This is the third guest post in a series called “Your Life in Progress.” In this series we will hear from other women like you and I – women who are learning to love and care for themselves well. They are taking risks, making mistakes, trying new things and letting others go, sometimes struggling, but ultimately living beautiful, gentle lives.
We’ve had the wooden letters B and E in our main floor bedroom-turned-yoga/dance studio for over 4 years now. Primed a flat white, B and E were hand selected from the rows of alphabet letters at a craft store to represent my son and daughter’s first initials. The idea was to personalize the letters during one of our homeschooling art lessons. I thought it would be a fun and creative way to display their personalities. I envisioned chevron, stripes and painted adornment, yet here they stay untouched upon a shelf. Simply stating for us to BE.
Over the years, my eagerness to change the letters to reflect who my children are has become an acceptance of where they are. Like us all, they are in a constant state of growth and change. Heartbreak and happiness. Success and disappointment. Mistakes and triumphs. Like the world around them, they evolve by the minute. And like the block letters, they are completely and beautifully enough right now.
So who am I? I’m a planner. A mad list-maker. A super-organized clean-freak who loves an all-white house and a minimal lifestyle. In the past, unfinished renovations or a website needing updating would loom over me until I had a chance to complete their updating. But now, in this moment, I can appreciate daily how far we’ve come and respect that there is still work to do. I’ve made a choice to enjoy our home, as is, even if the basement hall has brick dungeon-esque wallpaper. (Although it is very popular with my son’s friends:) I also understand that I’m probably not the only person in the world fighting with a word press website, and if someone really wants family photos, what I have up is more than enough information to go by, because later today I’m teaching my son how to throw on a pottery wheel.
In this moment I also accept that the future is filled with uncertainty. Will my 15-year old go to high school next year? Will her little brother follow suit and head down the street to public school for grade 5? Will I get a job, go back to school or continue working from home? There will be a lot of moments to explore before we know for sure. But today, in this moment, they are working hard and enjoying their studies from home as they work towards finishing their school year, and I will be painting a commissioned portrait tonight. As I write this, my son seems more than happy to finish his free verse poem with his cat on his lap, just enjoying being in this very moment.
As a family we’ve endured a lot of change this year, mostly in the name of ‘finding joy’. We’ve been pursuing our dreams one day at a time. Living in the moment. Laughing and sharing. Letting go of past activities that no longer leave us fulfilled and learning and experiencing new things. Going with the flow, which is not very type-A me, but has been so worth it.
As an artist, I appreciate that Krista named her wellness business A Life in Progress. Like a work in progress painting we are all on our own journey, at various stages, and although we may not feel completely satisfied, there is something beautiful and worthy of where we are right now. Like an unfinished painting, there is the potential for something even more wonderful to emerge.
So I think I’ll choose to have the courage to be patient, work hard and aspire to reach my goals. I’ll enjoy being in the moment with my family and try to appreciate all of the little things life has to offer. To have the strength to accept change and let go of the things that no longer bring happiness. To practice gratitude and to help and encourage others. To accept that we are all a work in progress, and how we are today, in this moment, is an important piece in the puzzle of who we are. And that’s a beautiful thing.
“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
– John Lennon
Thank you, Lara, for sharing this piece of your full and beautiful life with us!
Lara Felsing is an artist /photographer. Her photographs, along with healthy recipes, travel and lifestyle posts can be found at magpie3studio.com .
*photo by magpie3studio