After I made the decision to close my boutique I had grand ideas of what I would do in my “extra” time. For example I thought I’d cook lots of meals, have time to work out, do a lot of writing, I’d spend full-time hours on getting my website traffic up, I would be blogging all the time and visiting other boutiques every week, I’d publish an e-book….and on and on went the ideas.
However after the first week my days went like this: take an hour to wake up and crawl out of bed, scoot my son off to class, come home and stare out the window or stare at my FB page for hours, cook some dinner, stare at the wall, go for a walk and stare at the sky, pick up my son, stare at the tv, go to bed.
Homeschool days were a little more productive but not much. As my son was working on a lesson I’d be staring off into nothingness instead of preparing for the next lesson. I couldn’t focus. It was like waiting for a tea kettle to sing…but it never would. Or staring at a clock and wondering if you are stuck in time. I would try to read something but it was just black smudges on a page. My mind was not receiving anything. I’d go to bed feeling terribly guilty I had just wasted my day and vow to do better in the morning, only to repeat it over and over.
To be fair I have taken time to write a little bit, I had several coffee dates with friends, but I could not get my head wrapped around the direction I was supposed to be focused on. It’s like I was in No-Man’s Land. I tried going to a gym. Nah. Tried to make plans to write about more boutiques, but it’s like I couldn’t get my mind to turn on. I was stuck in an “off” position. There was no fire in my belly. I expected something like that to happen for a few days, but it dragged on for over a month.
Have you ever experienced that? You wake up and you’re not sure what you’re supposed to do or think? You wonder what is the next step?
It has been an “in-between” time and some days it felt really suffocating. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I felt guilty I wasn’t a productive member of society. I’d pace around the house trying to figure out what to do. Oh, there was plenty to do – but I couldn’t choose which project or chore needed my attention the most…so I did very little. Then it dawned on me….Maybe it was a time to be quiet. And it was OK.
Our culture doesn’t take the time to refresh and be quiet. The quiet was uncomfortable at first. I felt unsure, but now I’m embracing it. There’s a time to plant, to water, a time to grow, and a time to harvest (or bear fruit). I had been taking IN so much for so many years. Shoving my brain with new skills, experiences, and lots of education in a variety of areas. My mind and body hit overload. Now I see that I need the quiet to “chew” on these things. To absorb them. To ponder and enjoy. This is my “grow” time.
A sudden downpour of rain isn’t always a good thing. It comes too fast and rushes off in a hurry and the ground can only absorb a small part. However, a slow, steady rain is much more useful. I see that knowledge and experience are much the same way. I can keep filling myself up with great information and experiences, however, if I don’t take the time to be quiet and absorb it, those things just roll off and don’t become useful for me.
While this in-between time has been awkward I see now what a treasure it is. How important it is for me. I didn’t know what to do with it at first and that’s OK. Now it’s time to reflect and let some of this knowledge and the skills I have acquired to take root so that it can grow and produce fruit in abundance. The “in-between” is necessary. How I choose to handle my in-between time will determine my course. It will either open up new opportunities or I will miss them.
Are you a business owner and have experienced a time of change but there was a waiting, a “pause” before you could move forward? Or even personally! Have you ever been in an “in-between” time? What did you take away from those moments? I’d love to hear!
Here’s to patiently waiting and preparing for the next step!