6:40am. I’m actually starting to enjoy these early mornings.
The arctic freeze hit Toronto again and yesterday was just far too cold to take my munchkin out. So we put on our comfy pants and started the countdown to when daddy got home.
A few hours in, I had a thought – just how much of my life has been a countdown to something…
… to finishing high school
… to exams being over
… to graduating university
… to my wedding day
… to babies
… to my due date
… to when this horrid winter finally lifts
… and to the next phase of Ryan’s life
And in counting down, how many precious moments did I wish away?
If we’re always looking ahead, when do we ever arrive?
Right now, I don’t want to be anywhere else but here and now, with a beautiful baby boy who will never again be five weeks, three days and one hour old.
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.
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.
Letting go is difficult. Transitions are difficult. Slowing down can be excruciating.
I’ve spent the majority of the last two weeks at home resting, reading, watching movies, reading, resting, watching movies…
As I learn to settle into this new (temporary and transitional) phase of my life and let go of my former super-charged schedule, I keep mulling over these words:
“What if one day you realized the best moments in life come in the mundane, everyday moments? But you were only fully present on special occasions… And someday, I’ll be grateful I didn’t miss my life.”
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!