I figure I have 10 minutes max before my dilapidated laptop crashes on me, but one of my resolutions this year was to write again and four months into the year I haven’t done a thing.
I decided my desk in the kitchen is no longer good inspiration. The debris from daily life is too distracting. So I unplugged and went outside. I even took a picture for proof…or maybe as a reminder to try this again another day.
A mom at preschool drop-off this morning asked the ever-loaded ‘what are you up to these days?’ question. Why does such a simple question feel like a punch to the gut some days?
‘Just momming,’ I answered casually.
But it stopped me in my tracks. What am I doing these days? Mothering. Cleaning. Pushing swings, wiping butts, countertops and toilet seats. Driving my car, reading stories, cooking food, saying no, saying maybe, doling out timeouts, jobs, discipline, hugs and kisses.
Also, I’m working out. And as I was running today, the thought occurred to me that for literally six years to the month my body has been working hard at sustaining other people’s lives. I have literally been pregnant or nursing with only a tiny 3 month window from January 2008 through January 2014.
And when my body was working so hard during that time I was proud of it. All those flaws that bothered me faded to the background just a little bit. That stuff that eats at me when I look in the mirror and echoes in my brain; it was just background noise. I had this intuitive respect and kindness for my body. It gave me three precious babies and I fed them with my own body, watching them grow and thrive. You can’t hate yourself when you have such tangible proof of its usefulness.
And then that season came to an end. As it was supposed to. My baby and nursing years are over. And I’m all wrapped up in relief and grief. What is my purpose now? Of course it’s to continue mothering…
But I am connecting how much I appreciate the feeling of my body at work. And so instead of growing babies, I’m hitting the pavement. Slogging along, huffing and puffing, feeling equal parts deflated and elated as I compel my body towards strength, resilience. The soreness in my legs and the burning in my lungs, pushes all those thoughts into the background. Those flaws melt away just a little and I’m simply me. Breath in. Breath out.
All to say, I’m not really sure what I’m up to these days. It’s a loaded question. Surely the sweet spot of balance is out there somewhere, maybe I’ll find it this year?