There’s nothing like a good cry to get your thoughts really flowing, amiright? I, for one, have been weepy for the past week or so, which is to say that I’ve got more than a few things to get off my chest, and they’ve got to go somewhere, so here they are.
Emet turned eleven years old yesterday and I’m all kinds of nostalgic about the whole thing. For me, life pretty much started when I was eleven. That’s when things got really good, in the juicy, sink your teeth into living sort of way. To think that my baby boy is now a young man, an actual preteen if you will (if you say the word tween I will cut you), boggles my mind completely. He is easily one of the coolest people that I know, and watching him stretch into a body that is very nearly as big as my own is incredible. Soon he’ll rest his head on mine, and that gives me a pain in my heart that only a mother who’s watched her son go through the same transition can understand. I wouldn’t trade that pain for anything in the world. It’s beautiful, and I couldn’t be more proud.
I gave him deodorant for his birthday, by the way. So.
Today marks the anniversary of discovering the presence of a certain tiny guy, and hell if my body hasn’t been through the ringer. Between a difficult yet beautiful pregnancy, a broken foot, and a surgery that scarred me in all the ways, the time has more than come for me to give myself a little bit of attention. I put aside a lot of creative and delicious endeavors due to the distraction that is having a baby, but my oh my what a magical distraction. Still, there is a lot of change involved, and I might not be the quickest when it comest to adaptation.
But a year is long enough, if you ask me. My Huckleberry friend is twenty weeks old now, and doing wildly better than expected. He’s off the preemie charts, just barely in the case of his size, but he’s off them altogether and that is something. My recovery is clearly going to take more than me just waiting for it to happen, an oddly familiar theme, so doing something about it is really my only option.
Getting started is always the hardest part, why must this always be the case? I shake my fist at you, momentum! It usually takes something radical like a thirty day writing challenge or a couple dozen miles on my bicycle, but without fail, it takes some kind of daily maintenance and I have not been committed to anything on the regular in a very long time.
Except breastfeeding. Breastfeeding forever. We’re a little over one month away from solid food and the fact that my newborn baby is that close to being six months old? Crazy, I say. Just plain nuts. But breastfeeding is not for me, it’s for him. And I need to do something for myself.
My big kids, they left this morning for a little vacation with their relatives in Los Angeles, and I’ve decided to dedicate this time to carving out a few new habits and hobbies for myself. My beautiful friend Kate wrote this thoughtful essay about refining her morning routine which really resonated with the struggle I have been experiencing personally. I have no routine to speak of at present, and I think that’s partly why I can’t seem to get anything done. I haven’t found my rhythm yet.
The plan is simple, really. To get up, get out, and get moving, is the basic idea. Little walks around my beloved neighborhood, a gentle swim at our local pool, a few trips up and down my favorite secret public staircase that’s right across the street from my house, these aren’t exactly difficult things to do. Neither is finishing the few essays I have still lingering in my drafts folder, or even preparing and photographing a couple of the new recipes that I’ve developed recently. And yet, I can’t seem to accomplish any of it. So for the next five days, while my big kids are away, I’m committed to doing at least one thing for myself every single day.
Like writing this here manifesto. I do declare this to be the year of loving myself, of not letting life get in my way. Because when it comes right down to it, I spend an awful lot of time taking care of others, and methinks I’d do a much better job of it all if I actually spent a little time taking care of myself. Furthermore, I want to set a good example for my children, for them to see the importance of personal practice, to always feel that they are worth the effort, and, above all, to never forget that they are the guardians of their own well being.