Updated: Apr 20, 2022
She felt productive, fully and completely satisfied with her simple life. A day that started maybe a bit earlier than she liked and was nearly always following a night with too little sleep, but one that opened slowly with a warm breakfast and hot coffee. Each meal made by hand, by her, recipes made on the fly never to be entirely duplicated again. A day layered with the comings and goings of her three busy daughters, failed naps, bursts of laughter, waves of sadness, mediocre attempts at homeschooling, identifying a new bug, tending a scraped knee, refereeing a fight, making up a game, washing bodies and braiding hair. The sound of hammering and an electric saw in the garage, a new creation coming into form. And then life being shared, a husband and wife, both in the centre of their home, experiencing different aspects. Passing the baby back and forth, trading off the nights and the naps, sharing the load. An endless cycle of laundry, meals, cleaning, childminding, schooling. Homemaking.
In the heat of rocking Edie in the night or trying one more time at her nap or feeling the pit of anxiety in my stomach as we face whatever the night holds I think what is the point of any of this? Gracie is scared and can’t get to sleep, it’s not just this 200 year old house we’re living in, she’s been feeling this way since March. Lily is her room companion and they’re trading off who gives us a hard time each night. Edie is a strong contender in the fight against sleep, she’s been winning since August. Or well maybe she’s always been winning. It doesn’t matter, again it feels like what is the point of any of this?
The point is that all of this is what makes a life worth living, a life on purpose. My days are my own, well alright they are slightly determined by the whims and moods of three fierce girls, but overall I answer to no one. It is completely simplistic. It is utterly basic. I sometimes long for the life I had that was buzzing with activity, travelling constantly for work, talking on stages, meeting new people, earning a fat income. It felt like I was capable and I was changing lives. But then here’s the other thing, I also love my life now. My very little small life, with playdates where I bake pumpkin chocolate chip loaf or peach crumble muffins, where I dream up garden beds and always keep homemade stock in the freezer. I feel immensely productive and I’m definitely forming lives here. How can I marry both?
I am so tired I can hardly catch my breath sometimes and yet I stand outside in the late September heat, the wind blowing my frizzed hair about my face, all three girls chasing each other and falling into a heap of giggles and shrieks and my breath is taken away by how deeply grateful I am. My mind is restless trying to think “what’s next” now that THE MOVE has been checked off the list, instantly my bad habit of over analyzing believes something needs to fill the void. It always turns to the notion of work, something that has nearly ceased to exist since Edie came along. With her birth a great pause began, my work now is in these tiny spare moments that I can find and they are few and far between. I long to be back in full-blown creation mode but I know I just cannot do it. I feel like I’m only half operational in a sense, I love to work and yet everything else in my life is overpowering my abilities. But when I stop to just be in my life I am struck by the perfection of it all. My life is a mess and it’s also layered with such joy. “Follow your bliss, when you’re in alignment with your joy your true purpose surfaces.” My wise friend Laura reminded me of this as we chatted, as I joked about how if I could only monetize the art of homemaking I’d never worry over finances another day in my life.
Where do I find the brightest spots of joy? It is in my interaction with my coaching clients, yes, when I hear them strike upon the discovery that’s been lying in wait for them to find. It is when I work with a client in my wellness business and hear them overcome a health concern, indeed. But I’ve been hardly operating in either of those modalities for some time, sigh. Now it’s mostly in the domestic daze that I’ve built my life around. The cycle I described above, it’s where I find my bliss, it’s where I find myself. And in writing of course, any creative pursuit will always hold my heart.
I’m re-reading A Course In Miracles Made Easy and I consider the question, how easy can my life be? What a departure from what our culture blares at us from all platforms at all times of the day! If it’s easy, it isn’t worth it. Work should be hard. Work doesn’t need to be enjoyed. Money is our greatest reward. Imagine all of that was just some trumped up lie that we were born into to perpetuate the sadistic desires of some machine.
Often I dream of having a porch-side café, a simple daily menu that sells out each day by 11am. Or maybe I pack up bespoke picnics complete with bouquets of wild flowers and bottles of wine. Perhaps I have a tiny little trailer that has been adorably painted and I sell whatever I might have made that day — muffins, soup, pickles, a few pair of earrings? How do I bottle up the smell of fresh baked pie paired with perfectly brewed coffee blended with the knowing that this was created with deep reverence and love, from my heart to yours? That’s what I’m selling. Hmmm, so many dreams.
I’m open to a conversation about this because now I am curious — if I believe, which I do, that by tuning into that which brings us our most joy, that which makes us feel most authentically like ourselves, is what will ultimately lead us to our most fulfilling and rewarding work, then what work am I meant to do? How do I turn my love for making a home, for creating a space for togetherness in my family, for creating beauty, for nesting, for cooking, into a viable business? Is there a way to capitalize on domesticity?
Can I monetize that glory of homemaking, the ease of slow living, intentional parenting? More shall be revealed!
And more so, in the absence of making money from it, can I love it anyway? Yes, undoubtedly yes. It just sure would be convenient to have my life actually be my work. I hope you’ve found a way to balance this for yourself, share with us, what is your life’s work?