Friday, February 25, 2011

Redefining 'Me-Time'

It has been raining, hard, all day long.

DD is asleep, napping away, and I sense her impending wake- the thud and couple odd off-balance footfalls, the cursory attempt at opening the door (really just a jiggle of the door knob), and the oh-so-predictable fuss: "Maaaaama!!", ending in a hoarse unhappy groan.

And I'll go in and lay with her, cuddle her, stroke her hair and tell her I love her. We'll get up, play, dance, talk.

But I'll admit, I cling to these last few moments of self-time. Even though I've had two hours of them, and mostly I didn't do much: swept the floor, organized laundry, ate a lot of bread, and (here's the main truth) surfed the internet.

There's nothing wrong, specifically, with any of these things. (Okay, maybe the excessive carbo-binge is a bit on the 'wrong' side.) But I know, as I linger at the keyboard under a false pretense of importance, that I could do so much better for myself, for us.

I could be meditating. I have a new Mariane Williamson meditation CD that I've been meaning to devote some quiet time to.

I could have been writing, and not reading someone else's writing.

I could have been sitting- just sitting, quietly and with myself.

All of these would have been whole heartedly better than what I do, and what I've done during naptime for a long, long time- naptime, my beloved naptime, my only break from the day until bedtime- eat and surf the Web, with the occassional cleaning spurt thrown in for good measure.

Pretty sad, huh?

I tell myself it's Me time, but truly, I am not being respectful, mindful, of what Me-time would best consist of. I am not honoring the time and allowing it to blossom, within and around me.

It's a lie I tell myself, that what I 'need', what I 'deserve', is to stuff myself with unhealthy foods or overeat, and spend two hours sitting in a chair staring at a screen.

And in lying to myself this way, I am giving root to the falacy that my day with my child, my relationship with my child, my child, is something I need to escape from, something to seek respite from, something to avoid.

My daughter is what I love most in this world, what I believe in most, what I care for most. Her needs, her interests, her growth, her development, and all that is best about motherhood, childhood, life... she is my love. My life.

(And don't think I'm suggesting that mothers, that I, don't need a break and an oppertunity to recharge batteries and have time spent away from the very exhausting experience of mothering; I spent two hours last night trying on clothes, and eventually, a rare $50 bill on half a Spring wardrobe- I am certaintly not denying the wonder of childless time, when it's desired.)

But I need to be honest with myself. My time with my daughter is not a hardship- it is a gift. I know this, I feel this, but somehow I have lost touch with this truth in my living.

Somehow I've convinced myself that my daughter is what sucks energy from me, and that I need time alone to ignore the signals my body and my true desires.

The truth is much closer to the opposite of that statement- living in ignorance of my true Self sucks the energy from me, and coming back to Love- choosing to be Here, with my daughter in this moment, every moment, is what I really 'need' and 'deserve'.

Here's to the end of Naptime.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Magical, Today

I've been striving for the magic.

You know, the magic. That rythm, that feeling, that flow- when everything just goes, whoosh, and there's no pressure or stress?

Okay, so maybe I'm dreaming. Maybe I'm an idealist. Maybe I'm not grounded in reality at all... as was evident today, when the magic was distinctively missing from a couple of my interactions with my toddler. Mainly, the issues of cookies, and bedtime. Serious enough stuff, right?

Anyways, in all of the hubbub of moving, as we emerge into this new way of life, this new living space, this new start, magic has been weighing on my mind. Of course, I want to have a magical relationship with my child, I want to have a magical way of life, and above all, I want her to have a magical childhood. I spend a good deal of time reading about how to make this happen- toys, games, crafts, activities, places to visit, ways to interact, general mindsets.

But how much of this is lost in translation?

How many activities, crafts, etc. seemed sweet and amazing and clever and fun at the time when I first read or saw them, but were quickly lost to the depths of my incouragable imagination and pauseless brain?

My resolution (because resolutions are for every day, any day, not just that one first day of the new year) is to put all that I wish to be, all that I wish to create, into action. Beginning now.

What do I want to do for February?

I want to finish our calendar. (We bought a calendar at Whole Foods in December, with room to create your own picture for every month. The Monkey did January with a little help from me, and it was adorable.)

I want to tape big peices of drawing paper up on the walls at toddler-height, and let her go at it and make art. We've done this before with huge success.

I want to cut out hearts out of construction paper, and punch holes in them, and decorate them, and string them up across one part of the ceiling for Valentine's Day.

I want to get those cardboard blue-and-red-and-yellow blocks for her.

I want to get a tunnel (which I think we have, somewhere.)

I want to get a big playrug.

I want to make this for VDay.

I want to plan a beautiful, simple, affordable, green wedding. Mine.

I want to really grow into our new space, make it a home. Ours.

So there you go. Just some of what on my mind. But, understanding my difficulty putting thought into action, I'm going to go now, and practice what I ... well, think.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Welcome Home

We Moved.

The Monkey, the Bodyman and I have all moved to our new apartment.

It's smallish, it's bareish, but it's sweet- and it's comfortable. It's got a lovely kitchen and we have pots and pans and dishes, and forks and knives, and as of this evening, curtains. Mostly.

And the bedroom is one- but we have two beds, and they fit. Wonderful.

It's been a very stressful two days, really. Lack of planning on my part means that I was moving mattresses and adjusting the toddler and going all day AS I was detoxing and dealing with Candida-die-offs... not the most fun. Basically, I've felt like crap. Still not back to normal, but I'm working on it.

Tonight's the first night I've had time alone- baby in bed early, hubby off watching the big game at my family's house- and I've spent it in front of the computer, researching, reading, and typing. Just like any other night in any other house, really.

And it's gotten me thinking. About new starts, really- for the longest time we've looked forward to this, to this freedom and fresh-slate-ness, for this seperation.

And now we have it.

I think of all the crafty things, all the decorations, all the games and projects and writing and books and beautiful ways of living that I thought of, or saw, or talked about or read about but "couldn't" do because we didn't have our own easel on which to create them- and now we have it.

I know if I'm not careful, I'll let this blessing slip away, unnoticed. It's time to act.

First, I should probably sleep. And then think, and plan. But oh, boy, there's some action coming this way. This darling little burrow won't know what hit it.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Grain-free, Sugar-free Challenge!

I've been vegan for over a month now.

And I love it! Truly, I seldom miss cheese or dairy, and I never crave meat- if I did, I'd reach for yummy Quorn products. De-lish.

But I still struggle with binge eating, and it's a major drag. For a week weeks there I was doing great, eating only when I was hungry, eating only grapefruit for breakfast, fruit smoothies for lunch and vegan whole-grain/veggie fare for dinner. And not feeling deprived.

But that didn't last long. Case in point: I made a batch of whole grain vegan coconut-oatmeal cookies this afternoon, and probably consumed 3/4 of them myself. Yucka.

I've been questioning my addiction to grains for a while, or at least wheat. Toast with Earth Balance butter is a favorite binge food.

When I feel my best, I'm eating minimal grains, a lot of fruits and vegetables, and some raw nuts. That's pretty much it.

And I need to get back to that, to feel my best and to do my best as a mother.

So here it is: my three week, 21 day journey to better health and mood.

No sugar (need we say why this is a good idea? I think not), no wheat. (Still vegan- no dairy, meat, or animal products.) And more fruits, veggies, and raw nuts.

Yippee! I'll be starting this Sunday.

Are you up for the challenge?