My head was pressed up against the black leather head rest of our rocking recliner as the familiar hum of its back and forth filled the room.

My eyes closed, I was thinking about all of the other things that I needed to be doing as my foot pushed off the floor for what seemed to be the 1,263rd time. 

It was a longer-than-normal bedtime routine for a tired three and a half year old and her worn-out mom.

I had already rubbed her still-wet-from-the-bath hair.

I had scratched her arm.

I had played her favorite bedtime song (because who doesn’t love Frosty the Snowman in the fall?)

I had already told a story about a princess who played hard all day and then went to her castle room to go to sleep so she would have enough energy to play the next day.

But every time I peaked down to see if those pretty little eyes had given in, there she was — her face lit by the hallway light sneaking through the crack in the barely opened door — doing the “slow blink.”

Over and over again. 

Blinkkkkkkkk and open… Blinkkkkkk and open … each time, raising her eyebrows to help assist in not letting them fully close even though the upper lashes seemed to be begging the lower ones to grab hold of them.

“Honey, just close your eyes,” I encouraged her. “You know you’re tired … get some sleep.”

“But, Mom,” she said, “Sleep is boring!”

I prepared myself for the next 1,263 rocks.

But eventually, the upper-lower eyelash meeting finally happened and my girl drifted off to her princess dreams snuggled into my armpit with her arm tucked under her head.

After mouthing a “Thank you, Lord” into the air and slowing my rock until the hum disappeared,  I looked back down at her in the silence… that light still shining on her perfect face.

I couldn’t help but soak in her peacefulness. 

A peacefulness that I wished I could find in the midst of the hecticness of modern-day motherhood.  A peacefulness that is in my reach, but I always seem to fight off.  A peacefulness that I know so I could find, too, if I would just stop slow blinking. 

Slow Blinking. Fighting It.
Day in. And day out. 

Fending off what’s best for me for no good reason at all.

My body is begging me to rest but I fight to keep my eyes open because my mind convinces me there is too much to do, and too much on which I would get behind.

My mind is begging for a break from comparison and expectation and yet I keep it activated with a mindless scroll of every friend’s social-media highlight reel.

My heart is aching for some love that comes from within and yet my tattered soul won’t allow it to feel what it knows — which is that I am worthy and valuable.

My spirit is aching to chase its dreams and live its purpose and make a difference … but my anxiety acts like a raised eyebrow that keeps me from settling into the calm I know I need.

Freedom from judgement.
Self Love.
Reaching my Dreams.

Everything that I would find if I would just stop slow blinking and fighting it off with fear, insecurity and expectations.

My mind drifting was interrupted by my daughter readjusting herself in my arms. I thought she was waking up, but her eyes remained shut. 

My heart, though? It was suddenly wide open…

… to the idea that maybe if I encourage myself to stop fighting the inevitable… fighting off what I NEED… I could find that kind of peace too.

Written by Brea Schmidt

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