Well, after a night of insomnia (I haven’t had it this bad in a really long time) that actually was pretty productive and thoughtful, I realize that I need space in my life. I need space in my home (I’ve been cleaning up the piles that have been building up over the last few weeks of busyness, but my garage is a huge mess of stuff that needs to be cleared out, sorted through and lots of it probably needs to go. I also have started to panic (a full 10 months early) about Bean going to kindergarten next year. I don’t know how we are going to do it. I need space in my schedule to get her to school and back each day (and right now I don’t even know when that will be – morning? afternoon?), five days a week. With my travel schedule, we often have been gone on Fridays, but that will have to end. I will have to go to tournaments late I guess. Everything is so up in the air, it is tough. In addition, I need space in our budget for emergencies. We’ve been making it these past few months (barely), but if something big were to arise we would be in a $%^@storm!
So, I’m committing myself to creating space. Space for myself to do thing I want to do (need to do?). Space for my daughter to have my undivided attention and engagement. Space for us to live without tripping over stuff or piling stuff up constantly. I just spent about two hours cleaning in the garage today and started to notice that many of the things I was moving/organizing were the same things I moved/organized a couple of months ago and again a few months before that. There is not enough space for it all, so it inevitably starts to pile up everywhere and then needs to be sorted out and reorganized every few months. I’m tired of it. Space in our budgets for emergencies. It will mean cutting back even further on spending. I’ve been much better about grocery spending the past few months. But, I spend a lot of frivolous money on small things for Bean and myself sometimes, thinking “it is only a few dollars”. But a few times of spending a few dollars each week and four weeks in a month and it starts to pile up. Plus we had the $1000 vet bill last month for the dog and we have car issues which means we’ve been renting a car a couple of days every two weeks or so and that also starts to add up quickly. It is all just too much. Finally, and this is a big one for me, space for me to rest and relax and recover each week. I am constantly feeling on the edge of a break down – physically or mentally – and I can’t do that anymore. So, I need space to do things that allow me to rest, relax and regroup. Yoga maybe – I can do that at home in the morning with the TV. A day of nothing being scheduled each week. Just doing what I want to do that day. And I need time alone each week. I love my daughter dearly, but living life where I’m either with her or working gets to be too much. I had Thursday mornings this semester without her, but I often scheduled things during that time because it was my “morning off”. Instead of viewing that as time to fill, I need to view that as sacred space.
That last phrase is really starting to come into focus for me. Sacred space. Space that is holy, hallowed, allows connection with God, blessed. That is what I need more of in my life. Right now, my space is simply utilitarian. And sometimes it doesn’t even meet the most basic of those utilitarian needs, so really my space is non-existent in many ways. I have no boundaries for my space. So, when something arises or someone calls or my husband asks me to do something, I simply do it. I don’t even think about it. I know my work schedule and I am protective of that, but beyond that, my time is your time. My space is your space (in a literal sense often – today as I was cleaning out the garage a bit, I realized that my friend who stayed with us two summers ago now – so a full year and a half ago she stayed here for about five months because she didn’t have money to pay rent – and her vacuum cleaner and her golf clubs are in our garage. There is also a full rubbermaid tub of her stuff in our guest room closet. And I loaded a full-size shopping bag full of her stuff about five months ago when I cleaned out part of the guest room closet. Nothing is sacred here. There are no boundaries. My space is everyone’s space. This. must. change.
So, I’m going to work on purposeful boundary control. I am going to ask her to come and get her stuff (she has been living with someone else here in town ever since moving out of here and has never offered to pick up her stuff). I am going to establish my sacred space on the calendar each week and when people ask if I am available, I am going to say no. If they ask what I’m doing, I am going to say that I am providing myself with some sacred space. We’ll see how that goes.
So, there it is. A different way of saying the same thing I’ve been saying, but maybe this rhetorical change will make the difference for me.