Creating Space as Summer Ends and Fall Begins

As I wrote in the beginning of the summer, I planned to intentionally use the summer to make a new life for my new family of three.

The summer included many joys.  We completed a lot of our bucket list. We went to Disney.  The girls and I had many, many fun and good times.  We went swimming regularly.  We had playdates.  We got a new playroom and a totally awesome backyard for playing.  We went to the children’s museum.  We played with our cats.

I also made space for female friendships I desperately needed.  I grew closer to some of my many friends. I hired help to allow me to have time for desperately needed self care. I made significant progress in my own physical health through eating well and exercising.

I also created the peaceful environment that I desperately needed in our home.  I made a place in which I can actually live.  I also developed a routine and systems that I have never before had that logistically make my new life possible.

I also redid every single room in our house except the nursery.   Our home is now peaceful, airy, happy, and calm.

But there were many extremely difficult parts of this summer too.  It was the first five months of life without Duke Elliot.  Our family wanted and loved him so much.

It was also the time that I actually got my divorce legally finalized and the physical move done, which was a much more emotionally grueling process than I had envisioned.  And my dad continued to dramatically decline in his terminal illness.

It was basically a constant whirlwind of competing emotions.

This week in particular is an incredibly difficult week of grief for my family.

What my counselor told me today is, we have to make time to grieve, and we have to make time to feel joy.

Our culture is so go, go, go.  We hardly have time to feel anything at all.  But, we must make time for it all because the feelings will come out either through intentional practice or in some other less healthy way.

I had to use this summer as a time of work and transformation.  Out of a survival instinct, I had to do, do, do.  My house was in complete disarray, and I also needed my kids to feel okay in the new family situation.  I was constantly doing. Things at my house, things with the kids, etc.

But now the house and the divorce are settled.  My home is calm.

And now we are entering a new normal in my extended family.

I need time to feel.  To grieve.  And to take stock of the joys.

I need time to be still.

Just managing the day to day takes so much time, there is almost no time for the feelings.

For that reason, in this particular season, this autumn, I do not have a bucket list as I did this summer.

Now, is the time for me to be still.  For reflection, and reading, and living life in the new spaces.

There is major inevitable grief on the horizon with my dad.  But there is also joy on the horizon.  I am already planning my annual Halloween party and am fully decorated for fall.

My goal for this season is to slow down, be still, and live and breathe in each moment.  No huge plans.  No big goals.  My plan is, in the fast pace of soccer and dance, and my own exercise, and nightly dinners, and work, etc., to make sure I try my best to pause and savor and feel it all.

Because life is happening all around me at a very intense pace.  And I must be still and face it.  Grieve it.  Enjoy it. Live it. Savor it.

I have begun “the practice of yoga.”  I keep hearing the instructor say “lean in to those small spaces, and create space.”  It feels good, actually.  Physically, to lean in to a small space in your body and stretch and lengthen and create more space.

That is my goal for this fall season.  It is to create the space that I need to sit in and feel the grief and joys of my life.

2 thoughts on “Creating Space as Summer Ends and Fall Begins”

  1. Haley, I just finished reading your blogs and I am very impressed. Your are a very inspirational writer. I’m so very sorry about the loss of your dad. I didn’t know he had been ill. My thoughts and prayers to you and your family.

    1. Thank you so much, Carla. We have enjoyed reminiscing about my Dad the last week. We have all talked about when he went up there and kept painting the office over and over when Hannah was getting married. We also all remember laying in the dental chair and seeing both of your beautiful eyes over your masks. Thank you for the kind words. We are glad my dad is at peace now. He’s been pretty sick for the last couple of years. Thank you again.

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