How have you transitioned into the new decade? A friend recently sent me a message saying, “Hope the New Year is easing you in gently.” It’s a lovely sentiment. In reality I’ve found a big gap between where I’d like to be and where I actually am. Ease sounds appealing, although that’s not what I’m experiencing.
Illness continues to plague my family, and I haven’t managed to take down the Christmas decorations. (Traditionally Women’s Little Christmas is celebrated on January 6th in Ireland, so it’s culturally acceptable to leave the tree up until the following day). I just can’t seem to accomplish everything that needs to be done. I’m behind on preparations for my upcoming fitness classes, marketing hasn’t been straightforward, my children are stressing me out, and I’ve also neglected my blog because I’ve been short of time. Not to mention the state of my house. I realize that might seem trivial compared to bigger issues, such as the current situation between America and Iran. Global affairs are out of my control, but I can do something about the other things mentioned, if I get organized better. Besides, this blog is designed to be an ordinary mom’s confessional space.
On the positive side, I took my first yoga class in three years to counterbalance the feelings of overwhelm I’m experiencing. While I mostly enjoyed it, I did notice that my mind kept wandering into the future during the two hour session. Rather than focusing on my breath and the poses, I kept making plans to design a website for work as well as choose a destination for a sun holiday. I went to class with a friend who appeared blissed out afterwards. While everyone else floated out the door, I recognized that something was amiss. I hadn’t achieved the state of zen I’d hoped for. “Next time I’ll try to be fully present…” I promised myself.
I was so eager to resume my yoga practice, I bought a new mat the following day. I told myself I’d somehow arrange childcare for my toddler so I could go to class weekly. In between lessons I’d wake before dawn to practice daily. (Have I mentioned I’m more of a night owl than an early bird?) So far it hasn’t happened. Four days later I’m still sore and slightly demoralized.
Not one to give up on resolutions easily, I went for an 8 km hike with a group of friends last weekend, despite feeling stiff. I should have kept training for work over the holidays, but my body needed rest. Now I’m paying for it with a buildup of lactic acid! I enjoy hill walking and it was a good chance to catch up with friends I don’t often see. It was cold, grey, and drizzled a bit, but the fresh air helped clear the cobwebs. The sun even graced us momentarily. Usually I’d take a walk like that in my stride. It’s amazing how much my fitness level has been affected by lack of exercise over the last few weeks.
To most people it wouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m supposed to be teaching and motivating others to achieve their fitness goals. January carries the promise of a New Year, New Challenges, and a NEW YOU after all! I have less than a week to get my shit together so I can stand in front of my clients and deliver inspiration. The pressure is on.
Mindset is everything, especially when seeking joy. I want to “see the sparkle in the normal.” In fact I’d like to BE the sparkle. Instead my eyes focus on the pool of honey one of my teenagers spilled on the floor this morning. I wish I had time to mop the whole kitchen. (In theory one of them should clean it up, but they both swear they didn’t do it. Of course). I’d like to “see the beauty behind the busy,” but I’m too damn tired. It is difficult to “lean into the good” when consumed with resentment. Put simply, my operating system has crashed and a reboot is required.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget the absolute gift of each day. We have breath in our lungs and potential. Always potential. No matter where we start we can always grow.Rachel Martin, Founder of Finding Joy
What helps you get back on your feet? Self-care is the buzzword of the moment. What does it mean to you? There’s so much emphasis on being positive these days that at times I feel guilty admitting that things could be better. I know I have a lot to be grateful for and that life is a gift. Some days that knowledge really doesn’t help, regardless of what my mindset goals are for 2020. My head and my heart don’t always align.
I’m reminded of a great piece I read by Anne Lamott. 12 Truths I Learned From Life and Writing lifted my spirits. Do read it or watch the TED Talk! Her insights are both humorous and life affirming. Today this one in particular resonates with me:
This brings us to number four: everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared, even the people who seem to have it most together. They are much more like you than you would believe, so try not to compare your insides to other people’s outsides. It will only make you worse than you already are.Anne Lamott
Amen! She also says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes- including you.” I think that’s what I need to do. Until I’ve recovered my mojo, I intend to unplug and find solace in…
Words. Movement. Music. Food. Sleep. Solitude. Nature.
I will be back to this space soon. Friends, be gentle with yourselves and keep it real.
Featured Photo Credit: Carli Jeen