Thursday, October 28, 2010

still seeking balance

Just yesterday a friend shared these words from a poem entitled "What Brings You to the Next Morning" by Maya Stein 
" heave your weariness from the room 
gather your limbs to the center,and rise.
Tell me what keeps you from plummeting backward..."

The image continues to come to my mind and I think about how my bones have been feeling heavier than ever these days.  I dream I am jogging through quiet streets veiled in grey morning mist.  I have never been a runner {unless you consider the month I ran before I became pregnant with Poppy in which I finally realized the rush of running}, but my body aches for it and my subconscious pushes me toward it.  I always wake to the same lead-like limbs these days.  I am trying to surrender to "the beautiful chaos" {to use the words shared in an email from a lovely friend}.  I am reading tips on finding rhythms and trying to incorporate beautiful rituals into our days.  I am learning that I have a routine-resistant toddler {oh and did I mention that we have entered the wild and wicked world of tantrums?} and an 8 week old who wants nothing more than to be held and to nurse.  

I am learning that the most humane thing to do is to release my expectations.  I am learning that I must be "on" when the kids are.  I am learning that nothing will ever be finished in a linear fashion again, especially with two children.  My days are destined to be filled with tangents and detours; songs and distractions; stops and starts {much like my writing these days}.  This is what I signed up for and I am so grateful for it all; staying home, the smiles, the snuggles, the loving husband, our little home, our new car, our parents, the time to be nose to nose, the simple life we've carved out, our friends, my brilliant and healthy children; all of it.

I often find myself feeling guilty about being home; like I don't deserve such decadence unless I spend my days keeping the house clean, putting a wholesome dinner on the table and slaving away at the never-ending list of tedious tasks.  I feel guilty that I can't seem to drag myself back onto the cloth diaper wagon.  I feel guilty when I let Poppy watch movies because it is just so damned  nice to have a break.  I feel guilty when I ask Mike to entertain the kids when he comes home from his own long day so I can have a bubble bath. I feel guilty when I put the clothes in the dryer.  I feel guilty when I take time for myself, but I know that if I want to survive motherhood and homeschooling that is one hurdle I must leave behind.

And then I read this post at beauty that moves.  It has given me a much needed new perspective on my "job" and "salary".  I don't need to say much more than to suggest you read it yourself and start carving out a "salary" for yourself.

I have many ideals and ideas of what our days should hold.  I am constantly inspired.  So inspired, it would seem, that I have become paralyzed.  I know I should rise with the birds and run.  I know I should rise with the mist and center myself on a yoga mat.  I know I should creep down the stairs when the wild things slumber to devour a book and some tea.  I know I should write it out.  I know I must be kind and generous to myself so that I may be the same towards my family.

And these are the ideals, thoughts and people which will bring me to the next morning; the things that will bring me to gather my limbs to center and rise again.

go gently & be wonderful


p.s. "How To Start Over" by Maya Stein

resist the temptation to wipe the slate clean entirely.
you cannot do this.
you are where you are.
but you can dust. you can mop. you can cleanse your belly
of all the heavy cheeses you ate at last month's holiday parties.
you can initiate the day with decaf.
you can rake four batches of leaves from the lawn.
you can sing, loudly, in the car to no one
but the man on the radio who is singing with you.
you can decide that the apple pie you are craving
will not come from your hands, your oven, your kitchen,
but from the bakery aisle at your neighborhood grocery.

ignore the titles from the self-help shelves and glossy
women's magazines, with their sound bytes of colorful insight.
you do not need a makeover, a diet, a religious conversion.
you do not need to get more in touch with your feelings.
you do not need potassium, or St. John's Wort, or a colonic.
you need a walk, communion with shore birds, a rainstorm,
a glass of wine in front of a fire, lip gloss, a whole evening
of the novel you read only incrementally, at night, before bed.

ignore the calendar, the clock, the larger itineraries
ticking their niggling bits of time.
you will sleep when you need to.
you will know when it is time for water, for a shower,
for a phone call, for a kiss, for solitude, for Indian food,
whatever nourishment you need for your throat, your ears,
the palms of your hands, the hunger just under your skin.

imagine, despite your unbearable faults and fissures,
you are still a thing of beauty, a rare creature, a snowflake,
a singular, spectacular atom circumnavigating the tangled astronomy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

finding balance

wearing gramma's shoes
Wearing blue and grey to match this liquid, navy day. 
I am still stumbling around in motherhood.
Trying to find our rhythm.
I just can't seem to get my footing with this transition.
Whoever told me the transition from one to two was much easier than zero to one had it all wrong.
How does one person give both a nineteen month old and a six week old everything they need without always letting the other down?
When is there time to be a woman and lover?

potty poppy
When I lay between two softly scented babes and kiss their tiny fingers, every frustration melts away and I promise myself I will be better tomorrow.  I am always the last to fall into sleep's lap and have been moved to tears when I look at my slumbering loves.

I recently watched a video {though I can't remember who the speaker was or even where I found it} in which motherhood was compared to that of watching grass grow.  Everyday seems much like the one before it, but big things are happening in front of and because of us.  We lay in bed wondering what the hell we accomplished that day to make us so tired, but can barely name a few things.  We're maintaining and for our husbands/partners to come home to a house that is still standing is nothing short of a miracle.

silas sleeping despite the Thanksgiving noise

So that is where I am at; survival and maintenance.  There is still no other job I would rather be doing; I have never felt such a complete and utter joy as when I look at my children and husband.  Yet when we give everything to those we love, it can become an excuse to stop looking at and giving to ourselves. 

you wouldthink he sleeps a lot by these photos wouldn't you?

So here I am seeking balance and rhythm on the other side of pregnancy, licking my battle wounds and wondering who I am.  I have thirty five pounds to lose.  Scars and stretchmarks are my badges of honour.  I barely recognize the chubby girl in the mirror.  I am trying to figure out what I must let go of and what I must cling to. 

My days are lacking structure and I don't know how to incorporate it yet.  I have ordered this book in hopes of finding writing inspiration and recording these precious days and years to come; this book in hopes of finding balance in our days; and this book in hopes of finding fun activities for Poppy as the cold months move in upon us. I am also looking into some of the guides offered at Little Acorn Learning on adding celebration and routine to each day.

Yoga, jogging, baking, knitting, and writing are the things calling to me of late, but if I had to pick just two to carve time out for it would be jogging and writing.  That and a quiet, candlelit evening spent with Mike while sipping amaretto.

go gently & be wonderful


Monday, October 4, 2010

still standing and breathing
finding our daily rhythm one more time

learning to take gratitude and patience to a new level

soft & sweet

precious boy

Poppy adores her new little man

handsome boy with striped socks

Poppy 6 weeks :: Silas 3 weeks

P.S. You can read my submission to the Autumn Edition of Rhythm of the Home's Online Magazine HERE
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