It’s a funny thing, this blogging. One of my very early posts was just featured on Mamapedia Voices, and I can’t tell you how excited and flattered I am. It’s my first non-self-published writing. I am so honored. I’m also feeling the pressure. As you can see, I haven’t posted since July 1st. But now that my voice has traveled a little farther than this here little blog, I feel the urge to speak up some more!
(How funny – one of our 3 year old twin boys just talked in his sleep after I wrote that.)
So, you know how they tell you that toddlers will love one food for a few weeks, want it every day, three times a day – and then suddenly hate it for the rest of eternity? (Hello, sweet potatoes.) Well, that’s sort of how blogging has been for me this year. Some weeks my life was a bubbling pool of potential blog topics, and every few days or weeks a perfectly synthesized post would boil to the top and present itself, and I’d want to share it. But over the summer months the pool stopped bubbling. It wasn’t just that topics stopped presenting themselves, but if they did I didn’t want to share them. I retreated to a more private place. I guess I wanted to keep my mask on for a while, rather than reveal what’s behind it. Maybe keeping the mask on was my only way to survive a summer break with three under five. Maybe I had hit my threshold for pondering every self-help angle of motherhood, and I just wanted to live it. The living part was challenging enough, believe me.
I also had this little quote in the back of my head a lot: “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” The summer required a lot of creativity, which in my world translated to a perfectly organized calendar of “summer things to do with the kids”, from free museum days to outdoor story times. My own life coach gave me this genius idea: The kids and I brainstormed all kinds of things to do – outdoor and indoor activities, from simply taking a walk around the block to visiting a distant nature center to Pump It Up – and wrote them on little slips of paper. We folded them up and placed them in three separate bowls: “inside”, “outside”, and “inside or outside”. Then we did eeny-meeny-miney-mo to see who got to pick something from the bowls. Of course we still got the “I don’t wanna do that!”, so we’d move on to the next kid until we came across something that everyone felt somewhat excited about.
I loved this idea and was convinced we would use it every day, maybe even several times a day. It was my surefire bet against the dreaded build-up of boredom and tension around filling the day with fun stuff to do. But guess what? I think we used the bowls twice. Somehow, each day became what it was supposed to be. The right activities presented themselves. The universe provided. And we even had quite a bit of time just hanging out, keeping it simple, staying local.
It took all of my energy just to be present, and there was very little room to rise above everything and look at it from a distance and wonder, or analyze, or complain, even.
Now we’re back in the throes of the preschool schedule. I have three hours to myself five days a week. I waited quite desperately for that first day, first week, convinced that I would spend each morning just staring at the walls. But alas – we’re in week four, and I don’t think I’ve left more than three mornings unscheduled with something. Granted, some of the things are long-awaited self-care activities, like massages or coaching sessions, but others are scheduled because it’s the only time available for that painter or roofer or piano tuner. I’m still left waiting for the first day of staring at the walls, and it’s my own gosh darn fault.
So it’s fun when something you’ve put out to the universe (my blog post) comes back to you (gets published) and reminds you to take a moment to step back, float up, look at it all from above, and get pondering again.