• Cha'Lea Stafford

The Struggle with Engaging Your Creative Outlets During Marriage and Parenthood.

Updated: 2 days ago


The Backstory


My husband and I have a sacred tradition every wedding anniversary, where we take time to intentionally reflect on our marriage.


We write a letter to our kids with the idea that they will open the letters in the same year of their wedding anniversary as adults.





Through reflection, we pick a theme that stands out from our anniversary year based on how life tested us to evolve. We want to be honest about our experience and share insights regarding our challenges, raising our boys, managing our careers, starting a business, all while staying connecting with our inner essence.


As a family, we try to consciously savor the experiences life gives us because we know how fast every season can come and go.

Reality


However, we all know life isn't sunshine and rainbows; it can be tough- mentally and spiritually. It becomes easier in the hustle and bustle to ignore the creative outlets that fuel our joy. To dismiss them as luxury moments that time cannot afford.


What I have learned over time (but not perfected) is that most things can wait but it's easier said than done. Like most of us, I get stuck in patterns that go against what I really want, and my ability to break those patterns a bit quicker each time is where the magic is for me.


My background is in sales and it's easy to sell myself to justify my choices. At the end of the day, I land in bed exhausted and wake up running on the same tank. I can sense when I'm not living in my essence.


I have to call myself out in ways that bring a halting reality to my world and the things I value most.


Simply put, if we don't recharge we end up failing those who we claim to do it all for through a mirage of illusions.

The illusion that if we clean one more room, complete one more meeting, or play one more game of UNO that we'll accomplish it all. The truth is the work will always be there mounting but how we experience life, the ultimate gift to our family is through our mindful presence.


Here's the thing, we care deeply. We don't get in these ruts because we intentionally forget that we need charging to power the family. We're human and this is part of the organic journey.


Recharging can help us connect more deeply with the reasons we perform at 100+ miles an hour. The fear of slowing down traps me with my thoughts and I recognize I have to sit with those thoughts and with the end of the world that will come by not doing one more thing. This year, I found myself doing this more and more.


Guilty as charged. These kinda things happen in marriages, life, and most importantly to humans.


When I reflect on what I want for my kids, I think about the opportunity of what I can model from them now- through my challenges. My desire is that my children are more attuned with their recharging system and value the importance of un-winding.


In my letter, I challenged them to explore the creative adventures that bring richness to their everyday experiences as I have chosen to do the same this year.


Throughout the week I thought of many different outlets I could explore. There are many things I enjoy including cooking, reading, working out, or just lounging and watching fails.


Dancing is my ultimate joy and the shower is my club time often.




Losing myself in a non-fiction book gets my brain going and I look forward to the progressive conversation I then have within my network. The more I thought of all the extreme and everyday simple tasks I could do to unwind one kept shouting pick me, horseback riding.



You see here's the thing - in my mind, I think I can train them, ride them, and lasso them while drinking my coffee, but the truth is I haven't got past the insert a quarter phase. I told myself, soon enough.


The universe was listening loud and clear.





I ran across these majestic beauties who kept saying, "I triple dog dare you".


I'll report back next year but for now, I'll take it slow and realistically for a sustainable recharging process. I'm off to explore another hike and get lost within nature.


Who knows I may find a unicorn.




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