Good Morning from Newfoundland, Canada!
This will be the last blog post from THIS LBG Blog.
Today I am announcing that Live. Breathe. Grow. will be taking a 3 month break. You will not see any new products come from us – with the one exception of NJ Global Mala 2014 which is a commitment near and dear to my heart! I will not be selling tees. I will only be producing private label tees for current customers who have been printing with me within the past 6 months. *This will not effect LOVES IT. That part of the business will continue as is* I may be active on the LBG Facebook page depending on what comes up for me during this time.
I am detaching from the attachment of Live. Breathe. Grow. in it’s current form…to hopefully make room for what it is supposed to be in my today-life as a new mom.
If you would like to hear what brought me to this decision you can read my reflections below!
It is 6am in Newfoundland, Canada. Not only the place I will always call home, but also where I decided to take an impromptu trip this time last week. I live in New Jersey and have built my life there…my husband, my daughter, my business…but I am a Newfoundland girl and the majority of my family and life-long friends are still here. I made a promise to myself that I would come home every year and this was the first year that I was going to stay away. I . JUST. COULDN’T. DO IT. And if you were here you would know exactly why.
I love New Jersey. I love my life there with my family and friends. New Jersey is wonderful and beautiful in a completely different way. So different in fact… that I have a bit of a time adjusting to the significant change of pace and lifestyle when I land on Newfoundland soil. BUT HERE….it is amazing…beauty beyond compare. I remember that I LOVE the mountains, oceans (not the shore), trees… untouched beauty. I remember that I AM a mountain hiking, outdoor loving, nature-connected girl. In NJ that part of me is easy to forget.
My parents now do not even live in the town where I grew up. The have moved out to their cabin in the woods…where we have to drive to the nearest local
campsite to pay for showers…and we have to boil the water to do our dishes because we do not yet have running hot water. BUT WE DO NOW HAVE INTERNET! You may laugh but last year this time I made the very significant mistake of coming here for a month without internet access and it took a toll on my business, so this IS one thing I cannot live without in order to have my month long retreat!
It is no secret to many that I am a brand new mommy of a one year old. I live away from my family (in another country). I own and operate two of my own clothing companies AND my husband pretty much works 80-100 hours a week. Until Layla was born we both were pretty much certified work-a-holics. And we were completely happy being that way. I loved my work so I didn’t really recognize the extent to which I was bound. And because I was busy I definitely did not realize the extent to which my husband IS bound.
BABY CHANGED EVERYTHING!
I have spent the better part of every day this past year feeling stressed, inadequate and guilty about almost everything. I am a work from home mom with a one year old, no child care and a husband who WORKS, WORKS and WORKS. I am not unique…but this is my story and to me it has been a life altering experience.
I wasn’t prepared. They say nobody is. You can’t be. But somehow I keep telling myself I should have been just a little bit more aware…I have a Masters degree in Psychology and have worked from a place of self-reflection and awareness for years. Well…that went out the window in a hurry and I have had no idea how to get a piece of it back.
One day I want to put Layla in day care and concentrate on my business. The next I want to quit everything and be a full time mom. And so it goes…over and over. I get told weekly that I am “so lucky that you get to stay home with your baby AND work”. Please do not ever say that to a woman who is in my position. I have taken my daughter on appointments with clients and breastfed her in their office while we are discussing t-shirt details. I have had her bang on my computer keys while I am trying to send an important email. I have had to call my husband home from his busy job in order to deliver t-shirts on time and have been stressed out every second of the drive because I need to get home before she goes to bed so I can nurse her. There are many more but you get the drift. And I won’t even touch the mommy guilt about sitting right in front of her and not being able to engage with her because some number of issues has come up and I have to deal with it immediately even though we were in the middle of playing and now I am forced to put on a movie so she will stay in one spot while I email, call and handle it.
But I digress…kind of.
Here I am…in Newfoundland…my peaceful place. And I have been asking myself… what is going on with me? Why do I keep choosing busy? Why do I keep choosing to be busier and busier? Why have I not managed my time and commitments better? Why didn’t I downscale my business when I had a baby instead of growing?
The simple answer is that I LOVE what I do. My business has been like my baby until Layla came along. Now it’s a toddler competing for mommy’s attention. Except that it’s not a toddler. I can make choices to grow, shift, change… I can do whatever I want. Can’t I?
The more complicated answer. I have not been able to let go. I have been afraid to shift and change. Who am I without the identity of my business because I poured my heart and soul into it? Will I be “just” Layla’s mommy? And if I am, what is wrong with that? What does that mean? My ENTIRE life I dedicated myself to my work…In making my mark on the world through my work. And I love it. I thrive…except when I don’t…which has been for the past 13 months…because of that beautiful little being that came into our lives just ready and waiting to learn about the world. Because of that FOREVER decision I made to be a mommy. And boy did I lose myself quickly and intensely with my new role. I have been semi-aware of it. Sometimes I feel like I am watching someone else’s life unfold. I do not recognize myself.
I know life will never be the same. And I do not want it to be the same. However, I do know that it is time to start making decisions from a self-loving place so that I can become the family woman and mommy that I want to be. Right now the choices I am making are not providing space for that.
A friend recently recited a quote from Alannis Morisette to me and I won’t get it right but it goes something like this. “Raising children is the highest form of activism in this world”. It has been rolling around in my mind for months and I cannot stop thinking about it.
So. Here, in Newfoundland, I have had my first opportunity in a year to quiet my mind and truly go inside to find my guide. I pretty much had a feeling of what I would find there…I think I have known for a while but have been too afraid to face it.
I am doing too much. I am not healthy physically or emotionally. I am diluting the energy and effort I have for my business and my baby…but most importantly for ME! Yes ME. As they say on airplanes…If I do not put my own face mask on first on the plane how am I supposed to be of help to anyone else? (I took 3 planes to get here so that is the freshest analogy in my mind). My health has suffered. My marriage has been strained. I have made mistakes in my business that I have never made before. I have compromised my version of how I want to be a mother. I am not proud of what I am doing. I am not striving to be the busiest mom alive so people can say “Oh My Goodness I don’t know how you do it”. I know it is possible to juggle many many balls. I know it is possible to do it all…but I don’t want to. AND IT IS ALL UNNECESSARY for me!!
As a woman, I feel that having the options to do anything has morphed into the pressure to do everything…BUT That is a whole separate blog post.
Today I am finally brave enough to make a different choice. I don’t know what that choice is yet. But it starts with a single step. That single step is to make room for change!
Thank you so much for reading, listening, understanding and holding me in light with you!