• Debbie Slaughter

The Change I Really Needed

“Well, we need to change you!” she said.

It’s a memory that sits in the back of my mind with a few other words spoken boldly by friends.

I don’t remember the year, the day, or even the reason she spoke these words to me, but I do remember the accusation.

She wanted to change the fact that I was happy not being so busy. She wanted me to step into her world of running from place to place, event to event, and possibly even being as scattered as she was, over her busyness.

I’ll admit, the words caught me at first, and usually I would just laugh it off. But this time I quietly said…..”No. I like my life, just the way it is.”

It wasn’t the first time I found myself defending my life.

There were other times; other comments. Words insinuating that I needed more to do than care for my home, teach my kids and wait for my husband to get home. Surely I wanted more.

But, the truth was, I had everything I wanted.

I had full days of being a mom and teacher. I had an entire house to manage and clean. I had a husband that traveled and two boys who needed attention. I had Bible studies and writing and friends I enjoyed. I had books to read, family to call, bills to pay and pets to care for. I had church to attend and libraries to visit.

I had a full life, in my estimation.

But, to her, life was not lived until you left the house daily, ran kids here and there, forgot things, planned event on top of event, forgot more obligations because your schedule was too packed and fit your kid’s birthdays in one hour windows between the next commitment.

To her that was living. To me, it sounded empty.

To her, to be crazy busy, was to be important. To me, to be crazy busy simply meant being crazy.

To her, overcommitted meant popularity. To me, overcommitted meant chaos.

Two ladies, living full lives, in their own estimations, but one constantly chasing more and one satisfied with simplicity.

I’ve learned a lot in the years since that conversation.

I’ve learned to accept my low-energy, slow-paced life, as a reflection of who God created me to be.

I’m a writer, a thinking, a reader, a lover of deep talks and cozy corners with a good magazine or a good friend.

I find solace in the early mornings - just hot coffee and time to think or read or write.

I find joy in a quiet house on a random afternoon and equal joy in the laughter of my family eating off tv trays in the evening.

I’m fully aware that my friends can tackle multiple projects in a matter of hours, while I savor the task throughout the day, mingled with breaks and snacks and conversations with my boy.

These things I’ve come to be ok with, because I’m learning to accept who I am.

I wasn’t made to hustle. I wasn’t made to live scattered across society in a constant state of frenzy.

I was made to take care - of people, things, the budget, my home, and lately…..myself.

You see - to know myself and have acceptance of myself - that was the change I needed.

And it has come to be, after all these years.

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