This past weekend as I looked for my quiet space to write, it took me almost 6 different spots to find a good fit to quiet my mind. Writing from a cozy cabin seemed like the perfect fit for me. I had my coffee and computer on a desk overlooking snow capped mountains, but my legs kept hitting the bottom of the desk. I sat in an adorable chair but the end table was too small for me to type. I went into the bedroom to write but my daughters were playing their favorite Netflix show that curbed my creativity. I went downstairs to write in the game room but the doors wouldn’t close to allow me to work quietly. I finally settled on a pillow, with my computer propped up on a makeshift game table in the den.
Now. . . reflect on your creative space. How many times have you tried to allow your creativity to flow and another person interrupts your thinking, a message alert pops up on your phone, an alarm goes off in your home, or an unexpected mess appears from a pet?
Time is of essence and how do we capture the most precious variable in our fast paced 21st century living? It is different for each individual and unfortunately there is no magic formula. The one thing I have found for me is the need to physically go to a different space to allow my brain to think and see in a different way. How often have you heard people say “Try to find a new perspective on life” or “Change your perspective.” When we are stuck in the weeds of work, parenting, or basic survival, it is hard to see clearly.
Trying to get reinvigorated, Scott and I packed up and went to the woods to take in nature. Looking at the blanket of snow, admiring the trees that have dropped their leaves as their badge of honor to keep them warm in the winter months to come, feeling the crisp 40 degree air on our cheeks, the smell of pine and cedar when the cabin door was opened, our senses were awakened and heightened.
This quick getaway was a pause to get inspired for Iler Woods, the holiday season, launching another part of the business, growing our social media following, collaborating with other businesses, and the list goes on.
However, when Scott and I had a chance to take a pause, what we realized is the importance of not losing sight of what is truly important. Iler Woods embraces family time, handcrafted items, traditions brought down through the generations, simplifying life during the 21st century, and balancing work and home life. That mantra is what drives us forward.
Because I was so busy preparing for upcoming events in the past month, I forgot to pause and embrace some important moments in my own nucleus.
“Mom, Nutmeg laid an egg!! Come and see, she is the first chick to lay”
“Mom, Hallmark has a countdown to the holiday season. It is your favorite!”
“Honey, do you like the outdoor furniture stained or painted? I think you are going to love the finishing touches.”
“Erin, I made your favorite recipe, the pumpkin pie dessert with the cream cheese frosting.”
“Mrs. Iler, I finished my writing. I am so excited for you to read it!”
Time. . .. time to think, time to be with family, time to read, time to fuel your soul. How can you carve out that space that we are all thirsting for? Leo Tolstyoy wrote in his novel War and Peace that “The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” I have found that it can be your best accomplice or your worst enemy.
I wonder if we all gave ourselves permission to pause for an hour, for an afternoon, or for a day to enjoy the people who mean the most to us if our physical and mental health would be on an upswing. There is a famous quote that reads “Time is precious, make sure you spend it with the right people.” Work will always be there but our children, our parents, our heartfelt friends may not be. I know these couple of days gave me time to capture those little moments with my family. It is something that is priceless and cannot be replaced.
Taking a walk with my daughters away from our daily routines of zoom and household chores, I could really listen and give my full attention to them. I also had a chance to walk in the snow alone and enjoy the beauty of the icicles dangling on the eaves of the chateaus. Enjoying homemade apple pie that my mom baked after a long day in the snow was the grand finale for me. I took the time to listen to the sounds of nature, to observe the snowy owl that stared at me with such timeless wisdom, and notice the sparkle in Scott’s eyes when he came back to the cabin with a live edge slab of wood for a new project.
As we embark into a new season, take a moment to pause. Rethink, reunite, or maybe even make a shift in priorities.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us,” wrote J. R. R. Tolkien. We all have choices, we can prioritize what is important, we can eliminate what is hindering our health, and foster the true passions that we have within us. Maybe an intermission is exactly what is needed. I know I am now ready for the final act of this year.