21 August 2014


I've spent the past three days at a professional development teaching conference up in the catskills. It was lovely and peaceful there. I had almost no wireless service on my phone, save for an occasional bar on a particular patch of grass near the main lodge. The retreat schedule was pretty packed but never felt busy, if that makes sense. During some unscheduled downtime one afternoon, I hiked alone on the sprawling property and wandered up to the top of a hill where I perched on a wooden swing and did absolutely nothing for several minutes. My phone and computer were both left behind in my room charging for the next work session. I had a brief moment where I almost got up and started walking again, just to do something. Then I realized the absurdity of that, and remained still.

I bookmarked this article--Why We Humblebrag About Being Busy--from the Harvard Business Review earlier in the summer and have since re-read it several times.

I am no stranger to the busy-trap. I'm a yes-woman. A classic over-achiever, people-pleaser, type-A, slightly neurotic perfectionist. But the thing with all of this is I know I'm doing it to myself. We all are. It's a choice, every single bit of it. And at the end of every busy, still-not-quite-caught-up day, I hear myself internally asking "why?"


I know that leaving the city is key for me (us). I've felt that stirring for a while now, and keep shushing it silent under the guise of timing. "We're not pregnant yet." "My photo clientele is all based here." "The teaching year is September-June, so we can only relocate in the summer."

Excuses. I recognize that, but still feel tethered. As another birthday approaches in less than two weeks, and another school year kicks off, and another photography season revs up, I'm quietly gathering the will and resolve to employ full trust in our plan for the near future: the one where we bid farewell to New York and the craziness and our increasing lack of free time and start fresh somewhere else.

Somewhere with mountains or waves and houses with wrap-around porches and big grassy yards in a town we can actually afford. Somewhere we can put down roots, purchase a home, grow a family, build a life where happy trumps busy.

The thing is this: I'll always be a planner. I'll always want to do it all and do it well. But now, more than ever, I just want to feel well again. And to do that, I know it's time to forget the plan and follow my heart.

[Photo: August 2014 // Sunset over Cape Cod Bay]


  1. So, so beautifully written Kay. I love you.

  2. exquisitely said kayla and so poignant. i love you, mom

  3. You are just so good. Your blog is peaceful, contemplative, real. Thank you for continuing to share. All the best, Katherine :)

  4. Such wonderful perspective–I'm so thrilled to hear that you're making plans that feel right!

  5. Have you considered applying to be a newspaper writer? Extremely wonderful writing!


Your thoughts always bring a smile to my face. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave them.