Recently, I've been trying to focus more intentionally on three things: writing, knitting/crafting, and parenting (not necessarily in that order). And it is hard. Although these things have been a part of my life for varying degrees of "a while" now, I've been fairly laid back about them, partly because trying is more difficult than just letting things happen and working with what you get, and also because sometimes you fail. These things freak me out. I'm scared of getting so wrapped up in perfectionism that I take another extended blogging hiatus. I'm afraid of ruining my wrists and coming to hate knitting. And I am terrified of regretting overly ambitious and stringent parenting 20 years from now. Combine this fear with the normal resistance that I'm running into as I try to be more purposeful about goals and methods in these areas, and it is making my head spin. And that is where the real struggle comes in.
It's normal for me to think, when I am tired, discombobulated, internally dizzy, that there must be something wrong. Surely there is something that I have to change in order to feel again the security and peace of internal equilibrium. Maybe, I think, I'm not focusing my priorities correctly; maybe I'm getting my relationships wrong; maybe there's some undiscovered sin in all of this. In a lot of previous battles this is where I would have pulled back, certain that something this uncomfortable couldn't be right. I'm slowly learning, however, that sometimes - like now - I feel tired, discombobulated, and internally dizzy not because something's wrong, but because I am growing. I'm being stretched, and pushed. I'm entering a new mini-phase in my life, and I'm not yet quite certain how to handle the attendant successes, failures, and tensions. As tempting as it is, then, to retreat a little bit, to surrender even my ever-so-slightly elevated expectations, I'm going to try living with some tension, a little bit of mess. Instead of bowing out, I'll take a break, ice up some sprains, and keep moving struggling.