I am very excited to bring you another Birth Center Project feature. To learn about my project, click here. I’m going to be very honest, this birth center feature was difficult. Not only am I super biased… More
I went on a hike today. First time in over a month. (According to my Instagram, my last hike was July 6th.) I can’t properly explain how free I feel. Well, my spirit feels free.
In the mountains, I have undisturbed space to think and talk to myself. The absence of man-made noise allows me to hear myself and connect with the singing birds and slithering lizards that startle me every other step. It allows me to hear my heart, which also means I become aware of my needs. I stop running my mouth and I start taking in, understanding, and processing what it is that I, Big Nugget, need.
I went from feeling guilty about taking time for myself—right after I started working from home—to not giving myself any time. I have experienced the effects of neglecting myself, which has proven to me that I need to consciously schedule self-care time. (Think about a couple neglecting each other.) I’ve understood that I need to date myself too.
According to Google, ‘date’ is a noun and it means, “a social or romantic appointment or engagement.” I crossed out the romantic part because I want to keep ‘date’ in terms of a platonic-kind of love, the kind you have for your children or best friend. This isn’t to say that I don’t think couples shouldn’t have a platonic relationship too.
It had been over a month that I had gone out on a date with myself. Thinking about this in terms of my children, I could not go over a month without seeing my nuggets! I could not go over a month without seeing my husband, so this is a big deal. I am a big deal…in my own life. I have to be, otherwise I start loosing it. I become cranky, annoyed, angry, frustrated, you name it, and this affects my family. My friends. My entire surroundings. It’s a ripple effect. I have become conscious of this.
Life doesn’t allow me to date my lover everyday—I have to confess right now that I still suck at postpartum dates with Josh, and I need to work on this too!—or my children or my mom, sister or best friend, so I can’t set an unrealistic goal to date myself everyday. What I can do is do something for myself everyday. What do I mean by this? I’ll share my goal with you as an example, and please keep in mind that this is my goal not yours, so don’t compare. My current (realistic) goal is to hike three times a week. Hiking provides me with a solid one to two hours of hanging out with myself. My daily goal is to dance at least one song a day to keep my vibrations high, or in other words, to keep my sanity.
I look back at how far I’ve come since my TIA two years ago, and I am patting myself on the back. I’m hugging and high-fiving myself. I am no longer ashamed of saying that I think I’m pretty freaking awesome. I am no longer ashamed to admit that I like taking care of my emotional and spiritual wellbeing, which is fundamental to feeling physically and mentally well.
I am balanced, empowered through my vulnerability, and ready to gain another wave of momentum.
Cheers to self-care!
has happened is happening. My dream life has become my real life and I am learning how to navigate it. I’ll try to put it in terms of running a marathon. Let be clear, I’m not a runner, but I have seen and am currently witnessing my sister training for a marathon—ultramarathon to be exact. I am a witness to the process of preparing to run 26.2 miles. Like with many other things, running a marathon comes in different phases. (I didn’t read the following phases in a book, nor did a professional marathon-runner explain them to me. I’m simply explaining the way I have come to comprehend what I am undergoing right now.)
The identification phase
This phase would entail identifying that I am interested in the mere action of running. I do some research on proper running methods, habits, etiquette, etc, and find out that there’s different types of running. I find my heart in long distance running, which leads me to take a stab at my first marathon.
The training phase
Now that I know I want to put myself through 26.2 miles on my feet, I start training. Training involves nurturing and taking care of myself in order to be strong enough for the mileage I’ve committed to.
The event phase
I run the distance that tests me mentally, physically, and emotionally, and I come out alive!
The high phase
There is a high that comes from knowing that I completed 26.2 miles of running on my own two feet. My body is still running (no pun intended!) on adrenaline. I don’t feel the soreness or the after-aches because my mind is too focused on this new achievement of mine. I don’t know how long the high is going to last, but I ride it all the way through and enjoy every second of it.
The crash phase
I crash from the exhaustion. Completely normal exhaustion. I am human. I am tired, I feel like shit, and doubt my abilities. I feel like I may never run again. My ego is shot and my body feels weak.
The recovery phase
I give myself the space and time to feel like a human being, to feel the emotions I need to feel in order to avoid further feelings of inadequacy, resentment, anger, frustration, and overwhelmingness. I get back up, nurture my spirit, and give my body the time it needs to heal. I become cognizant of the fact that I don’t have to be badly injured in order to need healing. I become conscious that healing—mental, emotional, and physical—can be necessary even after a success, not only from a failure.
The restart phase
I’m on the upswing. I start running again. I find myself another marathon to start training for. I begin a new cycle.
Ditching the marathon analogy and returning to my current reality, I rode the high. I didn’t know how long it was going to last, but I enjoyed every second of it. Where did it come from? I want to say it came from quitting my corporate job and deciding to work from home. My dream life—which once included regular daily hikes, meditations, new moon circles, and other spiritually grounding activities—is now a stale reality with financial worries and a lack of inspiration and motivation, but I feel like I may be in “the restart phase”.
I’ve allowed myself the space to be human, to cry, to feel defeated, and to feel inadequate. I am ready to rise to my feet, dust myself off, and get training for the new event. I’m not exactly sure what I am training for yet, but I am confident that I have the necessary tools in my toolbox to be successful.
Cheers to being human!
To leave this picture uncaptioned would suggest that my morning has been a Sunday Funday–as they say–type of morning. (Social media is a heck of a filter.) Although this picture accurately depicts my Z Nugg throughly enjoying the blueberry pancakes–with scrambled eggs–I eventually made for my crew, it doesn’t accurately reflect what happened before the feasting.
Z Nugg has not been sleeping well these last few weeks. She’s been waking up on average 4-7 times a night, wanting only me. Last night she woke up at 3 am and didn’t go back down until 4:45 am. I am grateful she didn’t get up again until 7:54 am, but even with three hours of uninterrupted sleep, I feel like H E double hockey stick! I am grateful that Josh is present for us because he was able to give me about five minutes of rest before Z lost her head again. I am grateful that my baby still wants me to hold her because I know one day soon she won’t need me like this. I am grateful for the long nights because it means my baby is growing and with growing comes discomfort and sometimes even pain.
With all of this gratitude, though, exists guilt, frustration, and other not-so-pretty human emotions that cause a human to do things that may be out of character…to cope. Coping is a heck of a word without only one category. There are many ways of coping, and depending on the situation, the way I choose to cope varies. (I’m only human, and I try hard to remember this so I don’t hold myself to unrealistic expectations.) This morning, coping for me meant dropping whatever I was doing and walking out of my apartment, leaving Josh with a screaming infant who refuses (still refusing) to go to sleep and a toddler asking a thousand times when his pancakes would be ready. I pulled my hair, buried my face in my hands, said, “I just can’t be here right now,” and walked out slamming the door behind me. No one’s fault. I wasn’t mad at anyone. I had just gone past my threshold. I ended up coming back into the apartment to grab my keys to sit in my car, away from the chaos of life. I retreated. I cried. I sat in my own exhales–I didn’t even have the energy to open the windows of my car. I closed my eyes and just sat thinking of nothing. Well, actually, I did think of the fact that a tiny home may not be the best option for us. I don’t even know how long I was in my car. I didn’t have my phone or my watch and I had not put the key in the ignition. What brought me back upstairs with my crew was the knowledge that I had given myself the space to be human, to handle my own shit, and now I could be (more or less) present for my crew once again. I am so grateful for Josh for being present for me because without him I couldn’t have retreated, I would’ve probably internalized the fact that I was sleep deprived, I would’ve for sure yelled at both of my nuggets, and I would’ve resented Josh…all ugly things that come with not providing myself with the basic necessities to attempt to be the best I can be. I’ll be completely honest, I still feel negatively hypersensitive to everything that’s happening on around me, and I feel like I could pass out anywhere I sit right now–in any position really–and to top that off, Z Nugg still has not taken a nap since she woke up this morning, so she’s still crying at the top of her lungs (yes, as I type this, but I’ve seriously tried everything…don’t judge), but I’m alive, I’m here, and I’m with my family, so I’ll take that.