I’m Learning To Be Still

Posted December 23, 2022 by Prairie Wife - 4 comments

I’m learning to be still…again.

It seems to be a lesson that I have to relearn repeatedly at various points in my life, and apparently, now is one of those times.

At the beginning of October, I left my job at My Country 95.5, and while it was a hard decision and one that was not made lightly, it was the right thing for my family and me.

I knew there would be a bit of an adjustment period, but I wasn’t too worried about it.

After all, I left my job as a teacher when Cowgirl G was born to stay home with The Cowkids for 11 years, which was wonderful!

Also, it wasn’t like I didn’t still have things to do.

Yes, my work at the radio kept me busy every weekday from 5:30 am to 12, along with Thankful Thursday on Thursday nights and the occasional weekend gig.

But running this brand and all the speaking and emceeing gigs still resulted in about 20 to 30 hours a week of steady work.

And, of course, there are the 5 Cowkids plus our Spanish Son and The Cowboy to keep track of…and sleeping and exercising and taking care of our home.

I knew things would be slower-paced, and I looked forward to it.

I couldn’t wait for it!

The first week I was back to working from home, The Cowboy was gone hunting, so it was busy, and I was thankful that I didn’t have radio responsibilities on top of everything else.

Throughout my first month, The Cowboy continued to be gone for almost the entire time for work, and while there were some moments to relax, it didn’t feel very different from how life had been before.

I had multiple speaking and emcee gigs, with two of them taking me out of town overnight. I was juggling meetings and writing time, feeding Cowkids, and remembering who had practice and attending multiple games a week…It felt almost as busy as before…

But November was another story.

I suddenly found myself with hours that weren’t booked full of things I had to do.

There were days on end when other than grabbing a Cowkid from practice, I didn’t need to leave the house.

I had promised The Cowboy that I wouldn’t commit to anything above and beyond what I was already doing, so I was left trying to figure out what to do with all this time…

As I met up with friends to hike, snowshoe, or have coffee and catch up, they all asked how I was feeling during this transitional time.

My first response was always, “I don’t know how I was doing it all before.”

Which was then quickly followed by, “I am for sure happier and doing everything with more joy and less stress.”

But as I sat on the couch in silence every morning after all the Cowkids left for school and looked out the window, I found myself wondering…

What the hell have I done?

I felt lazy and unproductive.

I felt like I was no longer serving a purpose and feared that I had accidentally made a huge mistake.

After 4 and a half years of squeezing my Prairie Wife brand into spare moments, it WAS fun to sit down and map out content again and easily stick to my posting and writing schedule!

I spent hours creating graphics to promote my brand and add to the content I was creating. I FINALLY had time to read articles about writing and social media growth. I even began to take an online business course through Wyoming Women’s Business Center to learn all the things I didn’t know I needed to know…

I began to work out consistently again and reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in far too long.

I had time to read for pleasure and began our Prairie Wife Virtual Book Club.

And yet I still had big chunks of time with nothing to do.

I wanted to curl up and nap or catch up on the latest TV shows, but that felt SO unacceptable.

And, of course, that was precisely what I did, feeling guilty every time I looked up and saw that I had spent an hour (or two) doing “nothing.”

Surely there was SOMETHING I should be doing?

What about cleaning out closets, doing a deep clean of the entire house…but that didn’t sound fun and wasn’t necessary anyway.

I found myself lying awake each night, thinking, “I should have done more. I didn’t do enough. Tomorrow I will be better.”

And then, suddenly, one day, it came to me as I looked through some of my favorite self-improvement books, preparing for an upcoming workshop…

I had completely forgotten how to be still.

I was so used to the scheduled minute-by-minute rush of the last few years that I had no idea how to work around the fact that I now had time to myself.

Rather than being thankful for an hour here and there each day to do what I WANTED to do, I was anxious and guilt-ridden that I must be dropping the ball somehow if I had time for myself!

Instead of giving in to the exhaustion I often felt and taking a nap, I kept pushing through it and finding things to fill my time…because I had no REAL reason to be tired anymore, did I? After all, I was only working one job now, not two…

I know these thoughts are ridiculous.

If any of my friends had come to me asking for support, I would have looked them straight in the eye and told them to be thankful for this time, to take advantage of it, and to get their ass back on the couch and breathe for a bit before the kids come home from school and the next 6 hours revolve around them and their needs.

But we’re always SO much harder on ourselves than others, aren’t we?

So here I am, learning again to be still.

To know that being busy doesn’t mean being productive and that as I sit and rest, I am still doing good things.

And because God knows I always have to be forced into things, I’ve also had some news about my health that will help ensure I take some time to be still.

I’ll save that for another post, but know that all will be well…and I’m even more grateful than ever that I can now be still when I need to.



Photo Credit Skyla Lee Photography

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4 thoughts on "I’m Learning To Be Still"

  1. Deniece says:

    After close to three months I still miss you in the mornings on the radio. As a great grandmother I am happy that you are finally taking some time for yourself. Even with five Cowkids you’re still way busier than most people, so enjoy the occasional time to watch a TV program, read a book or even take a nap you earned it

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, and glad that you are still spending time with me here 🙂

  2. Michele Wernsmann says:

    I so understand what you’re going through! I retired early from and extremely hectic job that involved travel and extreme problem solving. Afyer a year or two of feeling lazy, I got into yoga, and finally gave myself permission to get off the hamster wheel and live life as it comes. It made all the difference, and although I was still busy doing things to keep myself and my husband in the best health possible so we could keep up our busy lifestyle of traveling, camping spending time with grandkids and doubt whatever we pleased – for 15 years we lived this idyllic life. Last summer I got a terrible diagnosis – Stage 4 metastatic pancreatic cancer. Pretty much the worst possible cancer diagnosis. I started Chemo right away which had been remarkably successful, but caused a fatigue I have never experienced before. I’ve been forced to come to terms with the fact that I can’t do nearly as much as I used to. We live on the mountain. There are chores to be done which we always did as a team. Now my husband is carrying the load and I’m struggling with the reality that I’m actually unable to do these things. So this slow down of life has left me to find things to do. Like art therapy, and small household chores. I actually got a cat – which had been a winderful distraction.
    But mostly I’m focused on staying positive and staying alive as long as I can. I promised my kids I would never give up. My daily mantra ” Keep your face turned toward the sun, and shoot for the moon.”

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I am so grateful you took the time to share your story for others to read. I am sure now, more than ever, you are thankful for the 15 years you learned to be still and embrace doing the things that brought you joy. I am sending strength your way as you battle Cancer. Rest and heal, and snuggle with your cat. I hope you take advantage of technology and facetime those grandkids as often as possible. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

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