The In-Between State
Updated: Feb 20, 2019
When we feel that life is on pause, time seems to move slower. Instead of rushing to our next success, can we sit with what’s directly in front of us?
I took a giant career break when I had my children. Not only did my attention shift from cultivating my dreams to caring for my kids, but for a while I straight up didn’t have the time or energy to get out there and hustle in the same way I had before.
My business really slowed and for an ambitious woman, this was hard. I would look on social media and watch other women in my profession seem to pass me by. I had lunch with a young makeup artist friend of mine who excitedly shared about her burgeoning
success. She was becoming a social media personality and was named as a spokesperson by Clinique, the makeup company. And she had just been hired by a media outlet to create makeup and travel videos. She was clearly on a roll and I told her so! She looked at me and said, “Yeah, you know what it was like back when you were killing it.” Ouch. Clearly I wasn’t “killing it” anymore.
I was genuinely happy for my friend. She’s so sweet. How could I not be? But her comment stung and left me deflated all day, until something happened that sparked a light bulb in me.
My youngest daughter Freja had been sick that week with a bad cold and it was pretty miserable all around. She couldn’t sleep at night because she was all stuffed up and coughy and she was a crankmonster during the day because she was tired. Luckily my mother-in-law was visiting so she could help out, but we were all still beat. It was like having a newborn in the house again!
Of course, I had all sorts of creative plans that week to get my own mojo going: shooting some videos, writing my weekly newsletter.
Luckily my hubby was considerate of my plight, and offered to take his mama out after we put the girls to bed so I could have the whole evening to myself to write. HEAVEN! After the kids fell asleep and Sven and his mother left, it was so awesomely quiet. Sitting there with a cup of tea, legs stretched out on the coffee table, I opened up my laptop to start writing when…Freja started crying.
I’m not gonna lie, like a good mom, I ignored her at first to see if she would just settle down and go back to sleep. But pretty soon she started full-on wailing so I went in to check on her and I found her sitting up in her little bed bawling with her arms stretched out to me. She’d been waiting for me in the dark to come get her.
I picked her up and almost started bawling myself. I held her to me and patted her little back and almost immediately she fell asleep. She just needed a little comfort. I tried to lay her back in her bed, but she started crying again, so I took her to our bed and all the while she kept her chubby little arms wrapped around me. Lying there in the dark, with her little cheek pressed into mine, I thought to myself, “This is heaven.” Somewhere out there, someone was “killing it.” Someone was hard at work writing an Oscar-winning screenplay, and somebody else was celebrating about getting a book deal.
Good for them. Really. Right then, at that moment, it was my time to be with my daughter.
We spend so much of our lives searching for the exclamation points. The highlights, the big “wins.” But real life is lived in the details. Taking care of your children and family, enjoying your friends, plugging away at your dreams, day in and day out. It’s what Pema Chödrön calls “the juicy spots.”
Don’t disregard your life chasing some fantasy. Don’t be that person. You’re so much better than that. The real life you have right now is so much better than that.
So wherever you are today, be grateful. If you’re single, enjoy it. Pretty soon a partner will come and your life will change (in a good way) and you won’t have that alone time like you used to. Savor it.
In fact, whatever state of “in-between” you find yourself today: unemployed, hoping for a baby, waiting on the “big deal” to come in, still waiting to lose that 15 pounds to be “bikini ready,” struggling to find your “a-ha” moment.
Trust me, it’s all gonna come. Sooner than you think. So enjoy it all.