Tuesday, September 13, 2016

My Quest for Self Love; UGH!

On Valentine's Day of this year my dear friend dragged me kicking, screaming and tantruming like a 2-year-old to Hot Yoga. First, I had devoted 33 year to NOT becoming a "morning person." Second, the idea of sitting in a hot room and stretching did not appeal to me. I grumpily rolled out my yoga mat and laid on the floor.

The yoga instructor instantly jilted me.

"Welcome everyone. I'm so glad you're here. What a perfect day to practice yoga. Valentine's Day. In a world where we're always giving of ourselves, the most important love we can practice is self love."

Self love? It's something I hadn't thought about for a while. I wasn't there to down dog or up dog or "Flip the dog". I was there for a spiritual purpose and I didn't even know it. My soul needed me to go inward and dig deep and be vulnerable and open up to the practice of self love.

For a long time I confused self love with selfish love. They are not the same. Self love is attacking the inner voice that's constantly doubting. Am I an ok Mom? Am I a decent wife? Friend? Sister? Daughter? Employee?  _____________? It's the analytical side of the brain that shows up just before bed or a big meeting or after an important conversation with the bosses' bosses' boss. Did I say that right? It's the doubting voice and boy did motherhood give this voice a megaphone.

Self love is taking that voice, wrapping duct tape around it, pouring gasoline on it, stomping on it 8 times before setting fire and throwing it into white water rapids. Self love is ripping the head off the devil on your shoulder that's keeping you small and in your head. I've lived in that place before. It's an easy place to reside. We're wired for it, but on Valentine's Day this year I decided it was ok to devote a little time to the inside while I still carried on with my most important jobs of Mom, Wife and full time employee.

It's ok to carve out time each day devoted to self love.

Do you know what my favorite sound is now? When I arrive early to Hot Yoga (5:50 am) and my new friends on the same quest for self love roll out their mats.

It's beautiful.   

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sometimes It Goes Slow

They will tell you it goes fast.

And it does.

But not all moments go fast. Some move very very slowly...

Like when you're laying half bodied in a twin bed that's been peed in 2, 3 or 25 times and you feel you will never get your child to sleep again. You're reviewing the to do list and the minutes available and the minutes needed aren't adding up.

Or when your kid goes limp and flat in the middle of the busiest farmers market in town. You brought your child here to learn about fresh food and the passionate farmers who provide it. You thought you were doing a good thing, but that lack of sleep has caught up to both of you and you just don't know the best way to scoop your kid up and exit. So you spill your local cup of coffee, lose your blackberries, drop your locally grown zucchini and toss your screaming toddler over your shoulder to make a nice "quiet" exit. Oh, by the way, you biked here so good luck with that.

Or when the lamp comes crashing to the floor because a ball comes flying thru the house and you take the ball and pop it even though you know there is a better calmer way to "handle it."

Or when you lose your temper and become a version of yourself you didn't know existed. It's ok.

Or you forget the snack at basketball and you swear all moms are staring when you walk in 20 minutes later hair a mess, sweating holding organic allergy free options for 15 kids when there are 20 on the team.

Or when you have to explain why the dog that has greeted your child daily for HIS ENTIRE life is no longer greeting him anymore. That moment moves slow.

Or when you're trying to decide between one kid or two, two kids or three, three kids or four OR you're trying to have just one kid. That moment...it moves very very slow.

There are moments that move slower...The times you're late or have to cancel play dates or the moments you feel like you're failing at EVERYTHING. Those moments move very very slowly and those moments matter. They're just as important as the good ones. They may even matter more because when we forgive ourselves for being human and accept our shortcomings, we become an even better human.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

One Year Closer


            Today I reached out for your tiny hand and you didn’t hold mine back. I know this is good. You still need me, but not like you used it. I know this is how it’s supposed to be with each passing year…you gaining independence with each Velcro shoe step. I know this should make me happy.
            We’re a few weeks shy of your fourth birthday. FOUR. There is a lump in my throat imagining you crossing over from three to four. This one is hitting me. I’m not sure why. 
            They all said this would fly by. The women at the gym as I bundled you in coats after basketball, the nurses at the hospital, co-workers, friends, family. They all told me how fast this would go. I knew. But FOUR seems big. It seems like you’re a young man now.
            Honey, I’m so proud of you. I’m proud of your sweet heart and the way you communicate your needs. I’m proud of the way you do things on your own now and that sense of satisfaction when you complete a task. I’m proud of your funny one liners. I’m proud of the way you squeeze your eyes closed so tight when a song with “beats” comes on. I’m proud of how gentle you are with babies and how much fun you have with the kids your age. I’m proud you’re kind and happy and smart and all the things I want for you.
            I’m sorry if I’m weepy on your birthday. I’ll try to hide my tears. I’m sorry if I have to swallow this lump down in my throat for the next few weeks as I think about this tiny milestone. I’m sorry if I’m “That Mom.”
            Truth is I never imagined you being our only child, but sweetheart if you are our ONLY child, I will be overwhelmingly proud to call myself your ONLY mom.
            I guess deep down I know, it’s just one year closer to letting my ONLY YOU go.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The B Word

Tucked deep in conversation at a local coffee shop, the drink may be different but the topic always feels the same.

Small talk, small talk, small talk...insert something about failed attempts to find balance here.

Moms getting together for book club or a business meeting or an excuse to take a latte time out in the middle of the busy day.

BALANCE. What a B? Why does it feel so hard to attain? Oh, yes, that's why...

Because it's unattainable. 

I can feel every yogi hippie spiritual person's blood pressure rising. I know, I know...balance is ultimate objective for you. That's ok...downward dog on. You're doing great. I want to be you.

But from my almost 4 year experience at this working mom thing, the only time I felt "balanced" is when I accepted balance didn't exist. Something will always give.

Maybe it's the sink that is constantly full of dirty dishes.
Maybe it's an e-mail left un-responded to at 11:45 pm when it was received.
Maybe it's a dirty car or a dirty bedroom or a dirty toilet.  
Maybe it's the dog hair stuck to everything or the dinner and bed you forgot to make.
Maybe the bills are a little late or you're a lot late to the soccer game.
Maybe you forgot the healthy snack when it was YOUR turn for the carrot and celery sticks.
Maybe the maybes are so prevalent in your internal conversation that your head is going to explode and confetti with the word "maybe" will spew out.
Maybe it's ok to not be balanced.
Maybe that makes life more beautiful.
Maybe you are doing a better than you think, Mom.
Maybe it's ok just the way it is.

Nameste, B. You got this.


Friday, December 18, 2015

I Miss You

Myles,

I woke up this morning and remembered you were gone. I pulled the covers over my head as the sadness swallowed me like a wave on the ocean's edge.

I miss you, buddy. Your hair is everywhere. I'm still carrying it with me. There are scratches on the floor from that last awful week with you. Your collar is hanging in the closet next to the leash. Your poop is still in the yard. There are small reminders of you everywhere.

As I moved through this day full of emotion, memories of your face bounced in my brain. Memories of how you lifted your head every morning while I bounced down the stairs or how you snored so loudly at night. I miss that sound. I miss watching you with Jack. I miss you laying on the porch in the sun or next to me by the desk. I even miss that bark when you wanted back inside.

I miss you, but I don't miss the dog you were that last week. I miss the one the 13 years before it. That's the dog I'll always remember not the one at the end.

Rest Easy My Gentle Boy.

Until we meet again...

Thursday, December 17, 2015

It's Ok.

It's been seven long days and seven sleepless nights since this disease took over your body like a vampire in the night.

We have a consultation with the vet today to decide what's next. What's next...incredible how much power that phrase holds in this situation.

You've been a very loyal faithful companion, old boy. You were part of  my blood family and now you're a part of my chosen family. We all love you. We love your quirky personality and your consistency. We love how you expect very little, but give so much. We love how calm and committed you have been to Johnny and how you let him think he rules the show. We love how patient you have been with Jack even though I'm sure it's torture for your old body to have such new life running around you all the time. And we both know I mean ALL the time.

They say your average life expectancy is 13-15 years. Interesting how you're just a few months shy of your 14th birthday.

Myles, it won't be the same without you, but we'll be ok. I won't be the same without you, but I'll be ok.

Sometimes we have to dig deep to make the most difficult decisions. I'm digging deep here, sweet boy. And that place we have to go when we know what's right, that's where I am. I hope you know I'm not doing this for me. I'm doing it for you. Thank you for your companionship, loyalty, trust and most importantly love. I will carry it with me forever.

It's time to let you find that dogsled team in the sky. They're waiting for you to lead the pack.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Christmas Miracle For Myles

Dear Myles,

Right now you're resting peacefully in the sun room. You've rested there 1,000 times before, but this time it's different.

For the past two days I have mourned the possibility of losing you. I cried while building PowerPoint presentations. I sobbed on my commute to work. I swallowed down more lumps in my throat than I can count. I suffered through conversations about the weather and other things that don't matter all while preparing to lose you.

This morning Jack drew you three pictures. On the last picture, in his best 3-year-old penmanship, he wrote: "Get Well Soon, Myles."

And suddenly, this indestructible hope of a 3-year-old hit me.

Through our 13 years together, you never waivered. Your love for me flowed steadily and consistently like a river through the middle of the woods. You were present when we got engaged, married. When we brought our sweet baby boy home, you greeted us with your signature happy dance. You never gave up on me when I traveled after college sometimes for months at a time. You were always there ready to accept me just as I was.

And that's why I'm not giving up on you.

Sweet boy, if you want to fight, I'll fight with you. If you want to go, I will support that too. I'm here to wrap my 33-year-old arms around your 13-year-old body and hold you when you're anxious. I'm here clean up your accidents, feed you by hand and take this one day at a time with you.

And if you decide you're ready, I'll be ready too.

But if you want to fight, I'll fight with you.