8AM is the deadline. The distance is 30 miles. The task is to wake up, shower, dress, feed the family, dress the kids, wrestle them into the car, drop them off at daycare, hustle down the highway, park the car in an overcrowded lot, make it into the building and into class, teach a full day, attend meetings, and then reverse the routine and get home by 5PM. Each morning can feel like a battlefield and I might break out into a sweat before 6AM. But most days we make it, and on time, and in one piece and on a Wednesday, like today, when we are halfway through this maddening routine, I can see the weekend ahead!
At the beginning of December, I was feeling pretty discouraged by an on-going, persistent roadblock in my health. Waves of dizziness and vertigo hit with unrelenting regularity. It was a little scary to feel so out of control and out of sorts and to not know what the trigger was or when it would hit next. Sometimes in class, I would stagger out of the room and get to the bathroom as quickly as possible to avoid being sick in front of my students or fainting. Deep breathing became my best strategy for calming down in the midst of an episode. And I went to my doctor for a variety of tests that all left me with no conclusions as to the cause. What makes it so unnerving is that it was both predictable and unpredictable, and definitely connected in some way to my emotional state or hormonal state. It would increase intensity at certain points in the month and disappear at others following somewhat of a pattern. So in order to combat this mysterious situation, I turned to some some dietary changes and creating new healthy, mindful habits. Now you know the origin of my resolutions to be healthy and happy from earlier.
Since the autumnal holiday of Thanksgiving, I have really felt and noticed that if I eat crap, I feel like crap. With reducing my dairy intake and switching my morning milk in my coffee to almond milk, plus taking a probiotic, my belly gut feels so much better! I thought the dairy switch would be hard but actually because I feel so much better skipping out on the cow’s milk, it has been easy to side step and embrace the overall better vibes and energy I have gotten in exchange. With this extra energy, I have had the courage and stamina to cook more often and authentically from scratch which has in general made me feel happier in the kitchen and excited because as the kiddos are getting older they are getting SO into helping in the kitchen. More vegetables, fruits, and goodness is making all of us slim down on those extra pounds we were carrying about. So with the extra energy and the slimmed down 5lbs, it has also been easier to get into a consistent workout plan with lots of slow flowing yoga and some strength training. I am feeling stronger and this positive momentum always has me feeling like I can keep it up and going. So things are feeling good right now. I still got a dizzy spell about a week ago but just one and that is SUCH AN IMPROVEMENT that I could cry in gladness over the dramatic change I am feeling from some positive dietary changes and activity choices.
The other piece that is probably helping me feel overall healthy and lighter is letting go. A part of me has wondered if some of my nauseous feelings and lightheadedness were related to my deep-seated desire to have more children which is in direct confrontation with David’s reproductive choices. While I was telling myself I was making progress because I was stifling it down better, I had a sneaking suspicious that perhaps some of these symptoms were psychosomatic. Was I acting pregnant because I wanted to be pregnant? During break, I tried to reflect on this a bit and figure out ways to shift my perspective from “woe is me” to a viewpoint of choice and empowerment. A friend from high school reached out to share a bit about gender sadness she was experiencing and how she connected to some of my previous sharings on the topic. It felt very humbling in the moment to realize that I am not alone and it gave me a feeling of stability within the whirlwind of emotions I have carried about me since David’s procedure. After that conversation, I thought to myself, “hmmmm if some of my longings for another child stem from gender sadness, and if I am not alone in these feelings, perhaps there are other moms out there who have written about gender sadness in missing out on having a boy?” There must be a mom out there with a gaggle of girls who has expressed a tinge of sadness of what it would have been like to have had access to the part of her heart that wants to love a son. I googled and googled and googled and asked David to google for this and we found…..nothing. At first I was like, wow no one is sad about only having daughters and then I thought, what the heck! Why aren’t women sad about missing out on the love of a son? My sons’ love is AMAZING! It is playful, messy, and intense, it is sweet and and gentle. It is boyish and not gendered, it is one of the most beautiful bonds I have ever experienced. My perspective has dramatically shifted. I don’t need a daughter in my life to live fantasies of dress shopping and superficial nonsense that I have been holding desperately too like some deranged Disney villain longing to live our her princess fantasy. And instead I was reminded that sometimes when I need a miracle I look into my sons’ eyes and realize I have already created two.
Maybe its causation or correlations but healing my tummy and healing my heart was a lot of healing this past month, and I definitely am feeling the changes.
We have been in our house for a little over a month and feel pretty settled but also feel ready to start tackling some of our “projects.” I guess every house is a “work in progress” as you inch slowly closer and closer to your vision for the space.
The first room we are working on is the playroom. Since moving in we filled it with a new couch, rug, bookshelf, and coffee table. It feels fine for right now, but it is also exploding with toys. One of my goals for over my March spring break will be to purge and donate toys. The boys have accumulated so many things from holidays and birthdays and just random gift giving. This room clearly shows they are loved by their grandparents and aunts and uncles who shower them in gifts. And we are incredibly grateful for the “daycare” we have been able to set up, especially since my mom watches the boys at home many days during the work week. The room keeps those boys busy busy. But it is time to start saying goodbye to some of things in order to streamline the work that the kiddos do in there. And, a lot of the baby toys can be phased out with Owen inching closer to his first birthday.
We also was to change the drapery which seems like an easy task but the previous owners bolted down those window coverings in a serious way! They are going to need some work to take off the various brackets that they deadbolted to the walls and then we will need to patch and paint, and find new curtains (although we might use our blue and white curtains here from our previous house) and then paint the walls, ceiling, and the trims (we want those to be white). So a lot to do to freshen up the room but while it might seem daunting, David and I are not in a rush. We see this as our forever home so we are excited to get started and will work through this patiently.