Feeling Vibrant and "In Between"

Life is downright busy this summer. I haven't tried to be subtle about it or use the euphemistic phrase "the days are full". We all know that's code-speak for "life is busy" anyway.

This empty glass is not symbolic of anything (like feeling empty). I just like the sand stuck to the bottom

So here's the thing. My days are busier than ever... and I'm ok with that.

Now that we're temporarily settled, with basic routines in place, the days are mostly happy and productive. Busy, happy, and productive.

I'm so enthused about the life I'm living. We have a new homeschool routine that rises to the challenge of our children's growing intellectual needs (yes, I'm anxious to share that with you but it will have to wait) and there is a creative vibe that bounces around the house as my mom gets ready to launch her blog and as Damien and I explore multiple avenues of being income-earning "creatives".

And then there's Laurent's bustling card business. I'm not ashamed to admit that the past week the boy earned more than I did, which isn't hard since my writing income is at the (very) slow trickle stage. But still... Laurent's card "business" had us making trips for more ink, running to the post office, folding, and addressing envelopes all week.

A huge thank you to all of you here who have visited his blog, left comments and even bought cards. You have no idea how much this is helping Laurent in both his education (there is a reason to learn handwriting and spelling!) and artistic development. We are honored by all the support being given to our son. Truly thankful.

This print is available for sale on Laurent's blog

There's a good vibe around these parts I'm telling ya'. So much so that I've even been able to manage, without too much stress, the unending bureaucracy of moving across the border.

Amazing what feeling good about life (your health, creative endeavors, spiritual growth, personal mission, the whole works) does for your overall perspective on life's inevitable inconveniences and hiccups.

The latest bureaucractic hoop-jumping involves importing our car and trailer. Inspections, repairs, lost paperwork (on the government's end), forgotten paperwork (on my end), multiple trips to car dealers, mechanics, and inspectors. That is our life right now, along with all the creative energy that brings vibrance to our days.

And I guess that's how I feel right now. Vibrant. I love feeling that way.

My "little" brother who visited my parents and us for a couple days this month while performing in the Maritimes.

When I took time this winter to think about what my ideal day would look like (using some of Lisa's free resources) and how I might achieve that, I kept coming back to one word.

A word that would describe how I would feel living my ideal life. That word was vibrant.

For me feeling vibrant is feeling physically nourished and healthy in my everyday living. It's having energy to meet the demands of a busy homeschool and homemaking schedule. It's feeling spiritually safe but also stretched to trust more. It's being intellectually challenged with good books and conversation. It's having the time to grow creatively and develop my gifts. It's being outdoors and close to nature.

In short, feeling vibrant is feeling good.

What I'm realizing this summer is that vibrancy is not the absence of stress or idyllic days flowing one into the other. Vibrancy is having the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental energy to deal with life's challenges and feel good doing so.

At first glance, I haven't thought these summer days to be ideal. This is not poolside resort living with room service (though it is very beautiful here).

The days are busier than all get out with meals to cook, writing deadlines, children to educate, travel plans, and then bureucracy to sort through. But in the midst of it all I feel great.

Yet... even in this season of vibrancy, the surging life of summer, I feel an inner tension also.

As we get ready to take our dreams to the next stage (I'm a very modest dreamer, Damien's the big visionary in the family) I feel the discomfort of being both in the moment while keeping an eye to the future.   

Enjoying my parent's company and the gracious sharing of their home while looking ahead to being on our own again in a couple short months. Reveling in the joy of parenting these elementary years while watching our children become young adults before our very eyes.

Writing for one project while strategizing another. Trying to make the most of summer days because you know fall will come, and after that, winter. 

Being comfortable in the constant "in betweens" might be one of my big lessons this summer.

Celine recently read Little Women and I pulled the following quote for her copywork and narration and after a couple days realized the significance of it's words in my own life.

Jo's ambition was to do something very splendid; what it was she had no idea, as yet, but left it for time to tell her; and, meanwhile, found her greatest affliction in the fact that she couldn't read, run, and ride as much as she liked. A quick temper, sharp tongue, and restless spirit were always getting her into scrapes, and her life was a series of both ups and downs, which were both comic and pathetic.

Ups and downs? Have those.

Comic and pathetic? In spades.

Don't even get me started on my temper (more like impatience), quick tongue (down tongue, down) and restless spirit.

I don't particularly long to run and ride, but boy oh boy I do want to write and write and write and I might just call that my greatest affliction.

And I do intend to do something splendid, though what it is I'm not entirely sure.

Jo would understand. Then again, most mothers would also.

And so my challenge in these busy days of creative energy, homeschooling (the most focused we've ever been), paperwork, summer living, managing one transition and preparing for another is to appreciate the moments (as they whiz by).

The moments of vibrancy, along with the tension of "in between". All of that is my summer.

Which is why I love photography so much and one of the reasons I write this blog in the first place. To remember the moments, that are the now, but will quickly become "remember the summer we lived with Nana & Papa".

What are you living right now that you want to record and remember about this summer? Feel free to leave links to your blogs if you have them.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • Renee

    Renee on July 20, 2011, 3:52 p.m.

    I'm so glad I stumbled upon your blog. You write such lovely posts, this one was just terrific. You make it appear like NS has given us a great summer so far, it sure isn't in Halifax. This is our best week yet. I wonder if I could be as organized as you? I admit I am a type A personality, love to have lists and organize my days, but you seem like such a pro. Can I say your son is gorgeous! What a talent he has, I love his drawings. Please pass on my complements to him.


    • renee

      renee on July 20, 2011, 5:37 p.m.

      I think it's all in the perspective. I agree, so far this summer in NS hasn't been the greatest weather but we're making the most of the great days we've had - many of which have fallen on our weekend hike days. We jump on the weekday chances we get to go swimming, etc... I assure you I am not an organizing "professional" but I am good at it. And if you seriously want some help (this is an unabashed "ad") I am available for coaching or consultation. This is new for me, I haven't explored it much (that's the whole back story to this move - no professional freedom for us in the US) but it's something I can and do offer. I have a services page now at FIMBY that tells some of the other stuff I teach. Anyway, totally not trying to sell myself here. Just sayin', is all... PS. very cool that live "local" to me. Do you homeschool also?


      • Renee

        Renee on July 22, 2011, 3:47 p.m.

        No I don't homeschool, I wish I had that talent.

        Unfortunately (or fortunately I should probably say) I spend the majority of my time behind my desk at work, so I'm in such a time deficit when I get home, that makes me feel like I'm always scrambling to get things done, have some time to read or whatever. If money wasn't such an issue I'd snap up your services in a minute. Ahh, but it is and that is why I'm here at my desk and my kids are at home. After much deliberation and a coupon, I excitedly signed up for Heather's 30 Day Vegan. I admire the 2 of you so much. Keep up the good work.


  • Candelion

    Candelion on July 20, 2011, 4:28 p.m.

    This post could not have paralleled my own current feeling any better. I am also at an in-between but still loving life. I've been painting, writing poetry, reading, teaching English, making good food, swinging at the park (it started raining last night!), doing yoga and just living before I leave for a camping trip and move back home with my parents when I get back. I will also be starting a new job when I return, but for now, I'm living without too much extra and loving it to pieces. At the moment, my greatest affliction is that I haven't been rock climbing or hiking in a few weeks. This needs to be remedied soon! Oh, I also want to write poem after poem after poem, and it erks me so much that I can't write while I'm riding my bike-- I come up with the best stuff then.


  • Mel

    Mel on July 20, 2011, 5:31 p.m.

    We are swimming, reading, hiking, playing and trying to wring as much fun as possible out of our way-too-short summer. www.travelingmel.com


  • Jennifer @ kidoing!

    Jennifer @ kidoing! on July 20, 2011, 6:48 p.m.

    I love Laurent's art. I will keep him in mind once I get through the mound of cards I have. I am blessed to be with my children all day every day, but I have to admit that I am not enjoying the summer heat right now. It's nearing 100 every day this week (and extremely humid) which makes it nearly impossible (and unsafe in our metro area) to be outside! Those nature pictures are fabulous...exactly what I remember from NS.


  • Francesca

    Francesca on July 20, 2011, 7:10 p.m.

    I love each and every summer, whether we're spending them home or away traveling - it's always a magical time of year. Your summer seems magical and also unique this year. Wishing you all a wonderful time, and Laurent good luck with his artwork.


    • renee

      renee on July 21, 2011, 12:47 a.m.

      Francesca, for as long as I've been reading your blog your summers have always seemed very magical to me. Time out of time is how they seem.  And your travels.. so exotic.


  • Jill Foley

    Jill Foley on July 20, 2011, 7:14 p.m.

    As always, your photos are beautiful. Makes me wish I was one of your family members, living there with you. Yours was the second post I read today with the word "vibrant" used to describe your current state of being / feeling. It's not a commonly used word, so I thought that was interesting.


    • renee

      renee on July 21, 2011, 12:48 a.m.

      I really like that word and I've hung onto it since it came to me this winter. As a mantra maybe or a personal prayer for my life.Or maybe it's just my word for the season or something.


  • Nola

    Nola on July 21, 2011, 2:43 a.m.

    Right now I want to record and remember this stage of having just 2 kids. I want to record my struggles with having the right attitude during my first trimester (feeling so unwell) because writing down my struggles helps me later to work through other struggles that come up in life. I am really really enjoying the stage my kids are at right now and I want to remember this. Because they will move on to another stage and leave this one behind.


    • renee

      renee on July 21, 2011, 11:05 a.m.

      Congratulations! I remember keenly wanting to remember and enjoy having just one child - that was Celine before Laurent was born. I loved those days with her. Of course I wouldn't trade my three kids for anything in the world but I knew life would never be the same with more than one.


  • Nicole

    Nicole on July 21, 2011, 1:18 p.m.

    Beautiful artwork Laurent! I love the creative spreading of wings in our kids too. I try to encourage that as much as possible. This summer I am trying to be calm and peaceful and enjoy every day because at the end of this summer our family of eight becomes a family of seven. A big change that I am stumbling through, happy yes but also a little saddened...


    • renee

      renee on July 21, 2011, 3:16 p.m.

      are you graduating a child?


      • Nicole

        Nicole on July 21, 2011, 4:46 p.m.

        No she has been graduated for a couple of years and is working as a dietary aid. Now however she is leaving our home for good and is off to be married! My second daughter has graduated from our school just this year but she is still at home. I still have a few to go though :)


        • renee

          renee on July 21, 2011, 4:48 p.m.

          Married. Ack! How wonderful, exciting, heart tugging bittersweet (mostly sweet) all at the same time. So happy for you and your family.


  • Naomi

    Naomi on July 22, 2011, 12:33 a.m.

    The joy you've had in this summer's experiences has been showing through your recent posts, but I'm glad to hear you're feeling vibrant despite the busyness. I think that's how I feel each time my then youngest child starts sleeping through the night, lol. This summer we have had more time with Glen, so we've been going to the beach a lot, and other fun mini adventures, all the outdoor time we've been sharing outside has made life feel more vibrant. What a good word!


  • Novi

    Novi on July 22, 2011, 7:58 a.m.

    Hi Renee, I'm your reader from Indonesia. I love your sharing about how to manage your life, familiy, and children with full of passion.

    I enjoy your posts about your summer although I only get rainy and dry season here :) so many wonderful experiences from your blog and they are become my inspirations. Thank you Renee!


  • Renee

    Renee on July 22, 2011, 2:30 p.m.

    You know, I don't think I've ever thought of life as being vibrant. Vibrant people - yes. Vibrant life - never crossed my mind. I always think of busy, full, stressful, exciting, hectic. I like vibrant though. It covers busy and exciting and also leaves room for the crazy.


  • Elizabeth

    Elizabeth on July 22, 2011, 4:20 p.m.

    It does seem like quite a momentous time in your family's life, and in your personal life. Thank you for sharing it with us. I can identify with your wanting to write and keep record of the here and now. My youngest turns one next month. I wonder how the present has so quickly slipped into "just yesterday he was...". This time in my life also see me finally getting to sleep through the night which leaves me itching to find some time for my own interest. This summer really has been about enjoying the little moments while putting one foot in front of the other in our family.


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