It is stealthy, sneaking up on you before you realize. One day, looking in the mirror, lists upon lists running through your mind, emotions unchecked and stealing the life from you- you discover that you are no longer there. You are feeling, physically existing, speaking and carrying on, but you cannot find your Self. You have not fed her. You have not cared for her.
In the few free moments in between it all, your time becomes a thing you reach for and never grasp, because those spaces in between baffle you- what to do with them?- and then they are lost.
It could be something to do with our culture that we do not realize THIS PERSON NEEDS TO BE HEALED (whether it’s a little or a lot). We don’t pull together, pool our resources, make sure the members of our community are well. Instead, we all put on our best face, turn away from what we perceive as weakness (even in ourselves), and barge forward, leaving a wake of bent backs and loneliness behind us.
Or maybe life (and motherhood) really is this hard sometimes.
There is no denying that I’ve had a lot of help, and a lot of joy. That when I say I’ve never been happier, it’s true. I love my babies and my partner and my life. But when I begin to look around and cannot see myself, I realize I must reach out further, and I realize that sometimes I don’t know how.
I should give the perspective here that I had my first baby one year and 12 days ago, and that my second baby is due 29 days from now. I am overjoyed and terrified of the fire I’ll wall through before I can be made whole again. I am terrified I’ll disappear.
This morning I made a list of the “things to do to get back to myself” and I realized that I won’t be disappearing, after all. So long as I remember to remember what I need, I’ll be ok.
So much of what I read and gravitate towards on the Internet is motivational, creative, business- starting how-to ‘ s and beautiful ideas on self discovery, giving your gifts to the world and supporting your life financially while doing so. I think the people who have this figured out have one thing in common – whether in the middle of parenting, working, illness or health, moving, trauma, drama, stress or whatever of the ten thousand things we can lose ourselves in- they never forget to remember themselves.
They don’t run away and hide, and if they do- they come back. They make the time, find ways to give themselves what they truly need- and that is why they have real success. They refuel so that they can give.
This week, and until this baby comes, I will be refueling so that I can give. Here is my list so far:
-Go to astrology workshop in September
-find out about book group/get good recommendations (I am lost without something good to read)
-Take a yoga class
-bake and bake and bake
-buy candles from Our Kids Farm
-Go see Professor K.
-Go to therapy
-Research fall boots and get some
-Buy a new sweater with Gap gift card for after baby comes
-Spend more time getting ready in the morning and enjoy it
-Take a bath
-Make body scrub
I am pleased to say that a full week has gone by since writing this…(now baby is due in 22 days)…and I have knocked out (and repeated) at least five things on this list. On top of that, I’ve MADE TIME to write, and realized that it is an intensely huge priority that I feed my creative life in the middle of my life with John and my life with our babies, or else there will be none of me left to go around.
I have plans, my friends, BIG ol’ plans. Goals to accomplish. One day at a time.