Instant gratification sounds pretty appealing to me these days. As in, "let me snap my fingers and this long, arduous project at work will be complete and the house will be clean and painting the walls will be finished and oh yes, all of my boxes will be unpacked, too." Wouldn't that be nice?
And since I last wrote in this here blog, I've moved into my partner's (err, fiancé's!) home, become a fur mom and a stepmom of sorts, started the early stages of planning our wedding, and gone on our first family vacation to Northern Michigan. So yes, the sprint continues and it feels nearly endless. We still need to offload old furniture and rearrange what's left, unpack the better part of my belongings, renovate the kitchen and potentially the bathroom, consider putting an addition onto the house, landscape the yard, and actually get married. It's no surprise that I want some instant gratification in my life - let's get this show on the road already!
But in my heart of hearts I prefer the slower pursuits in life - I tend to my vegetable and herb garden; I prefer to cook from scratch (proof: there is a pot of dried beans simmering on my stovetop as I type); I knit sweaters and hats and socks at often a glacial pace. It's all because I enjoy the process - gathering the necessary tools, setting forth on a well-planned project, seeing the fruits of my labor unfold, learning from my missteps.
Even so, I'm still anxious to jump ahead with all of these huge tasks, despite knowing that my life, much like my craft practice, is a work in progress. This season is full, but messy and imperfect, so my goal is to find small ways to be present and have gratitude. Some ways I'm doing that thus far?
- Making good coffee and skyr with fruit at home in the mornings instead of eating a rushed breakfast at my office
- Taking small breaks in between tasks when I'm tidying the house
- Sitting on the porch in the evenings to read or enjoy a glass of wine
- Listening to podcasts while knitting
- Taking my partner for early morning breakfast dates to our favorite coffee shop or the farmer's market
- Going for long walks or taking a spin in our new canoe
- Cooking wholesome meals for our family and trying out new recipes
It's easy to think that I can "finish" my life in some meaningful way by reaching an important milestone or by making a bold change, but it keeps moving onward and there will always be new challenges to face. Since I too am a work in progress, I can only hope that presence and slow living will help me to savor this time of transition and serve as a reminder that this life is beautiful even when it feels incomplete.