Before the retreat, I prepped everything I wanted to cover, and the theme I chose was “Life is good” – about how what we focus on grows and in any given moment, everything is pretty great, it’s only when we start thinking about the future or the past that we get anxious or start feeling regret.
My mind liked that theme quite a lot – still does – but my gut had other plans.
Everything that came out of my mouth last Friday was about creating space. Space in the body—to breathe, for our organs to stretch out, for our muscles to unkink. Space in our lives—to allow for sitting still, reflecting, NOT doing something every minute of every day, unwinding. And space in our minds – to get some objectivity on the thoughts we think over and over again, to hear what we really think, to try on some new perspectives.
I didn’t think of it in these terms, of course. I just thought, This having-two-young-kids-and-working deal is hard.
I mean, having two young kids and working is definitely challenging. But the fact that my body wasn’t functioning well made it seem a whole heck of a lot harder than it had to be. I was:
- A total stress case – one of the kids would cry and I would sweat blood.
- Picking fights with my husband when something didn’t go exactly the way that I had planned (for instance, nap time).
- Using wine to “take the edge off” each night. As the number of glasses I “needed” crept up toward two, and then three, it started affecting my sleep. Read more…
I mean, it makes sense. I just spent five days in wedding land (that’s me, my daughter, and my gorgeous best friend in Santa Fe last weekend). My brain has been lingering somewhere in the Southwest with sweet memories.
But I’d been in such a good groove of writing newsletters that came effortlessly! Here’s the reflex that came up. Tell me if this sounds familiar:
“I just had the best mojo and now it’s gone. Gone! When will it come back? Waaaaa. I better buckle down and get busy and push through this.”
Tomorrow I’m off for a long weekend to Santa Fe, New Mexico. My BFF is getting married and I’m the matron (cough cough) of honor, and my daughter Lil is the flower girl. I am so excited to be there for one for the most important people in my life as she goes through one of the most important rituals of her life!
So why is there a picture of my three-year-old son, Teddy at the top of this article? Because he is not coming with us. He’s going to have a special weekend all to himself with his grandparents. This is how I’m selling it. And I know it’s true. I’m so thankful that they are excited to host them and that he loves spending time there. Really, there are no problems here.
And yet, I am totally bereft at the thought of leaving him behind.
Teddy is my special little buddy. He’s been a champion snuggler since the day he was born (hence his sometimes nickname, “the barnacle”). He started preschool at the beginning of September and his snuggling capacity has only increased since then – most mornings he crawls into our bed at 5:30 on the dot and proceeds to burrow into my side. I give and get dozens of hugs a day from this kid and I am absolutely savoring every moment. (If you’ve met me in person, you know, I’m a hugger!)
The book you see at your right is written by my friend and hero, Katy Bowman – she’s a biomechanist who is on a mission to help us all take control of our own health by using our bodies in the way they were intended to be used. Her book, Alignment Matters, helps you troubleshoot issues from head to toe, and honestly I can’t stop reading it.
(Full disclosure: I also wrote the quote that appears on the cover of the book, and I am so excited about this fact I could just squeal, but really, the contents of the book are what have got me hooked. Not that my name is on the cover. Promise.)
Last night, it was the entry on eyes that had me hooked.
“Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. Myopia could also be called muscles in the eye that are too short—but that doesn’t sound as smartypants as myopia…
Here’s what I’m noticing this week: People in a weird, in-between time, where they’ve left their old reality but haven’t quite arrived in their new one yet. They’re feeling scared, at times overwhelmed, and having a hard time connecting to a sense of trust that things will actually work out well.
Been there? I certainly have!
When I was 32, I got dumped by the man I thought I was going to marry. There was no going back to that relationship (I believe the words “over my dead body!” leapt out of my mouth when a friend asked me if I’d get back together if I could). Yet the road ahead seemed so unsure. What if it was too late for me? What if I never learned how to trust again?
[sounds of a roaring crowd]
What, you’re not immediately blown away by this photo? I mean, I get it. It’s not particularly big, nor particularly artfully organized.
But let me put it in context: What you are looking at arrived in about a hundred pieces spread across two large boxes at my house nearly three weeks ago.
I knew putting it together was going to be a challenge. I mean, I can put together an IKEA table pretty well, but this project required two drills, a level, and something called a block plane. It is way, way outside my handiness comfort zone.
A. Follow conventional wisdom, take the choice that looks best on paper
B. Make pro and con lists out the wazoo
C. Poll your friends
D. Avoid making a choice until circumstances make one for you
E. Get quiet, hear what your gut has to say, and then act
What’s your go-to option?
I’m guessing it’s A, B, C, D, or some combination of the above. You’ve definitely had an E experience, but it was years ago, and now you’re wondering if it was just a fluke.
This is a photo of the glorious bathtub my husband chose for our updated bathroom. Bless him, he knows I love a good bath, he really went for it when he was selecting just the right model to host my future soaks.
Only problem – the location of the drain in this beauty didn’t jibe with our plumbing. [Cue the sad trumpets.]
We were in the thick of an interior renovation, trying to get as much done so we could move in and stop paying rent and mortgage. So we ordered a new tub with the right drain location (which is also beautiful, I might add) and kept going. This first tub, which we never even unwrapped, was relegated to the garage.
Where it sat for eight months.
As I write this, my daughter’s first day of kindergarten is tomorrow. It’s a day we’ve been waiting for for a loooong time now. Over the summer, my husband and I were waiting for a date to close on the apartment in Brooklyn that we had been in contract on since April. And in my conversations with prospective clients, I’ve been hearing a lot of “I just need to wait until…” I’ve got waiting on the brain.
Something I tell my kids all the time is, “Sometimes we have to wait.” (I say it at red lights, in line at the grocery store, or when all the swings are full and my kids want to know why?? Why can’t we go where we want to go or do what we want to do right at this moment?)
There is no escaping waiting. You can be patient or impatient when it happens, but still, the waiting is there.
There are a few ways waiting can play out in your life: On one end of the spectrum you’ve got a total standstill while you wait. On the other, you go in to a frenzy of making plans just so you can feel in control of something, and all that activity that’s done as a result of trying to push away uncomfortable feelings (of needing to wait) will only need to be changed once X comes to pass.