Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: blogs

This Grateful Season – A Toast

 

A toast… to myself… past, present and future. May I continue to grow, to thrive rather than survive. I forget often how it really is all in me. I bring the awesome.

A toast…to you… whoever you are out there. May we continue to cross paths, to connect and cherish. I forget how often that’s all life is really about. You bring the awesome too.

Thank you for reading. I am grateful for this blog, a home to express myself and document my life. Celebrating my 300th post.

Cheers xo

Ths Grateful Season – Ambivalence

I had coaching call with Randi Buckley back in April. I didn’t write about it then. And I’ve been participating in her Maybe Baby course since the start of October. And I haven’t written about it here either.

I have always been ambivalent about motherhood, so much so, that I thought I was on the “no thanks” side of the fence. And then I started to get my shit together, my mom and I healed our relationship, I got married and the hormone switch when ON. Like, blaring fog horn in my body on, which was extremely confusing.

Who did that make me? A slave to my body? A hypocrite? Was I becoming one of “those people” who check off the list of adult accomplishments and after marriage realize the only next step to take is “babies” and they leap off that cliff with no detailed plans?

No, not at all. I am allowed to feel out both the “yes” and “no” and everything in between. The call with Randi 7 months ago allowed me to speak this inkling out loud for the first time… and I got excited, and scared, and nervous all at the same time. What did it all mean?!

Today I practiced feeling out a full-on YES to motherhood. And I realize that my own ability to conquer the world, to know that I can kick ass (even at motherhood) waxes and wanes with my mood. And man, has my mood been mercurial lately. It sucks.

But then I read posts like this and this and this and I know, like Brooke says:

“Sometimes it feels like everyone else is doing it better, you know? Like there’s some secret I’m a little behind in knowing.

I keep hearing There’s no easy answer.
And that seems to be true. It’s even a little of a relief, because maybe I’m not missing anything at all. Maybe it’s just…like this sometimes. And times’ll change and things’ll become easier and definitely the thing to do is to see the small steps, the small positive changes and to continue on as well as possible and to do the best we can.”
And that’s where I am. Still ambivalent – my soul leaning towards a “yes” the way our feet search out warmth under the sheets or our hands massage the puppy’s ears – but at the same time it still feels impossible. How can I handle a child when I break down some days over how filthy the house feels or that I can’t possible fathom the energy for my entire to do list…?
But people do, every day, and life goes on. So, a toast here to the good work Randi does (this woman is so.much.fun to chat with), the good work I’m doing for me and my future and the honesty to know, I need to allow myself to sit in this ambivalence. While it’s not the final answer at all, it is part of my path, and I’m learning to embrace all aspects, even those that are unclear and uncomfortable.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Side note: to be honest, I feel like I’m coping out on these posts somehow. I wanted to use them as an review of my year, but instead they seem to be just daily posts. Since I invented this series, there is no “wrong” way to do it, but seriously, I was hoping to get a tad more in-depth by now.

This Grateful Season – These Two (Sundays Are For – Week 12)

Oh boy, I would be remiss if I didn’t post about these two multiple times during This Grateful Season. My awesome husband and my perfect dog. Also bringing back the Sundays Are For posts. It’s been a long while since H and I were both home for an entire weekend. Add to it Veterans Day (thank you veterans for your service, for real!) we have a 3-day weekend, which is just loveliness.

H and I have been up and down lately. Mostly, he’s not home because of work and grad school and that leaves me plenty of time to be frustrated, alone and sad. Not to mention the recovery from the crazy work and travel schedule is taking much longer than I hoped (thank you Mercury Retrograde, not for real). And it turns out, I really care about quality time, both for myself and with H. So the past few days I’ve made an effort to take some time for myself and H’s made an effort to spend time with me. It’s helping immensely.

I’ve needed so much sleep lately. Usually I like 7.5 hrs per night, but lately I’m cruising through 10hrs. It makes me feel like a lazy-crap person but I’ve decided to just go with it. Eventually I’ve gotta get the energy back, right? Replenishing the reserves or something…? Besides the sleeping, I’m spending a good bit of time on the couch with H and my sister, at the park with the dog and generally lying low.

How are things by you? xo

For more weekend pictures of beautifulness, visit A Year of Sundays.

 

The Basics of Who I Am To Me

Exhaustion hit me today, but not in the way I thought. My energy was manic, with a 3m run, cleaning and spending hours on the phone. There was something primal about it all – I was reconnecting to my body, my environment and my friends. This is how I treat my body when I respect it. This is how I like to live in my space. These are the people who know this me that I live out each day, and not the idealized (or under-performing) me of my parents’ opinions. I needed to reboot somehow, but I could tell that I was engaging in an old habit – trying to squelch the NOT ENOUGH! Monster by over-doing it.

Luckily, I realized what I was doing and decided to take a few hours to myself. So here I sit, reading blogs, updating Twitter and basically being a loaf. Found that Jen Lee has a multimedia course that I’m looking forward to spending my “therapy as fun” money on. Rediscovered 99% and Gypsy Girls Guide. Didn’t even get into Jeffrey Davis or Shutter Sisters.

And while I am inspired and full of excitement, I am struggling with what this all means for / to me. By “this all” I mean the great big inter-web.

Does the internet really need another blog? What thoughts and conversations am I bringing to the table? What interactions do I need from this channel? Are there other, more profound things I could be doing with my time? And what kind of stuff can I write without using the word “I” 100x?

I’m not downplaying my need to create, but I am concerned that this isn’t the right medium for me. I want so badly to be involved in a shutter sisters or Squam Art workshop tribe, but I have no wares to bring to market. And I don’t mean having a creative business, but about having content and a container.

I’m not turning out anything – no stories, blog posts, poems, photos. I seem to be, but this is a guise. I am choosing to look creative over actually creating. Serendipitously, this is the topic for Week 5 of AW: the cost of appearing good instead of being authentic.

“We strive to be good, to be nice, to be helpful, to be unselfish. We want to be generous, of service, of the world. But what we really want is to be left alone. When we can’t get others to leave us alone, we eventually abandon ourselves. To others, we may look like we’re there. We may act like we’re there. But our true self has gone to ground.” pg 98, Artist Way (1992)

I know this all too well as I’ve lived my life, specifically the past 9 years. How much of myself I buried, lost, pushed under, how tired I felt. And I’ve spent a good bit of time in the past year trying to excavate, rebuild and remember the basics of who I am to me.

These are just the starting thoughts of something bigger, some way of finding my way in this world, but you have to start where you are. And here I am.


Community

I skipped Monday’s #reverb10 to take a mental break. I skipped Tuesday because the world was going crazy, but I’m feeling the urge to pick up yesterday’s prompt and write.

Two years ago I discovered the magnificence of blogs. Real blogs, with updates and RSS feeds and relevant information for my life. I devoured the accidental yogist and then things like 43Folders, ZenHabits and the Simple Dollar. From there I moved on to KathEats (which I’ve read almost daily for over a year now) and Dooce. I was all into life hacks and productivity and food.

And then, this year, there was a shift.

I began reading Susannah Conway, Kelly Rae Roberts, Tracy Clark and Gwen Bell. I was amazed by their creativity, their honesty and the community drawn into their circles.

I’ve known for a while now that I am one lonely fish. I’m not sure why this is. I have a large network, but not a ton of close friends. I don’t have a uniting activity in my life. I have lots of acquaintances – people who I see a few times per year or know me via my job – but I don’t have a lot of stronger, deeper relationships. I certainly don’t have a tribe. Not yet anyway.

So today I thought, “I’m avoiding this community prompt b/c I feel I don’t have one. OK, so, I don’t have a community, but what is it that I’m so drawn to this year within these blogs?” And I thought, “It’s the STORIES”.

That’s probably why I started my own blog. Not to express myself, though that’s part of the deal, but to feel more included when reading other’s blogs, posts, tirades. To participate. I am standing with my toe in the water, but I haven’t jumped in yet. I’m open to suggestions on HOW TO. It’s something I hope to build on in 2011.

Self-Help Not the Turn On It Used to Be

I love self-help / psychology / productivity / “how-to-entertain-your-cat-while-juggling-refridgerators” kinda books. I get it from my dad. We’re all about improving ourselves. Discovering blogs like “43folders“, “The Simple Dollar” and “Happiness Project” made me pee my pants. I was all, “You mean there are thousands of other people out there who care about things like organization, personal finance, and getting.things.done (literally)?! OH.MAN.”

But lately, there’s been a shift. I’m reading creativety-based blogs. I’m participating in DreamLab. I’m thinking about things like “how can I express myself?” and “what’s the best way to capture this feeling?”. A little less advancement and a bit more self-care. So it’s no surprise that my trip to the library felt a bit meh today.

It wasn’t the library’s fault. If anything, they had a surplus of books that would normally catch my attention. It was kind of amazing how many I should’ve wanted to check out, but I didn’t. It felt shallow. I wandered around, reading jacket synopsis and table of contents. I grabbed two I thought I may like if this mood passed (Floor Sample and I Need Your Love, Is That True?) and another novel (Olive Kitteridge) even though I’m already working on Hemingway. I reassured myself that I’d find something worth my time.

And bam! Rework appeared on the New Books shelf. I felt like laughing. Here is a book that I’ve wanted to read enough to contemplate buying it and I’ve stumbled on it by accident. LOVE a good serendipitous moment.

Priorities and interests change. Today was just another example. Yesterday is where I’m coming from, today is where I’m going. Things transform in shifts and starts, but we grow just the same.