I am back from my NYC trip, and I had a wonderful time. My husband and I agreed it was the least stressful trip we’ve had in recent times, even though I worked one day (and that didn’t even really feel like work because I enjoyed it so much). We were able to squeeze in quite a few visits with friends that we don’t get to see very often (we’re talking years between visits), some college friends of ours got to meet our son for the first time, and I felt a shift in my internal gears.
I have been feeling very stuck lately, trapped in our current schedule and life, feeling like we’re making great efforts without any progress, but really, who is defining that “progress”? Society? My perceptions of society? Regardless, I was beginning to slip into a bad mental state. My husband and I have so little time together due to our work schedules that we haven’t been able to reconnect deeply post-baby. My current job keeps dangling the carrot of eventual promotion in front of me at some future date. Money is tight, and food costs have recently gone up even as our paychecks have dipped with the reinstatement of the SSI tax. And we had to deal with our typical familial stress over the holidays (seriously, from both sides… there is never a stress free holiday except when we’re not spending it with family). The icing on the cake is, of course, I haven’t been able to create as much as I want, and I always get a little squirrely when that happens as that is my major stress release.
So… I’ve had several deep discussions in recent weeks with my husband, and we are making efforts to reconnect, setting aside time to just BE with each other every week. Sacred time that no job, no deadlines, and no family stress or obligations will come between (except of course for a sick child). We also talked through some ways we can better be handling our creative business and working towards more financial security. And that helped.
Seeing my friends this weekend helped, too. It amazes me that we have friends spread across the United States now, people who we can go years without seeing and yet who we love dearly and can easily slip back into our roles together when we do get the chance to see one another. We truly have a tribe of people, friends who we have chosen to be our family. And that is wonderful. Sad that we don’t get to see them frequently, but still, wonderful, and a notion that I cherish.
Part of the reason I have been stuck is because I’ve been set on living in one area of the country. We have recently opened ourselves up to living elsewhere, even if it means another cross country move, if it means a better schedule, financial stability, and the ability to push forward with creating the life we want to live. We want to decide SOON where we’re going to have a home base for the next ten or twenty years. The idea of living outside of the northeast was scary for me, but realizing that we do have a scattered tribe of people who want us to live near them, that are offering all kinds of ideas to get us close to them, makes me feel a little better. Yes, we may end up moving to a place where we don’t know anyone, and it may be harder to make friends as adults, but there are more people in the world that can be added to our tribe if we let them.
It’s interesting to think about our society today. I truly feel that we aren’t meant to be leading the rat-race lives that we’ve tied ourselves to, that many of our health issues are tied to our lifestyles. However, I’m not quite ready to go live off-grid or start a commune. It’s an interesting mental exercise to consider, but the logistics of following through are more than I could commit to, given my other creative goals. I do think that it’s vitally important for everyone to build their own tribes, though. No matter how widespread you are, or even whether or not you ever get to meet outside of the computer, it is necessary to be true to yourself and to build those soul connections with others.
As you can see, I’ve been digesting a lot since coming back from “the city”. It’s been a tumultuous couple of months emotionally, and I finally feel unstuck. Change is on the wind. It may not come where I expect it from, and it may not even make me particularly happy when it does come. But I know that change is coming, and at the very least, it will be interesting.