Next week I will start back sharing educational information to you all on speech & language topics, but today a little post about why I needed a break from blogging. Hopefully this information will help those of you who feel overwhelmed or distracted in your daily lives. Since I’m sharing some information about a new book here- I need to provide my legal disclosure disclosure: I received a beautiful package from Rachel that included her new book Hands Free Life and offered to share an excerpt on my blog as a Thank You. I have received no other compensation from the author. I am currently in the process of reading Hands Free Life myself and am loving the overall message of the book. There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience. Now on to the topic at hand….
I recently posted about how I am on my way BACK to blogging after over 6 months off. In that post- I mentioned that I needed the break. I thought I’d share a little about why I needed this break with you all, as well as share a little about Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More by Rachel Macy Stafford- founder of the The Hands Free Revolution.
Why I Needed a Break
I love blogging. I. love. it. I love that I can help others across the world with taps on my keyboard followed by a click of the public button. I love that I can write about the subjects that motivate and inspire me. I love that I can make a difference in other people’s lives.
But blogging also requires being on a computer for sometimes long periods of time. To be successful (to help and reach the most people) it also takes a lot of work behind the scenes. I won’t go into the specifics- but let’s just say that blogging can become a full time job. Like- beyond 40 hours a week.
I have the type of brain that never shuts off. It is always going, always wondering. I could probably get a diagnosis of adult ADD. In addition- when I have any “project” started I tend to either go in FULL FORCE or get overwhelmed and stop all together.
I also can be a perfectionist.
To put in simply- I struggle with balance on a daily basis. And it is exhausting. And the last year- we’ve had a lot to balance in our daily life. I had to decide which “project” I was going to go in full force and which ones I was going to need to stop for now.
The project I chose was my family.
That- and working on finding a balance that works so that I can continue doing the things I LOVE (being with my family, working out regularly, volunteering at my children’s schools, improving my photography skills, working as an SLP, and of course…blogging). After many months of working on this I feel like I am finally ready to add blogging back into my routine.
The thing is- if we don’t take a step back and evaluate our lives we can wake up one day and find ourselves overwhelmed and unhappy. An overwhelmed and unhappy mommy makes for some pretty miserable kids! I want my kids to have an awesome, happy childhood that they can look back at fondly- like I did.
So I found it timely when Rachel from The Hands Free Revolution contacted me about the release of her new book Hands Free Life: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, and Loving More. I’ve followed Rachel on her journey for a few years now- how she turned her overwhelming life into a Hands Free Life. She is a mother who has worked very hard to turn that distraction around, find balance, and really connect with her children and family and LIVE life. That is exactly what I have been working on the last several months. In her new book, Rachel shares 9 habits to help others do the same- so that you can LIVE life- including building foundations, living for today, and establishing boundaries. She shares her personal stories throughout the book and today she is sharing one of those stories with my readers. Please enjoy this excerpt and you’ll find more information on this book below.
Excerpt from Hands Free Life
Using Lifelines to Live More & Love More, By Rachel Macy Stafford
I grew up seeing handwritten notes as expressions of love. My mom worked long hours so she often left small, square papers on the bed for my sister and me to find.
I called them Lifelines.
But I have to tell you, my greatest lifelines have come from my youngest daughter, Avery. Around the time I woke up to the fact that I was missing my life, my daughter was learning to write words. As I took small steps to be more present in her life, she began writing me love notes. Although I’m sure the timing was purely coincidently, these powerful visuals fueled my steps to let go of distraction and perfection.
I began to banish the “hurry ups.” I stopped skipping the goodbye hug that I thought we didn’t have time for. I looked into her eyes when she spoke. I even paused for 30 seconds during the frantic morning lunch-making process to place a sticky note in the lunch box.
One day I put a yellow Post-It note on her sandwich not realizing there was a blank one attached to it. When I cleaned out her lunch box that night, my note had multiplied. I cried when I saw she’d written the same thing as me.
Throw out a line—it has a way of coming back to you.
I reached up and stuck my daughter’s note on the cabinet where the sandwich bread was stored as a source of daily encouragement. A few days later, I posted another one of her notes in the pantry where the cereal was kept, then another in my clothes closet where I got dressed, and another on the bathroom mirror where I brushed my teeth.
Wherever I turned, there were my signs of encouragement shaking me from my hurried, distracted, perfectionistic, and tech-obsessed state.
It’s been five years since I began my Hands Free journey, but my daughter’s lifelines are still posted. Now they are not so much for encouragement as they are reminders—reminders that time is fleeting.
Because the backwards letters have disappeared.
The floating letters have become grounded on stable lines.
The phonemic spelling has become traditional.
Letters are no longer gigantic, but rather small and dainty.
But the love, the love is still there.
Throw out a line—it has a way of coming back to you.
They have a way of creating connection despite the busyness of life.
What calms a child’s school day fears can be found in the smiley face above the letter “i” or in the curve of an imperfect heart
What creates hope in the heart of a weary waitress can be scrawled on a napkin and left on the table
What makes a friend feel beautiful can be written in a neon-colored Sharpie and stuck on the windshield of her car
What brings our distracted mind back home can be a stick-figure family drawn beneath a giant yellow sun
What we believed in and how we loved can be seen in our own handwriting 50 years from now, even after we’re gone
What really matters in life is literally at our fingertips—at our fingertips
So grab a pen and anything you can find to write on, my friends.
Throw out a lifeline …
And watch love multiply.
A portion of this story can be found in Rachel Macy Stafford’s soon-to-be-released book, HANDS FREE LIFE: 9 Habits for Overcoming Distraction, Living Better, & Loving More. It is a book about living life, not managing, stressing, screaming, or barely getting through life. Through truthful story-telling and life-giving Habit Builders, Rachel shows us how to respond to our loved ones and ourselves with more love, more presence, and more grace.
Don’t miss out on the amazing pre-order deal: With any pre-order of HANDS FREE LIFE comes a free eBook of Rachel’s New York Times Bestseller, HANDS FREE MAMA. Click the link to learn more about the book and pre-order bonus offer good until 9/7 è http://www.handsfreemama.com/hands-free-life-pre-order-goodness/
Rachel Macy Stafford is the founder of www.handsfreemama.com where she provides simple ways to let go of daily distraction and grasp what matters most in life. She is the New York Times bestselling author of HANDS FREE MAMA. For more of Rachel’s inspiration, check out The Hands Free Revolution on Facebook!