Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The New Year

I'm not typically one to make resolutions but to set intentions is totes my style. So as this year started to wind down I began reflecting. I dug up old pictures of friends and revisited an essay I had written about my grandfather. I bought a treadmill before winter came so I could keep healthy over the cold, dark months. I allowed myself to revisit... Myself.

This past year had major ups and downs. Being a stay at home mom has not always been easy. I developed a lot of anxiety and forgot how to manage my stress. When life gets hectic, I feel we sometimes make time capsules and shove our emotions into them, then burry them somewhere deep within, to be dealt with at a later time. The thing with time capsules is that they will one day surface, they are meant to be discovered again. 

In the midst of feeling overwhelmed and alone, I dug down and rekindled my spirituality this summer. It's something I had neglected for a few years (I felt my desk job was soul-sucking) and specifically post-Asher. I've noticed I divide my life into pre-Asher and post-Asher because to me, becoming a mother was like being born all over. I assumed a new identity: mama. Holy shit! I was someone's mother! Pre-Asher I did yoga 5 days a week, I went out on the town to hear music and I danced, I traveled to wine country and played In the vineyards and in the sparkling glasses of bubbly and rich wines, I went on real dates with my hubby to fancy restaurants wearing something sexy and feminine, and felt free. Fast forward...  Nearly a year of pregnancy (40 of 52 weeks!), leaving my career in corporate America, 14 months of breast feeding (essentially putting my body on loan for two years), and being mostly inside the walls of my home, alone, with this little (amazing) human I created, I eventually realized I had put ME on hold for too long and I began to suffer for it. I had anxiety and worried a lot. I wasn't truly happy and for every few days of happiness I had a day of feeling down. *insert disclaimer on postpartum!

The days are gloriously long in the summer. I started a garden. I had the sun on my shoulders and my hands in the earth. I dusted off my yoga matt. I tried blogging again. I weaned my boy when we were both ready. I indulged in too much wine and had conversations about my struggles with my ladies. I started cooking nice meals again with the food I was growing myself. I took Asher on an overnight camping adventure all by my self! I found a temple and I made the pilgrimage. We made our backyard our oasis and sometimes played all day. I started to give myself a break! I looked at those who say, "Staying at home sure must be nice" and to them I said, "This is damn hard! This is isolating! This is scary! This alone does not make me happy". I hung prayer flags on Thanksgiving day. I prayed. I built a fire and burned regrets while setting intentions on the Winter Solstice. I sat in a hot tub with a soul sister and with the snow falling on our shoulders, discussed religion and love. I was able to hear the drum again. The beat, the pulse of my spirit. It's not easy to reach down into yourself and dig up what you know is buried. It's easier to go through the motions, slap a smile on your face, and pretend you are whole and content. Making peace with your failures and successes is hard and you must be brave. A warrior.

Which brings me to now. The last day of 2013. I haven't met all of my goals. I had no idea what this year would bring and I have no idea what the next year has in store. I wanted to start my Etsy shop, I wanted to lose that last 5 (ok, maybe 7) lbs and get back to my healthiest weight. I wanted to get back to my yoga practice. I just cracked my first book this year, on the 31st of December. I miss my book club! I wanted to feel connected to my pre-Asher self again! Where is she and where in the hell had she been hiding?

Well, I have news for you, New Year! I'm damn well on my way! My sister in law said to me recently, that even if I don't make things happen by the end of 2013, at least I know where I want to go and I'm heading in that direction. It's not about the destination, but the journey. As I enter the new year, I don't want to make tough resolutions with hard deadlines but instead set intentions with gentleness and self love. I think you should too and I think we will all more than succeed!

Happy New Year!


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