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Segment: Life Lately
I had a COVID test today. Luckily it came back negative, but it was an interesting experience.
It’s just an interesting world that we’re living in. The story is I woke up earlier this week with a super sore throat, like very, very sore, very painful, also some muscle fatigue and just general fatigue. And I thought, well, I’m just going to ride this one for, for a day or two and see what happens. I took some Claritin thinking, maybe it would allergy related. I took some ibuprofen and that helped a little bit and went about my business as usual on day two of super sore throat. I also had not gotten a lot of sleep because I stayed up late having a girls’ night with plum, watching a movie and eating popcorn and sour gummies. And so I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, which contributed to the overall feeling of fatigue and the sore throat was still very active.
And I thought, well, maybe I’ll just go get a strep test. All of this, knowing that I’m planning to travel this weekend, I will be flying back to Utah, just me. My kids and husband will stay in Richmond while I go help my older sister paint her new house that she just bought.
So I’ve been really looking forward to this, going out and helping her and spending some time one-on-one with her. And I also didn’t feel good about the idea of flying with an unidentified illness in the time of COVID. So I took myself to a quick clinic to do a strep test and the strep test was negative. The provider recommended that before I travel, I go have a COVID test. I don’t know if you have tried to do a COVID test, but there are a hundred and million testing centers and they’re all booked solid. At least where I live.
There is a list a mile long on the internet of all the different places that offer the tests. But every single one that I looked at was booked up and there, there were no available appointments. So I put my husband on the task and said, would you please find me an appointment? If you can, for a quick test that I could have done before Friday and low and behold, he’s a much better clinic searcher than I am, because he was able to make an appointment.
I went in and had a Q-tip touch my brain, essentially. This swab goes up your nasal cavity. So far back that she actually asked me to lean my head against the wall as she put the swab up through my nose. And really, it felt like it reached to my brain as I breathe deeply. And then did it again on the other nostril and it made my eyes water. Dave told me if you don’t cry, it didn’t work. So it must have worked.
They sent my test to the lab and low and behold, it came back negative. I’m cleared to travel and overall I’m just relieved. I’m excited to be able to, once again, safely travel across the country. The last time we flew, we felt very safe masks and sanitized and very little interaction with people until we landed and were able to quarantine with our family. And I’m looking forward to being able to do that again. That’s life lately on the health front.
Now on the home front. I just have to reiterate, I know I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again, how it feels so good to have our house be finished. I’m doing very little rearranging, no decorating inside. The remodel is finished, basically roof to floor inside our main house.
Outside, I’ve been doing a little bit of landscaping. The things that I’m working on right now are mostly in the backyard. One of which is power washing our entire cedar fence. I don’t know how long the cedar fence has been there, but when we first looked at the house, I thought it had kind of a charming aged look. It definitely had some green sort of mossy algae growing on it, which in some ways was rather terming. And I liked it until I started to clean it with our power washer. And I realized how dramatic the difference is between this old age looking green fence and a reasonably new looking Cedar fence underneath yeah, years and years of algae, there is beautiful wood ready to see the light of day again.
So I’ve been going around the backyard panel by panel power washing, and I will link the power washer in the show notes for you. It is lightweight, super portable connects right to the hose plugs in, and it works like a dream super inexpensive as well. And just easy to use that has been a fun project because I feel like I am making this huge update on the yard without actually doing anything except for cleaning.
The other fun thing that we are ready to move forward on is the clubhouse. We have been sort of mentally and physically prepping for that. By building the add on side shed, I have a couple things I need to finish attaching some inside shelves so that I can do the organization. And we actually had one of our friends come over, who is a drywall contractor. I was going back and forth about whether or not I wanted to do the drywall of the shed itself by myself.
And I decided ultimately it was just work the investment to not learn a whole new skill and to have someone come and just do a really good job the first time. So we had our friend come over and look at it. And he said, as soon as we clean everything out of the shed, he can start working on. There’s a couple of places that need just a touch of reframing so that it’s all flush and level. And then he can drywall. And this is going to be like a bottom being about a boom type of remodel because it’s, the electricity is already in there. It’s already wired. It just needs a tiny bit of framing sheet rock. We can put down flooring and put in some new fixtures and it’s done. It’s just this tiny 12 ft x 8 ft shed. And as soon as the sort of quick fixes are done inside, we can add a little bit of furniture.
We’re going to put a TV on the wall, bring in the video game console for the kids. And it will be a fun clubhouse for them to play games, play video games, interact with each other, and just have a little bit of space that’s separate from the main house to hang out. And we’re super excited about that. Hopefully by the end of September, when the weather actually cools down, it will be a little bit more comfortable to be out in the outbuilding as well.
We’re not going to do a full AC unit in there, but we did decide to try to find one of these. I think of them as European style wall units, there are these electric air conditioner and heating units that can vent a room. And they’re really meant for sort of one room at a time. So it will be perfect for this one room to just stick one up on the wall and we can set the temperature to either heat in the winter or cool in the summer. It doesn’t take a ton of power. It doesn’t require a whole lot of other maintenance and that’ll help keep it comfortable inside the clubhouse.
So we’re all looking forward to that school wise. We’re going to jump into homeschool starting the first week of September. If you missed our announcement and sort of my plans for homeschooling, you can listen to Episode 102, where I outlined all of the ins and outs of what we’re planning for homeschooling. I have been thrilled to hear that so many of you have been enjoying the resources that I shared as far as homeschool curriculum, or just using them for supplemental education. We all really look forward to it now that we’ve kind of wrapped our minds around it and have a framework of a basic schedule. We can’t wait to dive in.
And as far as business, I am most looking forward to the next session of Live Free From Clutter. That’s coming up, starting mid-September. Live Free From Clutter is my five-week course that helps you turn your overwhelm confusion, frustration, and stress into a life of intention, peace and purpose. We go through a shopping, pause, some physical organization and decluttering strategies, as well as how to manage your own personal energy profile. How to create a schedule that works for you and your family. We also work through how to reevaluate and reset your personal values and priorities so that you are spending your most precious resources of time and energy and your money in the areas that matter most to you in your life. Registration is going to open in the next couple of weeks. So keep an eye out for that. If you’ve been hoping to jump into the fall session of Live Free From Clutter, I only offer it a couple times a year.
The very beginning of the year I did a spring session and this is our fall and final session for 2020. It really couldn’t come at a better time. I know so many people are feeling overwhelmed by what’s happening with school or with working remotely. All of the many changes that we’ve navigated in 2020 and this next session of live free from clutter is really going to add such value in giving you the tools that you need in order to make sure that you’re creating space for the things that matter most to you in your life.
People emerged from this program, feeling empowered, feeling peaceful, and having a sense of clarity and direction that they really lacked before. I’m really, really looking forward to it. I am currently planning a bonus module that will fit into the five weeks that really fine tuned creating a schedule that works for you and your family, despite circumstances beyond your control. So being able to work within a framework of what life has given you in order to optimize the way that you spend your time with your family. I think it’s going to be a really great addition to the program and I cannot wait these last couple of weeks.
I feel like life has started to roll along at a more steady and expected pace than I felt in a while. There was a lot of time warping happening for me in the spring and even the early summer. And now that we’re sort of have our plans in place for the fall, I know what I’m doing with schooling. I’m able to kind of move forward within the, that the circumstances outside of my control have created for me being able to sort of flex my creative muscles and extend myself in the ways that matter within these boundaries has felt really meaningful. And so I love being able to do a little bit of travel, helping with my sisters and safe in meaningful ways. I’m excited to continue to dig in and work on our yard and transform the clubhouse to jump into homeschooling with the kids, and then to get back on track with helping some of you create space for the things that matter most to you in your life as well that my friends is life lately.
The Power of Patience
For today’s episode, I wanted to share about the power of patience. Patience is one of those virtues and values that has been on a lot of our minds. I think during this year, as we have been asked to wait, wait for answers, wait for understanding, wait for clarity, maybe wait for a new job or wait for the ability to move forward on our goals and dreams that we had set out earlier in this year. There’s a lot of waiting happening.
And it reminds me of when my kids were young in situations where they were waiting for things, they would bombard me with questions. Mom, when are we going to be there? What are we going to do next? Who is that person? Why, why, why? I taught them this little refrain that helped me maintain some sanity. And I think also just helped give a little bit of definition to what patience was I taught my kids.
Patience is waiting happily without asking questions. Waiting happily, without asking questions, patience rather than drudging only questioningly muddling through feels a little bit more like acceptance and letting go of the idea that we need to know everything right now that we need to have a clear understanding that it’s okay to not know it’s okay to not understand, and that we can still create happiness and find peace in the middle of that process.
That is what patience feels like for me, as I was remembering that I also remember that I wrote about this in my book More Than Enough. And so I wanted to share that chapter with you today, as I was rereading this chapter in preparation to share it, the thing that jumped out to me the most was this idea that patience is something that we can practice. It’s a value, but also a skill. And the more we put it into practice in simple ways, the easier that it is to dig down and find it when it might be harder. I hope that these experiences and the stories that share in this chapter
Of my book resonate with you, especially at this weird time for all of us here is Chapter Six of More Than Enough.
Chapter six, the power of patience. The sun was shining joyfully and the happy mood trickled down into our hearts. Texas was known for its sunshine. And in the three years, since we had made Austin home, it had not disappointed us. My three kids scampered around the neighborhood playground, playing tag with their friends. While I sat on a nearby bench and caught up with mine, how are the kids doing with the challenge? One friend asked mine would have a fit. If I told them we weren’t buying new toys for a year, mine have a fed. Even when we do buy them new toys and other laughed. And we all nodded knowingly, they’re actually doing amazing. I commented. I’ve been surprised by how adaptable they are and how easily they’ve understood the guidelines we created. I really was surprised. I’ve been curious to see what my little one’s thought about our decision to not buy things this year.
What would that mean to them at their young ages of seven, five and three? I was prepared for a lot more battles than we had faced so far. In fact, they almost seemed not to be affected. Maybe my apprehension was all a projection of my own insecurities. They didn’t lack for anything. We had a playroom filled with toys. They loved closet stacked with clothes that fit and home designed to invite coziness and love. I turned back to my friends to share a little more. Do you want to hear one thing that they’ve started doing that makes me smile. I asked when we go into the store for groceries or household supplies, they always asked to visit the toy aisles. They know that we aren’t going to buy anything, but they tell me they just like to see the toys. Anyway, I laughed a little bit thinking about this curious habit.
All of my kids had picked up in the last few months that both made me happy and gave me a new perspective. When we walk through the toy section, they each choose one or two things that are their very favorites. Then they turned to me and ask mom, can I have this next year? It was April, 2017. Next year meant 2018. When the challenge was over eight months was a long time to wait for a toy. And the other moms eyes all widened and they smiled. My kids requests were cute. For sure. So are you keeping a list of all the toys to buy in the new year and other giggled? No. I said every time we go to the store, the toys, they love change and they have forgotten all about the ones they wanted before. It seems more like a game, a ritual of seeing new, exciting things and feeling the rush of happiness.
When I tell them that sure they can have it next year, then they go on happily without actually buying anything. They’re learning some patience and other friend interjected what a great lesson for them at their ages. I glanced over to the swings where my oldest was pushing my youngest as she giggled gleefully. Yes, I replied it has been a good lesson for all of us when Dave and I sat down that first night in January to discuss the goals of the challenge. Developing patience had been high on the list, choosing to wait to buy something until the year was over, would be a direct application of the principle of patience. It was something I looked forward to working on. I would never have called myself a patient person yet. I believed in the value and power of patience as a virtue. I was excited to dig in and learn more.
My personal impatience manifested itself more in recklessness than in anger or frustration during most of my life, rather than waiting for help or waiting for someone to give me instructions or permission, I would move forward with whatever project or assignment I wanted to work on. I was fiercely independent sometimes to a fault on occasion that impatience resulted in misunderstanding and needing to redo the work. Other times it resulted in what looked like and felt like the efficient accomplishment of my projects. I didn’t even recognize a lot of my impatience because I labeled it autonomy, determination, or getting stuff done where lack of patience came back to bite me was in situations where I didn’t have the control to forge ahead without the help or support of someone else. When a life circumstance was beyond my ability to manipulate or re-interpret, then I felt lost. Sometimes waiting is unnecessary and doesn’t make a big impact on the result.
For example, when Dave and I decided to get married over the course of a 60 minute conversation, what began as a beautiful spring outdoor wedding morphed into a beautiful beginning of October fall affair. It was July, but why wait? We decided, and three whirlwind months later, we became husband and wife. We both agreed that just making it happen was the best decision we ever made. Those extra months between October and may. What would have been waiting became instead of head start on our new life together with each of the holidays that past those first few months, we would look at each other and laugh. Remember how we wanted to wait to get married. It’s so great. We didn’t wait because this is so much fun. Other times though, waiting is the only option. Soon after my oldest son, Milo was born, I was already excited about having another baby.
He was a lovely, happy infant. And although I was exhausted, I looked forward to growing our family. I was certain Milo would be a fantastic big brother sharing a positive pregnancy test with Dave when Milo was just 10 months old, seemed crazy, but we were elated. I soaked in the feelings of growing another life for several weeks. I planned and scheduled and prepared for the months of pregnancy. We were out of town visiting family. When I started to bleed spotting at first, then more, I was terrified, but hopeful, it would all be okay, right? When we returned home, the next day, the doctor saw us right away. The ultrasound showed a developing yolk SAC, but no viable fetus, no heartbeat, no life. Later that night, I curled into a ball on the cold ceramic surface at the bottom of the bathtub and let the shower fall like rain onto my aching body and aching heart. In an instant, my plans were all washed away. The hope for this new baby had filled me up and I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I couldn’t breathe.
The next couple months were a crash course in patience. There was no way to forge ahead alone. On this journey of growing a family, I was simply not in control. I had to wait. I filled my days with healing, planting an herb garden on the apartment patio and joining a running group. The time I spent with Milo felt Holy, I hugged him tightly and let him linger in my arms before laying him in bed at night during my waiting, I also questioned, what am I supposed to learn from this? How do I prepare for not knowing what happens next? When will our family get to grow? One day I came across a phrase that hit home. It was part of a longer poem, but the piece that jumped into my heart was this nor doubt, nor rush, but hush for God is here. The word rush especially resonated with me.
What was the rush? I was only 27. Why was I in such a hurry for my whole life to roll forward right now? Wasn’t this moment too incredible. I had a beautiful baby boy, a husband, whom I adored a great job, a lovely apartment group of friends and neighbors that felt like family right now. I could be happy right now. I had all I needed. I wrote that phrase onto our entry mirror so that every time I came inside, I saw the reminder to be patient. This wasn’t a nagging angry resentful type of patience. This patience was peaceful. This patience was active. It felt like vibrant hope and happiness. Trusting that life would be beautiful, even if it was beyond my control. This patience was waiting without doubt or questions waiting while simultaneously living really well. Most of us are familiar with the idea of patience.
We think of it as waiting for what we want. How can we go beyond that simple waiting into an understanding of next level patience, where we recognize the longterm power of postponing, some immediate gratification for a bigger, more inspiring and more impactful longterm goal. Sometimes we choose to wait and sometimes life chooses for us either way we can transform the weighting into an experience of learning growth, development and inspiration. If we focus on the beauty of the present while also maintaining enthusiastic anticipation of the future, we are no longer passively patient, but becoming active in that form of patience. It is truly empowering months later, a few days after finishing my first half marathon with my beaming baby boy and incredible husband cheering me on. I shared another positive pregnancy test with Dave. The journey had begun again, this time without expectation or rush, I had begun to learn about how patience and even resilience, not only sounded like a good idea, but actually transformed the way I felt it invited peace. It allowed joy.
As my kids started growing into toddlers and then actual children, they learned to communicate what they wanted. They didn’t understand why they couldn’t have everything, right. The second, a simple, not right now from me could turn on a tantrum that affected our whole afternoon. I found myself explaining patience to my four year old by saying, patience is waiting happily without asking questions though, without asking questions stemmed from hundreds of conversations that turned no into why and when and now is at time, these tiny people echoed the same questions. I usually felt when faced with a circumstance that required my patience. Why when now is at time, I wanted to teach this important principle in a specific way, even though I was still very much learning how to exercise patience in my own life. After lots of pondering, I came upon the idea that there might be two kinds of patience, a true kind of patience that brought peace and a false kind that invited, complaining or frustration waiting happily without asking questions was a patience that felt like being content with whatever today brought.
We could allow the circumstance beyond our control to be what it was while we focused on the things that we could appreciate in the moment. That’s not to say that every scenario was happy while my kids did adapt incredibly well to the challenge. There were days that the decision to not just buy the dang thing, made us all a little grumpy. My daughter plum, who was three lost two pairs of shoes within the first month, we had decided that buying replacement items would be allowed within our guidelines. But the idea was that the replacement would be like the original tennis shoes for tennis shoes, boots for boots. When I took little miss plum to the shoe store to find a new pair of tennis shoes to replace the pair, she had lost somewhere between our house, the neighbor’s house and the pool. She immediately fell in love with every pair of sparkling shiny, glitter, dusted high heels on the display.
Mama look at dos bulky princess shoes. She cried with delight. I tried to redirect her toward the tennis shoes, but it was hopeless. The girl loves her glitter. I let her play with a sparkling heels while I found a suitable pair of replacement sneakers. But after being twitterpated by sparkles, the simple pink and blue pair in my hand were beyond an interesting plum was not impressed. She wanted the heels, but we were not going to get the heels. Not only was she three years old and I thought it was ridiculous. They even made glittery heels for children. So young, we absolutely did not need another pair of princess shoes. Plum had a pair of gold flats that she hadn’t lost yet. And they were perfect for dressing up for church or wearing with play clothes. What she no longer had was a pair of tennis shoes that she could wear to school and running around actively outside.
The easiest thing would have been to just buy the shoes she wanted. They weren’t that expensive. They would make this child happy. And what was one more pair of tiny shoes, but I remembered the challenge. I reminded her of the princess shoe she already had and loved. I told her we were going to get these amazing pink princess tennis shoes. That would be so fun to play in and hugged her close to remind her we could come back next year and get those sparkly shoes. Then as we started back toward the register, she burst into tears. She cried all the way home. Of course she did. She was three years old and didn’t get the pair of sparkly princess heels that she wanted crying is what most three-year-olds would do. Maybe I should have let one pair of princess shoes, slide. I considered that maybe it hadn’t been that big of a deal, but adding that one pair of shoes that we simply didn’t need to the dozens of similar, tiny, unnecessary purchases that we make in any normal year.
And you would get exactly what life had been before we decided to make a change. No, this whole challenge was about eliminating those small unnecessary purchases to develop a greater sense of intention, abundance, gratitude, and patience from the adult, right on down to the kids, even my sweet three-year-old and maybe one small moment didn’t seem very important. But if one small moment didn’t make a difference, then what would life is nothing but a series of small moments, all layer together to create our experience now more than ever, when instant gratification drives the way we eat shop and spend our time paying attention to what happens in the small moments of intentional active patience drives the change that we need in order to become the people we want to be. I had always heard that good things take time, but until we put into practice, some of these principles in a way that shaped our small daily decisions and habits, I don’t know that I understood how that worked.
Sometimes you cannot see the power of one decision until it is layered with hundreds of other small, similar decisions. Then you back up and see how those choices shaped your life. Let’s go beyond level one, patience where we simply wait for things when necessary to next level patience, where we are actually reaping the longterm benefits of actively appreciating the weight let’s invest in our future families lives and selves by not always choosing the simple, easy, yes. Today in favor of a bigger, more powerful yes, to becoming the people we hope to be and living the life of our dreams.
Patience is not developed through waiting happily for one day. Patience is developed by waiting happily one day at a time for weeks and months, and sometimes years waiting happily while choosing to be resilient and finding happiness where you are regardless, what things in your own life require you to exercise patience. Have you given much thought to the value of waiting happily within the life circumstances that you cannot control as a generation? Our ability to wait is rapidly diminishing because we have very little to wait for. You can order anything online and have it to your porch. Within two days, sometimes two hours. You can book a plane ticket with the click of your thumb and book an Uber with a different click of the same thumb. Food is fast fashion as fast friendships and relationships are only a swipe away entertainment in every form dances within the rounded edge, rectangular borders of our screens.
So why would you choose to wait for anything maybe because good things take time. Maybe because there will be a circumstance or challenge in your life that you can’t click away and without knowing how to wait, happy, you will feel yourself. Start to fall apart to bring you full circle on the story I shared at the beginning of this chapter, I need to share that when the calendar turned over into the new year, my kids didn’t ask for all the toys that they had been excitedly enjoying in the store for the whole year. They didn’t really want them. They didn’t really need them at all. What they did have at the end of the year was an emotional toolkit filled with experiences of times. They had waited for something they wanted and survived, arrived. Even those experiences of practicing this next level, active patience will serve them for the rest of their lives, much more than any toy ever could.
Thank you so much for tuning in today to live free creative podcast. I hope that you enjoyed listening to chapter six of more than enough, the power of patience.
If you haven’t yet read the rest of the book, you’re welcome to find it on Amazon or my website shop.livefreecreative.co. As you heard, I also narrate the whole thing. If you want to listen to it on audible, I hope that tuning into the idea of patience just gives you something to think about as you’re moving forward into the fall. And after that into a holiday season, that’s going to look a little different than any of us expected.
I want to thank you again for being here, and I hope that you have a fantastic week. I’ll be here next week. Same time, same place to share a little bit more of my heart with you in the hopes that you can start building a more creative, adventurous and intentional way.