When I chose my theme for the year, creating space, I did not expect that it would enter a trial by fire the very next day.
Silly, silly me.
We–my husband and I–have been ushered firmly into the “sandwich generation”. I’m writing this during a layover in Denver. Right now I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be going home, or what exactly I’ll find when I get to my destination…I just know I’m needed, and that I was able to create enough space in my life so I could do this.
We women are so often the caregivers, whether it’s for a child or a parent, or someone we love who simply needs more care and attention than others. Most of my experience has been on the kid side of this, and I’m incredibly grateful that all in all, my kids have been pretty healthy. But between what I’ve experienced and what I’ve seen others do, I suspect that caregiving in any form can become a very…constricting experience.
The space in our homes becomes dedicated to other people’s things, whether it’s toys or medical equipment or just other people’s mess. The flow of money becomes tighter. Careers might be left or narrowed or stopped. It’s harder to connect with friends. Time becomes scarce–free time becomes a joke.
If the walls are closing in, if the money’s so tight it’s strangling you, if your time is so crunched all you can do is put out the raging fires right in front of you…how are you supposed to breathe? Where is the space for you, for your creativity, for your skills, for your dreams?
My friends, this is a tough love moment: YOU are the only one who can change this for you. If you keep letting your space shrink smaller and smaller hoping someone or something will come along and rescue you…you’re going to run out of air.
I’m not suggesting we run away from the ones we love, or dump all the responsibilities we feel we own on the ground as we run off into the sunset like Thelma and Louise.
I’m simply saying that if you want more space in your life for the things you want to do, then you have got to start creating it. Start small–so tiny that you can’t even imagine it’s going to make a difference. Do one small thing that gives you a little more breathing room. Maybe it’s deciding on the very next meal now, and making it an easy one so you have a few more minutes to rest. Maybe it’s setting up a jar for change to start saving for your dreams. Maybe it’s training your little ones that when Mommy closes the bathroom door, it stays closed.
You know where your life is closing in on you. My challenge to you is to take one tiny step on one little thing to create a little more space in your own life.
You see, I believe that we women can create amazing change in this world–change that is desperately needed. But I know that until we have enough space in our lives to breathe, enough space to see who we are and what gifts we have, those changes are going to keep waiting.
You have something amazing for the world in you. Make a little space in your life so you can see what it is.