Home Again


I spent last week exploring Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my husband, my parents, and my sisters and their families. I’d never visited that area before—it’s gorgeous. I thought things were looking pretty green here in Wisconsin, especially with all the rain we’ve been getting, but the forests we hiked through were lusher and greener still.

It was a wonderful week spending time with my loved ones and making new memories together. I hiked to waterfalls, waded in the icy water of boulder-filled rivers, saw bears, enjoyed big family dinners, and much more.

It was also an exhausting week—hours in the car, sleeping in a different bed, much more time around people than I’m used to. I also let some of my habits slide more than I’d intended.

While I’m sad the trip is over, it feels so good to be home. And yet, I’m struggling to settle back into life as normal here. On a logistical level, a number of seemingly urgent errands clamor to be done as soon as possible—laundry, grocery, mowing, etc.

Beyond that, it can be hard to dive right back in to things I’ve been working on after some time away. The hardest part of a habit or project is getting started. After a break in my consistency, it can be a challenge to get my momentum going again, even on things I truly want to be doing.

On top of it all, I was mostly offline during our trip. Getting caught up on the news is overwhelming and heartbreaking and heavy. I’ll confess that part of me wants to turn my phone and computer right back off.

In this time of settling back into normal life after our trip, I’ve been feeling the tension between cutting myself some slack and pushing myself to do the things I know I want to be doing. Both are important.

So this week, I thought I’d let you know a little of what I’ve been up to and share a couple questions I’ve been turning over in my mind as I settle back into life at home.

Where can you cut yourself some slack?

We are not robots. We get tired. We get discouraged. We get overwhelmed. Some seasons of life are more demanding than others.

Trying to push ourselves at the same pace with no regard for our circumstances or condition isn’t kind and can lead to burnout. Sometimes we need to cut ourselves a little slack in one area so we energy for whatever else is going on in our lives.

This week I’m giving myself a little more space to rest. I’m recognizing that I’m tired and giving myself permission to not restart everything at full capacity all at once.

How about you? Where could you ease up a little bit? Where can you cut yourself some slack this week?

Where can you challenge yourself?

There is discomfort in trying new things or working towards things that matter. The easiest path won’t always take us where we want to go. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a little push in order to do the worthwhile thing.

This week I’m also starting again on habits I’ve let slide—journaling, writing every day, exercise and stretching, etc. Even if I’m not immediately back to the level I was before, the most important thing is to begin. While this may seem like a small challenge, it’s a doable one and sets me up for the next challenge.

How about you? Is this a week for you to tackle a big challenge? Or for making a commitment to simply starting again? What is your challenge for this week?