Day 4 - Surrendering
"The process of creativity is one of surrounding, not control." - Julia Cameron
Surrender is a difficult thing, especially for women like me. It feels often like giving up, or accepting unwanted conditions, because "that's just how things are." Loss of control is scary. Unpredictability is scary.
Today I did not get my nap time. I danced around a toddler that refused to cooperate, refused to stay in one spot, refused to sleep, while phone calls came in and paperwork piled up and every toy that was placed in a box was flung back onto the carpet. Crayons found their way to the walls and blocks fell over the deck railing onto the grass below. Colourful chaos everywhere.
So instead of battling with the opening sentence of a cover letter for another hour (its amazing how long it takes to construct a meaningful paragraph when constantly distracted by pant pulling), I got out the paints. Because why fight it? Because colourful chaos is an opportunity - its art in the making, both literal and figurative, in that "life" sense of the word. Lucy wanted to create, to collaborate, and when the waves roll you ride them.
Surrendering to the conditions of the day proved not only much less stressful, but fruitful as well. Somehow, by not pushing through when things just weren't working, things got done, and more efficiently than they would have if I didn't just go with it.
I released our female fish into the lake. For weeks, I've been losing sleep over what to do about our burgeoning guppy population. Weeks. Major, major stress. And then I let it go. Dirty fish tank or not, our too-many-fish problem just had to be what it was. There just wasn't any space in my life to allow it to stress me out so much. And as soon as I let it go, Violet said "Mommy, why don't we take some of our fish and let them go in the lake. I think they would like it better there." And suddenly, my fear of having to give away my daughter's precious pets, or massacre them when she wasn't looking and make up a really good story, disappeared. She solved the problem on her own. And when she cheered as all of those tiny baby-bearing fish spread out into the water, it occurred to me that perhaps I don't really know very much about how the universe works - how things work out, or not - but that surrendering my attempts at control might be the most productive thing I can do to just let things do their thing.
Things are always working out, whether I've got them written on my Mommy calendar or not. Today surrender was the key. Maybe I'll just try that again tomorrow.