I am so flipping tired. I feel like I did when I had a newborn baby. I can't think clearly, my body is sore and weak, my skin is horrible, the circles under my eyes are deep and dark; I'm emotional and slightly anxious and I'm definitely not getting enough water, food or sleep. The only things missing are engorged, leaky breasts and a mushy baby. Alas, in reality I have three active, strong-willed, too smart children and two weeks until we move from Allen, Texas back to Yarmouth, Maine.
In the last eight weeks I've overseen multiple remodeling projects (one of which didn't go smoothly AT ALL and will resume this Friday), painted into the wee hours of the night, organized/purged, staged, shown, and sold my house. We also got hit with the flu, strep, some other random stomach bug and flew to Maine and back to house hunt. I know, I know, champagne problems, but this is MY reality friends. It's really almost unfathomable to me how much my husband and I were able to accomplish while also working and keeping up with our three children's activities (thank you sweet friends). However, here we are tired and also happy because we're the one's responsible for this beautiful mess. We chose to move back to Maine fully knowing the chaos it would bring. And, luckily we're fortunate enough to make it happen as comfortably as you possibly can which I refuse to take for granted. So yeah, while I'm bone tired and feeling slightly insane, I'm also feeling so much joy and gratitude.
There have been times in my life when I was exhausted but felt no joy and no gratitude. It was an exhaustion stemming from living a life with no direction or purpose. I would often say to my then boyfriend, now husband: "there has got to be more to life than this." I was "sick and tired of being sick and tired". But I couldn't see a way out because technically I was doing all the right things. We owned multiple properties, had full time jobs, paid our bills, had a great social life and eventually got married and started having babies. I should have been happy! The problem was that I was living someone else's version of a happy life. I hadn't taken the time to work on myself, clarify my dreams or challenge the status quo. I was just kind of wandering through life, playing it as safe possible. I also had no sense of how truly blessed I was to have all that I had; I just knew that I wanted more.
I feel so incredibly empowered to say that I'm not that kind of tired now and doubt that I ever will be again. I'm fully in charge of the changes happening in my life and committed to fighting tooth and nail to create the best possible life for me and my family. Jody Moore, host of the "Better Than Happy" podcast, open's each episode with this phrase: "living an extraordinary life is not easy or comfortable, it's so much better than that." I couldn't agree more! As stated in previous blog posts, I don't regret my family's move to Texas and I'm also not one bit upset over the work it's taking to get back to Maine. My heart is so full of gratitude for the people and experiences that have filled my life over the last three years. I have done things and connected with people that I could never have imagined. AND, if I hadn't moved to Texas I'm not sure that I could have truly appreciated my life in Maine. It's the classic "you don't know what you've got til it's gone". Additionally, the move has helped me to become more confident and self-assured than I have ever been. So yeah, I'm tired. But I'm flipping HAPPY tired!
I'm not sure when it hit me that I was simultaneously physically exhausted and elated aka "happy tired". It's like I'm basically a hot mess, but bubbling with joy and excitement over so much hope and possibility. Back to the newborn analogy...Everything in you is screaming "you can't do this, abort", but there's still one piece of you that is grateful and brave enough to get you out the door to the grocery store. When you get to the grocery store you realize you're leaking breast milk and your infant is screaming, BUT you are out of the house! Win! In this case you decide to uproot your family and move across the country only to realize that you can't get up the driveway of your rental home in your two-wheel drive vehicle. BUT, you made it to Maine! Win! (Yep, when I went to Maine to house hunt I checked out the rental and the driveway was a hilly ice skating rink. Well, it's on the ocean so who wants to leave anyway?! Win!)
In all seriousness, the real joy stems from an inner voice that arrives when you begin to make choices that are "not easy or comfortable". And that joy that's created reinforces the power of knowing who you are, what you want and the relentless pursuit of honoring that truth. I hope you'll experience many "happy tired" moments throughout your life. It's "so much better" than just being plain, old tired.
There's a Song for That: Girl on Fire, Alicia Keys
*While writing this I couldn't help but think of my expats and also women who suffer from post-partum depression. It is not my intention to minimize your experiences in any way. Love to all of you xoxo.*