It began in 2012 with 31 days of Thankfulness. 2013 followed with 31 days of Restoration, then 31 Glorious Mornings, then 31 days of Kait behind the Camera. Every October for the past four years, I’ve logged onto my little blog and put words to the page.
This year, I have no daily words for my sweet reader friends. I’m trading in my Write 31 Days badge for my own sanity, dear ones.
I love my job. I love being a faculty member at my university. I love getting to plan study abroad curriculum and create new course content and mentoring students and even sometimes grading all of the lab reports.
I love this new journey into the photography world. I love serving brides and grooms on their wedding days. I love getting to capture the sweet moments and details and love that go into these events. I love making new creative friends and learning more about my craft and developing my style.
I also love my husband and my girlfriends and my church community. I love coffee dates and dinners in my home and taking my puppy for a walk. These things and these relationships keep me whole and restore my spirit.
I love this crazy, busy season of life. And it’s because I care so much about the things I’m doing and the people I get to do life with that I’m saying ‘no’ to the extras, even if they’re good. No, I can’t plan that Bible study. No, I can’t sacrifice another night at home with my husband. No, I can’t write on my blog every day for the next month. At least, I can’t do those things and keep up with my real loves, the ones who deserve my best self.
My non-negotiables go in this order: love my people, do my job with excellence, and work hard at my photography. And in this season, when the days are getting shorter and my time is pulled in a lot of directions, anything outside of these three areas is on the chopping block. I’m saying ‘no’ so that my priorities are preserved. It’s an entirely new thing for me since I love being known as the girl who can do it all. I thrive on others thinking that I can carry the heaviest of loads. But by holding onto these burdens, these superfluous items – I’m doing myself and my loved ones a disservice.
So this 31 days, I’m giving up on writing and instead I’m going to read every day. I’m going to love on my people and I’m going to give up on trying to do it all. I just finished Shauna Niequist’s Present over Perfect, and every word was a fresh breath, permission to live freely again. I’m now working my way through Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey, and already can’t wait to share more with you.
For now, I’ll leave you with a quote from my friend Shauna:
This isn’t about working less or more, necessarily. This isn’t about homemade or takeout, or full time or part time, or the specific ways we choose to live out our days. It’s about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.
It’s about learning to show up and let ourselves be seen just as we are, massively imperfect and weak and wild and flawed in a thousand ways, but still worth loving. It’s about realizing that what makes our lives meaningful is not what we accomplish, but how deeply and honestly we connect with the people in our lives, how wholly we give ourselves to the making of a better world, through kindness and courage.