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The Next Right Thing

**Post originally written 13/4/2019**

This year I took in the bells propped up in bed feeding Ruby despite my big plans to sleep through the whole thing. I love Christmas, New Year I’m not so fussed about. Really that should have been my first clue as to how this year would pan out – I had made my plan and it was very quickly changed! Anyway, as I sat there feeding her, I thought how nice it was to be at the beginning of a year with no big agenda. The beginning of 2018 was more like a ticking time bomb – count down to May when Ruby would be born, swiftly followed by Ross leaving the Island for almost three months to train for his new job and Hamish starting nursery. Three big milestones for us. But not 2019, nope, we were just going to cruise along, maybe go on a wee holiday after Ross’s apprenticeship was done and that was it. Within two weeks we had pretty much decided we were going to put our house on the market and move to the other side of the island. Ok no big deal, there was no deadline on it, everything can still be easy-oasy….that’s enough for anyone to be getting on with for a year!

Oh by the way did I mention I’ve recently started my own business creating handmade earrings? I have an Etsy shop and everything! Turns out this is just the very tiny beginnings of a plan God downloaded to me in February. His plan is much bigger and really quite daunting. I’m so glad I had read ‘Big Magic’ before hand, so I responded differently to it than I might previously have. Before I would have basically said ‘Thanks, but try the next person’ #helloMoses but this time I didn’t want to let it go. Instead I said ‘Ok, show me how’. We’re still working that part out but for now, randomly, starting this jewellery business is my ‘next right thing’ to do. I’m pretty sure that as I was thinking about cruising along through this year on the 1st of January, if I had bothered to listen hard enough I probably would have heard God laugh. And laugh and laugh and laugh. I couldn’t even plan an hours worth of sleep, why did I think I had the rest of the year in hand?!

Do you have the courage? Do you have the courage to bring forth this work? The treasures that are inside you are hoping you will say yes… Jack Gilbert QUOTE FROM ‘BIG MAGIC’ BY ELIZABETH GILBERT

If you’ve read previous posts you’ll probably have noticed a departure from my usual format of checking in on my goals and then a lovely mind dump to round it all off. Well it’s basically mind dump all the way tonight. I’ve sat down a few times over the last couple of months to write the next post but my head has been all over the place. Sometimes it’s been brimming with ideas and excitement and nervousness and other times it’s been in such a place of overwhelm. Neither of these states of mind represent me for who I am most of the time so I’ve waited until now, where I have a bit of calm and can actually process everything a bit better and get out what it is I want to say rather than ugly cry in words or share something that’s not yet ready to be shared (i.e. the big plans. For now only a few people need to know them).

I started this blog off with the aim of becoming a better version of myself by incorporating different modes of self care into my daily and weekly routine – maintain my exercise habit, get back to reading, start cooking new recipes again etc. but as the demands of sick kids, back to work and new developmental stages with Ruby all kicked in at the same time, everything stopped and I just went into factory reset mode. Even as I tried to maintain my self care, that in itself became just another stress trigger so I did what I should have done ages ago – I gave myself a break. I was exhausted with the daily grind and run down so I had a few nights off from exercise. That was maybe three weeks ago now…possibly four. I’m now at the point where my body is craving it again but it might be yoga for a couple of weeks before going back to 80 Day Obsession. House work? well that one has been so so. I took two days off work to give myself space while the kids were at nursery/childminder but instead of relaxing I used it to do a mega house clean. I did manage to get 30 mins to sit with a book and a cuppa but the real joy that came from that is I created a space for me. My own ‘office’. We’ve lived in this house for almost seven years and a month after we decide we’re going to move, I finally make myself some space. Great timing as always but I now have a set up that can come with us and I can claim a corner of the new house right from the get go.

That office space that I was originally planning to use to write at has now become my wee work bench for my earrings.

That all started when one night I just wanted to do something, not to put a tick against a list but simply for the sake of doing it. So I dug around in my big craft chest that I’ve barely touched since Hamish came along (other than to make the odd felt shark card), found some old materials and tools I had for making jewellery back in the olden days when I had free time and just went for it. Didn’t really know what I was going to do but there were no rules or expectations so it was a really fun hour and a half! you can view the results of that night on my Instagram page Well that was enough to get the craving for creativity going again and the difference it made to my headspace was amazing. I realised just how badly I had missed creating stuff and it felt like another little bit of me was coming back to life. Not saying I was dead inside or anything like that but if any of you have seen Captain Underpants (oh yes, I am now a mum who compares her life to kids toilet humour movies – strangely i’m ok with that) then you know the bit towards the end where it’s just the little brains left struggling to make each other laugh? That’s kind of what had happened to my creativity. It’s fair to say that part of me has been well and truly nourished over the last couple of weeks.

We’re now half way through April and it’s taken me this long to realise that it’s fine for me to make plans so long as I keep a loose grip on them. I don’t need to seek anyone’s permission – it’s ok to change things up a bit and it’s ok to do nothing. If I had stuck rigidly to my checklist of goals then I would have missed out on everything I’ve done and made in the last three weeks. If I get a bit stuck or overwhelmed, it’s ok to close my eyes to the big picture and peek out just the tiniest bit so I can only see what the next baby step in front of me is.

If any of you are facing decision fatigue or like me need a wee bit of calm in your day to day hustle and bustle then I highly recommend you list to Emily P. Freeman’s podcast called ‘The Next Right Thing’. Yes I have named this blog post after it because it has had such a big influence on how I have approached life over the last couple of months. (I’ve even got her book on pre-order, it’s due out in the UK in May). So I now have a very busy year ahead and you know what, I love it. It’s a new challenge, a new purpose. I love being a mum and all that goes with it (puke and sleepless nights aside), I love my job and certainly won’t be giving that up any time soon but who can resist when God says ‘Hey come see what you think of this…’ If nothing more happens than I have a wee Etsy shop then that’s just fine with me…but if some other wheels click into motion then who knows what will happen!

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