I find lately I have been plagued with self-created expectations and 'grass is greener' thoughts. As for expectations I've placed on myself, and the 'should's' that sit heavily on my shoulders, it's not just one story, it's many. It's the expectation of what I should be feeling, what I should be doing with my time, what income I should have, what path I should be on, and so on. It's hard to shake and manage. I do believe being fully present is that way to dismiss the tripping thoughts, but I truly find it difficult to maintain presence for long periods of time. Is that fatigue? From being connected to my phone for years? Is everyone else having a similar hard time always being present?
Being a mom is a complex, beautiful, difficult, non-stop thing. Something you generally don't get paid for (beyond the first year of maternity leave), get rewarded or acknowledged for. You don't get a degree or certification for everything you've learned, mastered, gone through. And with the complexity and all-encompassing-ness of the 'job', it really does something to the mind. So much of the brain activity is logistics; 'where is the diaper bag and did you put a food tube in it? Do we need more wipes? How many times did he poop today? Literally 300 silly but not silly decisions and questions to have in a day. Then there is the worrying aspect. Are we reading enough? Have they eaten enough vegetables? Played with enough kids? Are they nice people? And then there is the sweetness. The moments you just watch and can't help but bubble over with smiles and laughter at how funny/smart/amazing/beautiful/silly/miraculous they are.
And I guess it's all part of it. You can't have one without the other, but I'm just trying to say it's a lot. There is a lot going on in the minds of parents all the time. Which is why I can't remember what I did last night. Why I need to have reminders on my phone, and why I have intense stress and anxiety at any given moment, too. All of this mind stuff that comes with being a parent, maybe that is what 'clouds' the ability to shake off the 'should's' and the expectations.
I was recommended the book "The subtle art of not giving a f***" and I am already so excited to read it. To get some insight to let go of caring/fixating/stressing/worrying/thinking about things I don't need to. Or things that don't serve me or my family. I read a quote recently that keeps coming back to me "If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” A good reminder when I'm anywhere but right here right now.
All of it is easier said than done. Everything. But what choice do I have? Anxiety, depression, or peace. That's the choice I have. It's a conscious choice. One that takes energy and commitment and reminders and assistance.
I look outside my window and I see two scenarios.
1. So. Much. Snow. It has specks of dirt covering it that makes it look like extra bad. Our driveway is a mudway. Pathways are buried. Ugh.
2. The roads are finally clear. The homes no longer have snow on the roofs. Sun is poking through. Drips of water mean the last bits of snow are melting. It looks like a gorgeous day for a walk. Outside smells so fresh. The mountains are beaming.
They are both there. The first is the easy one to feel and see first. But the second one is there. It's just on a higher shelf. But it's a better product, and it's worth it.
I write to make sense of my thoughts. To reflect. To share. To ask for insight and stories. I love stories. I know it's been a long winter for everyone. I feel you. I hear you. I don't want to live in the future or the past, so I'm going to look at what's good about what's here right now. I don't want the snow or rain to blind me from the blessings that surround me every minute of every day.
On that note, I will end in gratitude:
- I've had three days with Penelope in day home (in a row). She loves it. I love the extra time and space.
- The sun is shining. Right in this moment. So bright. I am so ready for that walk.
- I get to teach spin tonight! It keeps me strong and is such a powerful outlet for me.
- We bought seeds and are going to plant veggies! I am so excited. It's part of my summer bucketlist. I'm excited to involve the kids and to start something that's good for us and the planet.
- Life is simple and calm in our mountain town.
- We are all healthy and happy.
- Our kids are great sleepers.
- I can sleep again! (I had the most challenging months of my life. And I feel good again. It's such a beautiful thing I am so grateful for. You really don't know how much you miss/need sleep until it disappears.) Sleep feels good and I'm so thankful.
- Being in a greenhouse with Mark and Elliot was so fun and pleasant. The warmth. The feeling of being around so many new plants. They were all like "HI! I'm a plant! Yay!" So cute. So little. So many. It felt like trip to summertime on a lunch break.
- The roads are clear - so we are going to get our bikes up and running for the weekend! Joy!
- The smell of spring approaching is so nice.
Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think! Sending love from the mountains,