I am a huge creature of habit. I like predictable. I need rhythm. I enjoy a routine. Honestly, if I had my way, I would stick to a pretty strict schedule.
I have always been this way. I need to know what comes next in my day or else I get very off balance. I work best when I do the same thing at the same time. I am easily thrown when something I did not plan for happens. It affects me deeply. Almost in a not-so-healthy-way.
My husband whines about how I need to lighten up, be flexible, and stop watching the clock. And to some degree, I have. Having a young child means you need to expect the unexpected…be prepared for all your plans to go out the window for the tiniest of reasons. It still doesn't mean I embraced it.
Last month something inside me shifted. It is one of the moments that is impossible to explain but we all have them. One minute you are going about life one way and the next minute things are upside down, inside out, but you come out the other side with a completely different world view.
I have been one tightly wound up ball of stress since the day I found out I was pregnant. And every day it got worse. I struggled with the unpredictability of motherhood more than words can ever illustrate. Even though my daughter and I have created some really wonderful daily, weekly, and monthly rhythms together, which kept BOTH is us grounded, it seems as though the last 3 years have been a constant struggle to maintain my sanity.
My life has been a rollercoaster ride for the past three years. While we all have ups and downs in life, it seems as if I was getting hit from all directions with something life altering every few weeks. It was horribly disruptive for me and it led to a lot of stress and anxiety.
I held so tightly to ANYTHING that resembled structure in my life. I clung to it fiercely. I rushed my daughter through her days so I could fall into the safety net of the anchor points in my schedule. The ones that felt safe and warm to me.
And then I read a blog post. A post which slapped me hard across the heart. A post which opened my eyes and made me realize that I had been completely wasting my life trying to stick to schedules, meet deadlines, and achieve perfection.
My daughter is almost five. In my primal need for order and predictability, I had begun to suck the joy of life right out of my daughter. I hurried her along constantly. I forget about the importance of allowing her to be little, to stop and smell the roses. I forgot to watch the little things in life instead of watching the time. I forgot how much spontaneity can feed the soul. I forgot to cherish NOW. I got lost in the future.
After reading that mindset changing post, the universe began to speak to me in other ways. Songs I had not heard in years where beckoning me to move away from structure and order. Articles and blog posts were digging deep into my soul – expanding my blossoming awareness that I was missing out on what mattered most in life. Even an innocent Christmas letter sent me a powerful message.
When Fox appears in your life as spirit animal, it encourages action and quick, swift moves. You may be called to take action in a way that shows your adaptability and ability to move quickly through obstacles and resistance.
That morning when Fox crossed my path and everything I had planned went wrong? I breathed. I breathed into it. I embraced the unexpected. I adapted. I seized the moment. I marveled at the happiness that poured out of my daughter as she saw me sit back, smile, and truly enjoy everything that was going wrong. I let go of my expectation. I let go of my schedule. I let go of that piece of me that was screaming for ORDER! I gave order the middle finger that day.
I felt powerful after that day. I felt like even though I had no control over that day, I was more in control than ever. I was in control of not feeling out of control. I was in control of living for the moment not what comes next on the list.
Owl spirit animals are symbolic of death in many traditions. In most cases however, it should not be taken literally: If the owl is associated with death, it can be viewed a symbolic death, meaning a transition in life, important changes that are taking place or about to happen. When the owl shows up in your life, pay attention to the winds of change. Perhaps you are about to leave some old habits, a situation that no longer serve you or bring something new in your life.
For me, the need for rhythm, routine, and predictability will ALWAYS be a part of my nature. But I will no longer let that need rule me. I won't let it suck me into a dark place that is impossible to get out of. Instead, I have committed to living for today. To embrace the moment. To let go of the uncertainty of the future. To stop planning for the what-ifs. To stop living my life by an endless list of to-dos.
While my typical day, week, or even month might not change much, the way I live it will.
(I wrote this post in early December and shortly after, all heck broke loose in my life. You can read more about it in My Tail Of Woe. However, through it all, I am somehow embracing the uncertainty of my upcoming struggle. I am managing to move with the sudden and life altering change. We'll see how it all plays out.)