Less than 5 weeks to go until we welcome Baby Ralph III into our family – assuming everything goes exactly according to plan. There have been plenty of moments of worry leading up to this point.
How much time off work did I save?
What kind of car will hold 3 car seats?
Could we really do this again? The sleepless nights, the tiny diapers, the baby gear?
Will we all be okay?
(Okay, in all honesty, there are still plenty of these moments.)
The truth is, this is just a big ball of uncertainty. I have no idea what it’s all actually going to look like, and even if I do happen to do all the right things, there’s no guarantee that things will go exactly according to my plans.
This might not be easy 🙂
During those uncertain moments of change in your life, you might also question whether you’ll be able to rise to the occasion.
Will you be strong enough? Tough enough? Wise enough?
Will you be okay?
At work or home, we all have those questions. What am I supposed to do with my life? Do I have the right balance? Am I doing enough to keep my family healthy, happy, and safe?
And of course, with yourself, there’s the question of if you’re enough and if you’ll figure all of this out.
As I mentioned last week, this month at A Year of Happy is about bringing in EASE. Ease is definitely something I’ve thought about during this transition period, and what I’ve noticed is it doesn’t need to be easy to bring a sense of ease.
Easy is that trip to the mall where you made it out without any whining. It’s green lights all the way to work, one-pot recipes, and that glorious Saturday morning when the kids sleep in.
Easy is doing something simple and letting it be simple, those serendipitous moments and happy accidents, and yes, easy is also sometimes that shortcut you can take.
Ease is something different. It’s a you thing, not a what happens to you thing.
Ease comes from knowing you’ll be okay no matter what, even if things don’t look at all like the way you’d planned. It comes with releasing expectations for how all of this should look and finding that opening of acceptance where you start to meet things as they are.
Ease comes from facing a tough situation with courage, trust, curiosity, and maybe even a little sense of humor…one baby step at a time. Whether that’s your bedtime routine or trying to find a quiet place in the house to get a little work done, you can make the microadjustments that help it go a little more smoothly, and give yourself a little room to breathe through it.
That means that ease is releasing some of that attachment to how things turn out. Be attached to what matters to you. Make a point of having an actual conversation at the dinner table, plan those family outings, detox and declutter where you can, but also let go of the attachment to it turning out exactly one way.
Because ease comes with allowing there to be space for imperfection – in yourself, in your family, and in your circumstances. You, your partner, your children, and your family are a glorious, majestic, beautifully complicated HUMANS. And humans are so naturally imperfect. So, insert a little ease into your relationships with those imperfect humans in your life.
And as for how things turn out? Well, we don’t always have a say in that.
You could do all the right things and things still might not look the way you wanted them to. You could have the most detailed planner and still be running late to swim class. You could have your bedtime routine planned to the second and still struggle to get enough sleep.
(Besides, where’s the fun of a routine planned to the second?)
Ease is realizing that you already have so much of what you want or need in life. And in those moments when all you’re asking for is 3 minutes without hearing “mom,” and it really feels like you’ll never get it, have gratitude for the fact that nothing is permanent. This will change.
Ease is what we do with stress or pain. Meet stress or pain with compassion. Shift your mindset from I need to do it all to I can only do what I can do (and it’s okay to get help), especially when you’re sick, exhausted, or going through a tough time or big change.
Do you still challenge yourself? Yes.
Give it your best shot? Of course.
But always begin from a place of honoring where you are and what you need right now.
Ease happens in those precious few moments of solitude. It comes from the stories we tell ourselves about the past, present, and future.
Ease comes with self-care and little moments of joy – because you’re worth it. Period.
Ease is knowing where your energy is needed most while also remembering to save a little for yourself. It’s remembering that you’re allowed to say no and set boundaries. You have the right to cut out unnecessary or unfulfilling to-dos and leave a little space for flexibility.
But maybe most important of all, ease comes from allowing there to be ease.
There needs to be room for LIVING in all of this. If life can’t even happen without messing everything up, then maybe everything needed to be taken apart and put back together anyway.
Honestly, sometimes I rebel against easy. Isn’t that the easy way out? Shouldn’t I tough it out or find something to improve?
Finding ease can bring us to that guilty place of not doing enough, but here’s what I’ve realized about the whole thing: bringing ease has nothing to do with how easy or hard a situation is. It has nothing to do with whether you’re doing enough. Because ease is a you thing.
So right now, with <5 weeks to go, here’s how I’m going to bring the ease:
I’m going to allow there to be space for change and imperfection. Space to pivot and even change my mind about everything I planned if I want. I’m going to get clear on what needs my energy the most, and that would be my spirit, my body, and my family.
I will approach this next season with gratitude that I already have so much of what I want out of life, the resources to go out and create the life I want for my family, and acceptance that even if none of this goes perfectly, we’ll all be okay.
That is how I’ll be bringing the ease.
How can you bring ease into your life right now?
Ready to insert more ease into your life? Take the EASE Inventory and bring back the energy, appreciation, self-compassion, and enthusiasm. Find it in the Free Library.