Monday, March 16, 2015

Words of Wisdom from the Y

We joined the Y a few months ago. My husband, who I like to say has a seasonal interest in fitness, got very enthusiastic about the possibility of working out there. The first week he took a yoga class. In the ten plus years we have been together I have only been able to take a class with me once, and I teach yoga! I was perplexed but also proud that he went on his own so I keep my mouth shut. When he came home and said how great it was I smiled. When he quoted the instructor, I must have looked confused. At the end of the class when everyone was relaxing on their backs she said "thank you for just one more day." My husband is the thoughtful sensitive type but still it was completely out of character to be moved by something as simple as that but he was. Don't get me wrong it is a beautiful sentiment and we should be grateful for everyday we have here, and everyday that we are healthy and take care of ourselves we should take inventory. It just goes to show though that it really doesn't matter where or how you get spiritual enlighntment, just that you get it.

It is easy to forget to take pause and count your blessings as "they"say. I went on Facebook later that day and my husband had posted the quote from the instructor. I poked fun at him for how very moving a yoga class at local Y can be. We laughed about it for a bit. Only this morning though I understand how when a words are timely for someonw it really doesn't matter how the words find you. I just read a story recently about this older woman who would write letters to her grown daughter about how beautiful the details of her day to day were. From the outside her daughter said that her mother's life would seem quite opposite of beautful since her parents were growing broke and  her father was a raging alcoholic, but her mother was able to look at the tiny details around her and see how much beauty there was. After reading that I tried that on a particularly down day and I felt it nearly impossible. I saw incredible nature around me but I felt all the sounds were singing for my ears to hear that day. Perhaps a different day, but that day I felt blocked. After some more attempts I could see and here beauty a bit more but it was still pretty challenging.

I now make it habit everyday to pay attention to the details. It's not that I wasn't doing that before with my children, but I wasn't doing it for everything. When I do look at what is truly around me there really is more beauty than I expected to find. I remember a very spiritual friend of mine used to say, "Look for miracles everyday." I think I was always looking at my kids and stopped looking after that. My kids are amazing but it is not all about them, nor can I base my happiness on them. In my darkest period a few years ago when I was really down I remember that same feeling of not being able to see anything good around me. I could see the world moving but I didn't feel in sync. I could see people smiling but I couldn't remember how to feel happy. I had my then two year old with me day after day and although I knew I loved her more than I thought I could love anything, I still couldn't feel connected to her as I had in the past. The feelings scared me, and fortunately time healed and I was able to come out of that time and reconnect to the important things.

It's been quite sometime since I have gone down to the dark side as I can say now, but I feel so much more equipped for how to handle it. I feel like I keep myself in shape so to speak, by paying more attention to the details. This morning when my son woke up and then put his head on my shoulder and fell back asleep I didn't move. Eventually I was able to gently move down to the floor where I rested next to him while he slept. His arms were still around my neck and I just listened to him breathing. Dare I move and risk waking him, I stayed there for almost and hour. It was amazing! The sound of his breath made me realize how lucky I am to have this healthy boy and that thought just flowed into other thoughts of how lucky I am. It was a pretty perfect way to start the day. So the next time I decide to poke fun at where my husband gets his most moving sentiments I will remember this morning, because I too am grateful for just one more day.

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Little Fire

I'm really tired, and when I am tired, I feel old, and when I feel old I feel like time is running out and I better do something important with my time before it runs out.

A bit extreme maybe but I need a project. My son is 2 and a half and I said I would hire a sitter when he turned two so I would have some time to myself -- and well, that didn't happen. We moved, I got overwhelmed, he is my last baby and I want to be with him. There are myriad excuses but I haven't taken any time. And well, now is the time.

I had a dream a few nights ago that I went back to do a job, when I had a bit of a career and when I got there I didn't know how to do anything anymore. When I woke up I realized it's not that far off from reality. It's been a long time since I did anything outside of parenting and writing this blog. I am rusty! Now starting over again is a bit more than I can chew, but observing a class, or taking one, might do the trick. I just can't muster up the energy because I am so tired, which makes me feel lazy and then like the clock is ticking, and so on.

It would help if I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but since it is not clear I am going to use this post as an opportunity to jot down some ideas that excite me, no matter how big or ambitious, I will not censor. I would like to do something that helps other people, through example, discussion, or film-making. I would like a health and fitness-related job again, that combines health, fitness and food. I would like to write more and have people other than my family read it. I would like to work in a group setting, where ideas and inspirations get bounced around.

Thats what I hope for. I will do some brain storming and hopefully come up with some first steps to take. In the meantime I am going to take a nap. Got to start somewhere.

Monday, March 2, 2015

I'll Be The Judge

Parenting and judgment ride along side each other more often than they should. As a former babysitter I should go back and apologize to my old clients for the judgment I had of the parenting styles they all had. I of course never expressed any of my opinions to them, but internally I had my own ideas of what they should be doing. Then of course I had my own child and quickly learned that this responsibility was no joke.

I had many friends who after having kids were running for the bookshelves to read every book on parenting out there. Some chose methods that resonated for them, and then by that book followed all the rules. I had others that seemed to do whatever seemed to feel right and if that meant chocolate chips for breakfast they seemed okay with that. I felt and still do feel somewhere in the middle. I have some styles that I connect with but nothing enough to go "that way or the highway." I also feel the right to change my mind as a I go along.

I was curious to see how my friends saw me as a parent. Without a negative judgment but more a comment on styles I feel I could peg which one of my friends raises their kids most similarly to me. I can also see what I don't do, and see what I wish I could do more of. Some people would think I am a little granola in the way I parent. I breastfeed so long, the food I feed them which more often than not is a plant based organic homemade meal, or that they don't get a lot of screen time, or most recently people think I am anti-vaccine, because I haven't given my kids all of the recommended vaccines.

Not a single one of these things though is a hard fact about me. I do breastfeed a long time but not on principal. I am glad my kids have been breastfed but if I couldn't I would have had to choose a formula that would have sustained them, because thankfully there is formula when one can't nurse.  I do have thoughts on the dairy industry and that milk might not be so good for humans, but in true non judgment hypocrisy we like cheese here! Plant based organic is a fancy way of saying mostly meatless and without pesticides please. I love cooking and yet I am not a huge fan of cooking meat. On occasion though you will find us knawing on slow braised ribs. And on the vaccine thing, I am not and have never been anti-vaccine, I just did it slower than most everyone I know.

My reasons for choosing the path I did with vaccines is because when there is some evidence that there are some children that have been affected negatively with timerasol, mercury and other preservatives used to stabilize vaccines, I was hesitant to put that in to a newborn baby. So we waited until our baby was a bit older and stronger. We also had an off-the-charts smaller infant and toddler so again, we waited. Luckily for us more and more evidence came out over time that some of these preservatives could be harmful so they were removed from vaccines. I don't want to stand on principal or on a soapbox about this topic. I do believe parents have the right to choose for their child within reason. What I think is reasonable compared to some extreme super liberal mom or some super conservative mom will be different though. I do know that when the envelope is pushed too far extreme situations happen, and diseases returning to threaten our children after decades of being gone is extreme.

There is my "trying so hard not to judge" rant. I am pretty okay being labeled as whatever type of parent you want after reading this. I will try and not label anyone else out there and I leave an open mind to how one wants to parent. I have a hard time believing any parent can knowingly keep kids unprotected, so there must be a lot I don't know about. I'm okay with the level of ignorance I have right now, since I am also okay with what I know.