This was last summer. On a day much like today. Hot. A million degrees hot. And we were just here for a couple of days before heading back to TN, back into the bubble with no oxygen. This day - we felt like time travelers. The lake was an alternate universe. The water had magical powers that erased who we were and made us into super heroes. We didn't mind the heat. We were thankful for every detail - brimming over with gratefulness. And my tears - they blended right in.
When things become heavy, and the oxygen begins to disappear - I know it's time to take a trip. To a place where technology is not allowed. To a place where the water, and the music, and the wind - are woven into stories that bind my heart back together. Where time is fed by deep, slow breaths, and the sun runs on giggles. Where blessings are listed in depth - and whispered prayers are spoken all day long.
I've learned my lesson. I know - that I need to go there weekly. I NEED to be valued, nurtured, and taken care of. Mondays are my saving grace. The day that I allow myself to be off. The day that the newsfeed is turned off. The day I don't answer the phone. The day the emails can wait. The day I focus on me. My family. My home. And just be present. The day that I allow myself to work on projects that fuel my creativity. And nurture my spirit. The day that I plan menus, do intensive home studies with the girls, catch up on laundry, or call my grandmother. The day I sit - and stare out the window. The day we blow bubbles. Or go on an adventure. The day where music plays - all day long. The day we build memories. The day we build our "home." The legacies my girls take with them have nothing to do with how many likes I have on facebook. Or how many comments I get on a blog post. But they have everything to do with the quality of the moments I spend listening. Intently. With my full, undivided attention. And that connection - the strength in that bond - is like nothing else.
Mondays have been creeping into the rest of the week. I've committed myself to giving each and every task at hand - my full attention. And I can genuinely say - that has made all the difference. I accomplish more. I can work more efficiently. I build better relationships. I can go to bed at a reasonable hour. My girls - they trust that I will give them equal attention, so they don't have a problem waiting their turn... AND they sleep better.
Before incorporating Mondays, it had been 2 months since I had picked up the camera to photograph my own family in any way. Can you imagine? Those big blue eyes - the long blonde hair - and the handsome man who loves them... There was a list - in my head - of things I dreamed of doing, one day. The person I would be, if only... But I have been crossing at least one thing off that list - that is now on paper - every week.
In the last few months, I've separated myself more from the pressure of competing with social media. I love to share - and post - and pin - but I love even more the time I get back not worrying about the response those posts will receive. Here is my secret - we (yes, the girls, too!) go for a run as soon as I post something. Exercise, self-control, separation from the refresh button, and time to think. Many things crossed off the list at once. I've also turned the alerts off on my phone. Whatever I'm doing - has my undivided attention. Entirely.
There is still so much more to be done, I know. But I've had so many people ask me how I do it all - homeschooling, running a business from home, and my passionate adventures with food.
This is how.
The gift of Mondays.
Giving myself permission to be valued, and valuing each of you the same way.
So thank you - for coming here - for hearing my words - and for connecting with me.
I encourage you - insistantly - to take a Monday. And be still. Be thankful. Listen. Enjoy life slowly. And watch the blessings unfold arround you.