mulling and rolling…

Ryan’s “napping” in the room next to me. This roughly translates to flipping onto his tummy, shimmying around, getting upset, crying loudly, and me flipping him over. Repeat.

I’m having a bad hair day (damn you, humidity!). Yup, it’s one of those days… but we’ll power through.

Steven Pressfield was on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday last week and I’ve been mulling over something they talked about:

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution,

the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

(from his book, The War of Art)

Essentially: the more you need it, the harder it’ll be to do. Well, Mr. Pressfield, I’ll give you that one for sure.

When it comes to parenting life, what I resist the most is letting go and rolling with the punches. I want to embrace the ebb and flow of Ryan’s naps, the weather, and life in general. I know it’s (probably) a more enjoyable way to live. But somehow I always end up meticulously counting the minutes between his naps and planning the next day, week, year of my life.

But like Pressfield, kids are pretty awesome teachers of lessons that are hard to learn. There’s very little chance my five-month-old will do things my way, on my schedule. He’s got his own rhythm and so does life.

So as Ryan sleeps (finally), I’ll continue mulling until one day, hopefully soon, rolling will become easier.

mxo

 

no expectations…

There’s a lesson I keep having to learn with Ryan. It’s this:

No expectations, no disappointments.

I was told that babies peak in their fussiness at 6-8 weeks. For Ryan, it lasted far longer than that. Depending on the day, it’s still going on.

Then there was the promise that after three months, everything would magically be better. For us, it got worse. My pro sleeper decided he wanted to get up every couple of hours to eat. Growth spurt? Maybe. Who knows?!

I struggled through all of this more so than I had to simply because I was expecting it to better. But here’s the thing: babies don’t operate on schedules. They aren’t predictable. Frankly, nothing in life is.

So my baby boy, my greatest spiritual teacher, has yet another lesson for me: let go of the expectations. Live in the moment as it is, not wishing for it to be something else, because you might just miss its magic.

mxo

P.S. The 108-day challenge is going well! I skipped yesterday due to a shoulder injury and a profound lack of sleep, but I made up for it to by doubling everything today. Wee! 🙂

accepting help…

When I was 18, I left home. With fiery abruptness, I started my independent life. Work, school, survival… somehow I managed on my own.

In hindsight, that time in my life makes perfect sense. I was always fiercely independent. I’ve had some sort of income since I was ten. I walked myself to school in Greece when I was four. At six or seven, I decided to leave our seventh storey apartment, walk a few major blocks across big intersections to Kmart to buy my mom a gift – a fancy mug. Needless to say, my resourcefulness was often the cause of much worry and drama.

Age 3. I made myself lunch. Note the back-up spoon in my right hand.
Age 3. I made myself lunch. Note the back-up spoon in my right hand.

This unyielding independence has made it extremely difficult for me to ever accept help and I’d certainly never ask for it. It always seemed like a sign of weakness… until now.

We have survived the last few weeks with Ryan thanks to the grandmas who held him until the wee hours of the morning, the aunties who dropped everything when Matt was sick to provide an extra set of hands, the grandpas who bought groceries and fixed pipes, the friends who dropped meals on our porch like sneaky little mice… We needed help and we got it.

It’s been hard for me to accept this help without feeling like a failure – ‘I should be able to do this on my own’. But two light bulbs went off this week:

One – My doctor told me to stop squandering the help I’m being offered and try being grateful instead. Ouch.

Two – I stumbled upon these wise words:

“I’ve always thought that asking for help was a sign of weakness, but when my mother died, I learned that it takes greater strength to lean on others than to stand alone. In order to heal, I asked, ‘What help do I need in this moment?'”

mxo

quilts…

Imagine your life as a quilt. There are pieces made up of past experiences, squares of personality traits, fabrics of previous loves and broken hearts… all woven together into the collage that is you.

Sometimes life can pull at the threads and the seams can come undone. As painful and vulnerable as this may be, it also presents an opportunity. The rough patches let us stop and consider how we might want to sew our quilt back together so that it’s stronger and more resilient.

Certain pieces will always remain – you can’t change your past. But others can be discarded – like those personality traits that no longer serve you (perfectionism, self doubt, regret, etc). And new pieces can be added – wisdom, strength, growth.

Every bump in the road is really just an opportunity to rewrite our story.

Hugs.
mxo

Einstein

early mornings…

It’s 7:00 in the morning. Munchkin is fast asleep in my arms… again. I foresee a lot of early morning posts in my future.

We had a great night going into yesterday. Ryan slept for a good portion of the night between feeds which meant I could attempt some shut eye (though he’s such a loud little bugger when he sleeps, it’s hard to actual doze off). This last night was a different story. He slept just fine as long as he was being held… constantly. The second I put him down, all hell broke loose.

So I’m catching up on my email, online shopping, and contemplating life.

It seems my biggest challenge right now is the lack of control. I’ve been such a control freak my entire life and now, I’ve lost control over the most basic things (eating, sleeping, etc). Things that seem to work with Ryan one day make him scream bloody murder the next. Not being able to control the situation has turned me into a ball of nerves.

But I suppose that’s what parenting is about and there’s a life lesson in there somewhere. Parenting might just be the greatest teacher for staying present in the moment.

Looking backwards can be frustrating (like when you look at your bed wondering how you took those glorious nights of slumber for granted) and it’s pointless – those moments are gone.

Looking forward is a crap shoot. In an hour, Ryan and I might be napping peacefully together (fingers crossed!) or we might be back in the emergency room. Flip a coin.

So all that’s left is the here and now. It’s now 7:27am and he’s still slumbering. Rather than worry about what being held might mean for his future sleeps, I’m just going to enjoy this peaceful moment. If only the tea delivery service would wake up. 🙂

mxo

earlymornings
I made tea!

stepping away and buttery treats…

It’s 10:54 on back-to-work Monday… back to work for everyone at my office except me. I’m still in my PJs eating a delicious apple. Mat leave is strange.

It was hard for me to walk away from the job I’ve moulded over the last ten years. And while I’m excited about the year ahead, it’s still weird to think that someone else is in my office right now, sitting in my chair, typing away at my computer… it’s amazing how territorial I can be especially considering this job was just supposed to pay the bills while I was in school. I graduated five years ago.

Serendipitously, last night I finished Finding Me in France by Bobbi French. My favourite lessons always come from books and last night was no exception. French writes,

“If I had to narrow it all down into one piece of wisdom it would be this: sometimes you have to step away from the many things you have to do to find the one thing you want to do.”

Noted.

mxo

P.S. I made goureges! Butter + cheese + flour… what’s not to love?! Here’s the recipe from my good friends DGL and Mi:

Gougeres
Gougeres… yum!

nothing to prove

Here is my second personal commandment:

there is nothing to prove. all that’s left to do is enjoy.

This one I’m taking from Rob Bell, who I was introduced to yesterday on Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays. Like for Bell, this is the lesson that has taken me the longest to learn and I have to keep relearning it daily.

As your classic honour roll, teachers’ pet, valedictorian overachiever – even my blood type is A+ – I’ve struggled with the need to prove myself for a long time. I always wanted to be going places.

But I’ve learned that I’d much rather slow down so that I don’t miss a moment, linger so that I enjoy my days, and live a life full of wonder.

“I didn’t ask for success. I asked for wonder.”

Off to lie on the couch, nurse this cold and read Bell’s new book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God…

new books and holiday cups. distressed FX vanilla filter.
new books and holiday cups. distressed FX vanilla filter.

Happy Monday!

mxo