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


  1. I feel like I'm in Mama school when I read you. I love how you've grown and are growing.

  2. This is a wonderful post and I'm adoring everything you've put forth.

    (I'm also excited to see your bit about homeschooling -- another hand to reach out to!)

    I've been reading lots about rhythms and rituals lately -- been peering through Seven Times the Sun (a gorgeous book), and, believe it or not, I've been following the flylady routine ( and it's saving my soul. Honestly.

    Hope to see you again soon <3

    With love,


  3. oh, the mary stein words - wonderful.

    and, you know, heather, who writes beauty that moves, has one 12? year-old daughter - not two little bitties . . . you don't need to rise early and do the things she does . . . not yet . . . not at this point. at this point you need to sleep when your bitties sleep, play when they play, hold them when they need to be held. and sneak out a moment for you when your wonderful husband is willing to do those things with them. later, when they are older, when they are more self-sufficient, then you can rise early and do yoga or run and drink tea before their day starts. for now, enjoy this season. soak it in. relish in it. and keep sharing your thoughts with us. i love to read you.

  4. You are amazing just as you are and the Mama that Poppy and Silas chose.
    Thank you for writing and inspiring me through the lows of my first trimester. EVen thought it is the third time around, it is just as difficult as the first.
    Know that when you are sitting feeling the way that you do many of us are sitting here thinking the same things. You are not alone.

  5. i love how you put it down. love it. it's so real with the pain of life, yet not depressing. oh, how i am freaking myself out about being at home lately (and i don't even homeschool), and not living up to some june cleaver standard. somedays i do, but some days i am her wicked pent up shadow that would scare or just plain sadden anyone with any sense. ha. hmmm, i sound bipolar. no. i am just a girl playing with words, being a little sarcastic, a little honest, and a little hard on herself. thank goodness for you and your honesty. i would have loved to have a mom like you. one who doesn't fall back on the bed, plummeting backwards, as the only rhythm i knew. lalallala.

    i am pondering the idea today of having too much on my plate. a firend put that into my head. how to get the nonessentials, the things i don't dearly love the taste of, the feel of, off of it. this feels good to me to consider. i am thinking of clearing things out of the house. i am so sensitive to having too much on my plate. simplicity and meditation will being me back to joy. and running. maybe barefoot sometimes. i want to start running again. you know i would love to be your running partner!!! running will clear a lot of shit out too. oh that sounds good. first though, i must get over my cold. my recent cold has absolutely forced me to slow down and look at what exactly is on my plate. how did it get there. does it make me feel good?



  6. What Annette said. :) I'm constantly in awe of your growth. Remembering when I first met you, and now, well now you're a mother. A wife. It's inspiring. You're inspiring.

    P.S. - I've missed this. I've missed you. The blogging world.


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