Benefits I've Noticed from Slowing Down

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I can't tell you how nice it's been narrowing my focus to our home and family these last few days. I feel like I have space to breathe. I cleaned the house yesterday! Man did it need a good once-over. I started an "Out" box where I randomly throw stuff we're not using. I returned lots and lots of things to their proper spot. It's amazing how many things get stashed in random places that make no sense (remote control on the bathroom counter anyone?), all because I was too in a rush/distracted/lazy to put them back where they belonged. I banished the kids' toys/books/stuffed animals/clothes/balls back to their room. I started a mixed recycling basket out of an extra laundry basket we had. It's shameful how much recyclable stuff wasn't getting recycled because we had no place to put it. It's even more ridiculous how easy it is to start a mixed recycling basket. It consists of getting a laundry basket and sticking it outside. I've been meaning to do it for WEEKS but didn't until yesterday. I've managed to keep up with the dishes. I'm almost caught up on laundry. I vacuumed the entire house. The best part about my cleaning frenzy,  is that it wasn't a frenzy. It was like a cleaning stroll because that's the only thing I gave myself to work on, and I didn't really have a set list. I just kept seeing things I wanted to do so I did it, slowly so I didn't break sweat (and at this time of year, I'm pretty much always sweaty). When I got tired I stopped. I even had time to feed Leo by hand. I usually just put a plate in front of her and watch her scatter her food all over the house because we don't have a high chair (but we will tomorrow!). I worked on dinner fairly early. And, oh yeah...I journaled in the middle of the day.

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 On Monday I had to take Leo to the doctor (she got a weird skin infection but it's going away now) and it was nice to be able to focus on JUST taking care of her.

This morning after dropping everyone off at school/work I came home, changed into workout clothes, stuck Leo in the stroller and jogged down to the park which, because it was 8:30am was completely empty. I let Leo run around a big field while I ran sprints (I was a sprinter back in the day and I still love it so much more than jogging. Jogging = bleh). We came home, showered, and I put her to sleep. And now I'm writing this blog post in daylight. That NEVER happens.

Why am I telling you all this? Honestly I don't really know. It's certainly not to impress you. These are all things I should be doing but wasn't because my life was too centered around my various business activities. I think I had fallen into the trap of giving the pursuit of money (not to get rich mind you, just to get on better financial footing) a higher value than the other responsibilities in my life like making sure home is a nice place to be, or taking time out to exercise and make decent food. Those non-monetary things are more important than we realize, and contribute vastly to living a rich life.

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My head is still mulling over business ideas, but now I really want to protect this space I've made for myself. I don't want to sacrifice it for money. My sanity and happiness is worth more than that, so whatever I do has to fit into the lifestyle I want. I don't want a successful business so later I can have my ideal lifestyle. That may never happen. Now my plan is to have my ideal lifestyle today and if I can, create a business that fits in and around that lifestyle without disrupting it. Fortunately my ideal lifestyle is not expensive so I can :)

This morning I read Courtney Carver's excellent post about being more aware of what sucks our energy and what gives us life. She recommends taking notice of these things by listing them down, which I will be doing once I finish this post, and then to reclaim our power over these things by doing more of what we love, letting to of the things we truly can't control and recognizing that our demons aren't real, they're just thoughts that we can control. I highly recommend that you read it if you're battling negative thoughts.

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That post to me, is just further confirmation that taking these steps has been beneficial. Since noticing and stepping away from all the business stress I put myself under, I've felt so much better. It truly was a major stressor and energy zapper and needs to be re-imagined. As I've been experiencing these changes over the last few days (and thinking about these things with Keola for months AND months) I've begun to accept that building a life around what we love and creating space to care for ourselves and our home and our families is vital.

Is there something in your life that's taking up too mental/emotional/physical space? What would life be like if you pulled back the reigns on it, or let it go completely?