This is not the post I had planned for today, but major renovations, hours spent sewing orders, big decisions being made in our family, and the holiday season have left me with a severe case of writer’s block and little time to sit down and write with a clear mind. I actually fell down the stairs last night and will be off my foot for the majority of the next two weeks, which forced me to slow down and finally gave me a chance to get some of my thoughts written out.
A few weeks ago, Carson and I sat down to talk about our goals for the next few years. We have some big dreams of investing in a rental property of some kind to use as passive income to save for Lincoln’s future—whether trade school or college or something else that the Lord calls him to. I remember sitting in our swivel rockers one evening after Lincoln went to bed, and I told Carson that I needed a new, very specific goal to save for—given I already have about eight that I’m trying to juggle. We are nearing the end of our major renovations on this house—there is still a lot to be done, but I often have a desire to move on to the next big thing.
We talked through different options, fixing up our shed to turn into a long-term rental, saving for a second house to flip or sell, selling our car to put toward a down payment on a new property. We really couldn’t decide what the best option was, and Carson said something along the lines of “I think we need to rest. I think we need to take the next six months to a year to get into a routine. To settle in to our new city. To get connected at church. To finish up some of the house projects we will do ourselves. To give Lincoln some consistency and to eliminate stress.”
It sounds nice, right? Well, it didn’t to me in that moment and I pushed back.
My top strength, according to Strengths Finder, is Achiever. I feel a constant drive to achieve—not for the money or recognition, but primarily for the pure satisfaction of feeling accomplished. Rest is not easy for me. It requires a lot more effort and energy than starting a new business or picking up a new hobby or setting some new lofty goal to try and obtain. I am addicted to achievement and accomplishment and checking things off of my list.
But, after taking some time to reflect, I knew Carson was right.
We have had very little consistency in the last year and a half. A layoff, move, living with family, house hunting in a crazy market, finding and renovating our dream house, and infertility. We are finally starting to feel settled, and my restless mind can’t stop thinking of what to do next.
Perhaps it’s a need for control. Perhaps it’s a love for taking on new challenges. Perhaps it is a little bit of both.
Regardless, we are consciously choosing to be okay with not planning out every detail of the next five years. To consume consciously and save wisely without a specific plan in mind. It goes against every fiber of my being, but I think we need this. A few months or even a year to truly settle into our home.
To live in the mundane. To paint the walls that need painting. To read books and rest. To go to bed early. To go on walks and make new friends and enjoy each day for what it is.
I write a lot on this space about my specific goals regarding homesteading, slow fashion, and sustainable living. But the thing is, burnout is real and even our best-made plans are not sustainable if we approach them vigorously with no wiggle-room for rest.
It’s hard, now. Living in a world where everyone’s life is accessible at the tip of our fingertips. To see what everyone else is doing and to fight the urge to feel like we are missing out.
But I am learning that there is something so sweet about the everyday. There is beauty in folding laundry and sweeping floors and painting walls and building a home with the people you love more than anything in this world.
So, if you need it—here’s your encouragement to slow down. To sit in the unknowns and to enjoy the present. To make room for cultivating creativity and rest and a haven of a home with the people you love. To know that you are not behind even if your story looks different than someone else’s. Because these days feel long but the years go by fast, and I don’t want to miss it all as I dream of what is to come.
Family photos taken by Katie Atteberry Photography.