The alarm goes off at 5:15 am. It is dark, it is cold, but I wiggle out of bed anyway. In the blackness, I grab my clothes and head to the bathroom to get dressed. Afterward I will make my way to the door, grabbing my yoga mat and coat on the way. I always take the mat. Clutching it, I make my way to the yoga studio near my apartment.
Starting my days on my yoga mat insures I will breathe today. Deep inhales and exhales through the nose, the air tumbling through the small space in my nasal cavity before it makes its way into my lungs. The rhythm and fluidity of these breaths reflect how I am doing, whether my body feels good or is in pain, or whether my mind is betraying or benefitting me.
This hour allows me the luxury of just breathing, not thinking. So rarely do I focus on the moment at hand — mindfulness — instead allowing my mind to wander to all the other things in life. My yoga mat, which has been with me for at least a decade, is my island, allowing me the solitude to just focus on my body using my breathing as my guide.
I hate to admit this, but I have to put Moo on an exercise plan. since we moved from our two-level condo our puppy-of-a-cat has been gaining weight. Between the stairs and regular play sessions, he wasn’t as big as he is now. He’s a big cat and he is a lazy one. I also want to make sure he is a happy one.
Baby A and I went to the pet store where he picked out fishing toys for Moo. I thought that having A. pick out the toys when make it easy to teach him how to play with his kitty companion. Not even. My son thinks these toys are his.
So, in the evening after A. goes to bed, Moo and I play. Sometimes for five minutes, sometimes for 20 minutes; hopefully we can work up to an hour a day (that’s what baby and I need). Either way, I’m bonding with my little boy before there was little boy. I forgot how much I enjoyed playing with Moo. Glad that we’re doing it again.
I have never been a strict schedule kind of girl. I’m not sure why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. I believe in being on time, but when it comes to me (and even Baby A) our daily events happen around certain times.
During Baby A’s first year, I had a schedule to go to the gym. I would wake up at 4 AM on most weekdays to workout and shower. On the weekends, I would sleep in and, if I went, it was a bonus. This schedule helped me lose 50 of the 60 pounds I gained when pregnant.
When we moved to Los Angeles we didn’t join a gym right away. I decided I would get up early and head to the track for my workouts. Weather, work and waking up got in the way of that plan. Even after joining the gym, morning workouts have proven to be difficult. But now, I have a schedule.
It allows me to go to the gym two weekdays and on the weekends. It gives me a plan. It alleviates the self-imposed guilt I have when I leave Baby A with M. It gives me the balance I need and have difficulty requesting. It’s a beautiful thing.
Today was an easy day. No time outs. No being a chew toy. No throwing up hands up in defeat. It’s been a while since my day hasn’t been filled with toddler drama. Could it be that my sleep-deprived child is finally mellowing out?
Probably not. But at the end of today, I don’t feel beat down by the pressures of motherhood. And for that, I am truly grateful. I realize that tomorrow is a new day—one that could very well feel like the difficult old ones I have been experiencing. Right now, that doesn’t matter because tonight I’m going to sleep with my shoulders lowered and my jaw relaxed. *Sigh*
As I write this in the soft glow of the white lights on the once Christmas tree, now holiday tree, I’m happy that we decided to not take it down. Instead so relinquishing it to the back porch wrapped in plastic, we have decided to keep it up. Not only does it deliver a soft glow to our lamp-less, furniture-bare living room, but it should make each holiday more festive. I’ll be decorating it for Valentine’s Day, the spring equinox, Easter, summer solstice, Fourth of July, etc.
If it isn’t written down, forget it. It won’t get done. I live by my to-do list. It keeps me focused in a I-don’t-need-to-think-about-what-needs-to-be-done way, because everything is written on my trusty pad.
Without my pad, my days would be chaos. I wander around the house doing things halfway and then get distracted by Baby A or something else I see that I should do, only to come back to the first thing a half hour later and say, “Oh, yeah. That’s what I was doing.” Instead, my time sans child has purpose and is productive.
Without my pad, I would go to Trader Joe’s, CVS, Ralphs, Whole Foods, and even, the farmer’s market and walk away without whatever it was that drove me to go there in the first place.
Without my pad, I won’t have a growing list of books that I want to read, websites that I want to check out, or songs that I want to download.
And without my pad, article ideas, leads, and blog posts that come to me in the strangest places would get lost in the ether of my brain, possibly forever.
I didn’t work yesterday. This isn’t a huge thing because since Baby A was born there have been many days that I haven’t done any work. The difference yesterday was that I made a conscious decision not to. After filing an article in the morning I decided to stay away from the computer. I needed the break. My love/hate relationship with my laptop was becoming more hate than love. I’m glad that I did it because today I am able to sit down with my money maker and be happy to do so.