Be Mindful Evolve & Grow

Expansion & Contraction

I have been thinking about this post for awhile. It has been hard to figure out where to start, what to say. It is hard to figure out what to write that does not sound incredibly selfish or short-sighted. In the last three years my life has changed. It has changed so much I hardly recognize my life compared to what it was three years ago.


Some areas have contracted. Other areas have expanded. The expansion has been amazing and exciting and unexpected. I delight in things I might never have noticed before – the moon in the sky at 8 am, an airplane, a double dump truck, a digger, ice cream sandwiches, otters at the aquarium, mud puddles, shovels, blue flowers, tide pools, pie, the blinds, a really big pillow, rocks, dirt, blueberries, raspberries, sunflowers, hugs, kisses, and smiles.

But then there is the contraction. This is the part that is harder to write about. I have gained so much from being a mom, from moving, from buying a house, from finishing graduate school. But all of that comes at a cost or maybe comes as a trade off – I am not sure what the “right” words would be. This is the part no one ever seems to talk about. I think back to the life I used to have and the life I have now is so very different. Things have contracted because there is not enough time in the day to live my old life and be delighted by the new one.

I love my “new” life – which is not really new but just a slow evolution of constant change over the last 3 years – but I also loved my “old” life too. And this is the part that I struggle to write – somehow I find myself split sometimes. I mourn the loss of the old life but I love the adventures and discoveries of the new one. I miss the opportunity to run 12 miles on a Saturday, grab a coffee, and lounge over brunch, then wander around a museum or market just exploring (this is the part that now seems very selfish). These days I squeeze in a 2 mile jog with the baby stroller, mainline a coffee, wipe up more food then I eat, and definitely don’t do any lounging.

But then there is that expansion again… I do get to discover what it’s like to get into a swimming pool for the first time, to build a sand castle, to go down a slide, to swing, to be tickled, to read a book seven times in a row and have someone squeal in surprise at the ending every time, to see a lot of sunrises, to see Christmas lights for the first time, to have your first pet (a fish), and to be unconditionally loved.

So if I were my own best friend I would tell myself this is a phase. It is part of the life I have chosen. And I should enjoy and try to remember every last moment. Because it is going to go really fast. In fact it already is.

Have any of you had experience with this? Have any of you found yourselves happy in your “new” life but also missing your old?

6 comments on “Expansion & Contraction

  1. joannollila

    What an awesome post! I think this rings true for so many parents out there…and you are right, we generally only talk about the “expansions”, even though the contractions are very…very…real. 🙂

  2. So beautifully written Rachel! Thank you for your reflection, it certainly resonated with me and I found it very supportive!

  3. At the end of the day I think the expansions make our lives much more rich. I too miss some of the old, but I wouldn’t trade it for the new.

  4. Laurel Lewis


    You must put some share options into your blog. I want other to read what I do and to get inspired like I do!




    BSN, RN, MA • Coach, Consultant, Transition Specialist Please “like” my FB pages if they resonate with you! Laurel L Lewis Death and Dying Dinner Parties

    Life is short…be swift to love, make haste to be kind. ~Henri Amiel


    • Ok. Ok. I will figure out how to do that. Any particular options you are looking for? I am not the most tech savvy person in the world but I can definitely figure it out!

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