Yesterday Ryan celebrated one month of being on this planet. While the days were long, very long at times, the month somehow flew by.
A couple of weeks ago, when I was in the depths of new momma baby blues, a sage friend sent me these words:
The ancient Greeks had two concepts of time: chronos and kairos. Chronos is the inexorable grinding on of time without a foreseeable end—like when 5pm can’t come soon enough or that meeting just won’t end, or your kid won’t stop crying. Most of the time we find ourselves in chronos, wishing we could be on to the next thing. In contrast, kairos describes those rare and precious moments in which time seems to stand still—when we fall in love, when we are blissed out to our favourite song, or playing a sport, or generally doing anything we love. Importantly, it is the moments of kairos that make all that chronos worthwhile.
This is a metaphor for parenthood. Most of our days are spent in a state of fatigue or overwhelm or anxiety, and if we focus on that we miss the moments of kairos—like when your baby smiles at you and he is so perfect that it makes all those sleepless nights worthwhile, and you would do it again in a heartbeat. Look for the moments of kairos, because in this twilight time of new parenthood they will be your guiding light to the end of the tunnel.
I hope you find them as profoundly healing as I did. Thanks A! Major love.
A marathon. It’s long. It’s excruciating difficult. And when you’re in the thick of it, it’s almost impossible to see how you’ll ever make it through.
My beautiful baby boy was born just over two weeks ago. The labour was arduous with all sorts of interventions. Just before 6am, our little bundle of joy was born and we started the marathon already exhausted.
I’m not sure how I survived the first week. It was by the far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I wept every hour. I struggled to feed him and wondered how I’ll ever keep him alive, let alone happy and healthy. But somehow (I know how: with the help of so many incredible family members and friends), we made it through.
The second week was a little less difficult but still weepy and still hard.
And now, we’re on the third week. My amazing mother-in-law is here with us for the week helping me adjust to life without my husband. My little angel is currently sleeping on her chest. So much joy. I’m already freaking out about next week – my first week truly on my own.
But as my doctor said yesterday, this is a marathon. A three month (if you’re lucky) marathon. The only way through is… well… through.
We have a bit of a plumbing situation nightmare on our hands. It’s going to involve some serious drilling outside and possibly a full tear-down of our downstairs bathroom. With the polar vortex and Junior’s due date fast approaching, it’s not the best timing.
Former Maya would have been freaking out about this. Freaking right out. But that’s not my style anymore.
Instead, I’m choosing a different approach.
As I see it, when life inevitable throws you a merde sandwich, you’re much better off with this strategy:
Assume the best. Don’t bleed until you’re shot. And stop worrying in excess.
Perspective. Remember that whatever it is you’re going through, however truly terrible the situation, you can probably spin a globe and randomly point to 100 countries where someone is going through something much worse, like apartheid (my friend wrote this amazing piece).
It’s the last day of 2013. For this gal, it feels like the last day of a much longer chapter. Today feels rather monumental.
At some point in the next month, I’ll become a mom. Just a few days ago, I said a temporary, year-long goodbye to the job I’ve held and molded for 10 years. And this is the last new years I’ll ring in as a twenty-something-year-old. See? Monumental.
As I look back on the last decade, I do so with awe. Life gave me so much more than I could have dreamed of. I married my best friend. We bought a house and adopted a crazy cat. I finished my degree and then my yoga teacher cert. We travelled the world and found our home away from home (Nica). I met new friends and held on to old friends – the very best kind (core!). It was a decade filled with adventure.
My goals for 2014 and the next decade of my life (my thirties… woot!):
to be much more open to all of the amazing things life has to offer…
to live my days more deliberately, taking advantage of the breaths I’m afforded…
and to savour each and every croissant.
Wishing you and yours the most magical of years!
One of my friends recently celebrated a rather big birthday – the kind with a 0 at the end of it.
When we asked her how it feels to be her particular age, she paused and replied, “I thought it would be different. I thought I would be more… well, settled“. Settled in this case meant a house, a husband, a couple of kids, a car and white picket fence… that whole thing.
I still can’t shake that conversation and here’s why: I think settled is overrated. Settled seems to imply that we’re done, we’ve achieved what we want to achieve, checked off the boxes, etc. But then what’s next? Waiting for the end…?
This past spring, I asked my 84-year-old grandpa about his longevity secrets. His one piece of advice, above all else, was to “never settle, never get too comfortable and never think you’re too old for x, y, or z”. It’s really being slightly unsettled that keeps us alive.
There are other words I prefer to settled – calm, content, grateful. I don’t ever want to feel settled. I want new adventures, new goals and dreams, and new breath in each day.
This past week I added myself to the queue for the iphone 5S and I watched this (though I’m not entirely sure in what order):
It’s something I have thought about for awhile, our zombie-like-ness.
This is just sad.
But what really struck me was the idea that we have forgotten how to be alone. The minute we start to feel the “uh oh, I don’t know what to do with myself now” feeling, we seem to need to anesthetize it with texting, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. It’s a temporary comfort, a dull, mildly satisfying experience… but at the expense of what?
“You never feel completely sad or completely happy…”
I often daydream of just deleting all of my accounts and going all Walden for awhile… but I know cutting myself off technology isn’t the solution either (it’s analogous to when my mom traded in McCain’s fries for quinoa – keen-what?! – 20+ years ago).
So for now, perhaps it’s even to just be conscious. The next time you check your Facebook account, ask yourself why.