chance to hear her during her ‘How to Lose the Mommy Guilt‘ session.
I can also thank this group of amazing women for surrounding me with goodness – for helping me let my hair down, inspiring me to make faces, to JUMP and to ride the elephant (I’m talking to you, Alli). Because every moment I spent with them helped me to center, reminded me of what is important in my daily life, in this crazy work life and in the ‘me’ I am choosing to be.
I am better for having them around.
But I didn’t realize it would be the heart, the soul, the love, the laughter, the beauty, the joy and all of the new and wonderful friends that would make me feel right about my place in the world again.
Thank you, friends……for teaching me to breathe again.
Today, my tightrope feels a bit wider, my dog paddling feels a bit stronger and I’m clearing some of the chaos.
(and thank you, to my friend Alli.…for taking these pictures and letting me swipe them….)