Yin

Lately I have been so… uninspired. I just can’t think of anything to write. Most of the time, I don’t even want to write.

I tell you, I don’t even recognize myself anymore.

When I come home I just want to go to sleep. I want to cocoon on the couch until 9pm and then cocoon in bed until morning. I just don’t have it in me to do anything else.

Except this place is ME. I NEED to blog. Or so I thought. If I don’t need this space anymore, even for a relatively short period of time, I truly worry I might lose myself. I don’t know who I am if I’m not here.

And all around me bloggers I love and respect are accomplishing these remarkable things. Months and years of work are coming to fruition. BOOKS they have WRITTEN are being shipped to my house so I can READ them. How insane is that?! Their articles are being published on huge sites. They are DOING things. Things to be incredibly proud of.

Meanwhile I am going to bed at 9pm and I don’t know if I’ll ever accomplish anything ever again.

If I can’t get anything done now, how will I do it when I have two children? When I have to keep working at my soul crushing job to support my family? When there will ALWAYS be more dishes to wash and more laundry to fold? When I will always be behind, when I will never be enough?

{And I know I am “doing” something extraordinary, but since I can’t actually affect the outcome, I don’t really feel like I can take much credit for it happening.}

In my small, scared, panicked moments, sometimes I wonder if I’ll look back on my life and only be able to say that I was a mother. I mean, I always wanted that, so why would the possibility of it stifle me now? Why, now that I’ve accomplished that which was most important, do I want more?

Is it just human nature to never be satisfied? The thing is, in so many ways I feel satisfied. So incredibly happy and full. And I can’t name any one thing I still want to do. All I know is that when I’m dying, I want to look back on my life and have more than just my children to be proud of. Is that asking for too much?

I wrote to a wise friend about all this and she reminded me of the balanced forces of life, the yin and the yang. Yin is the dormant energy of creation, the fall and winter before the spring, when life is waiting, gathering strength to burst forth. Yin is feminine energy. It doesn’t get much headline time. Yang is yin’s masculine counterpart. It is fire and movement and growth. Yang is change. It’s our understanding of productivity.

Yang is what makes sense to me. It’s what I identify with. It’s my touch stone.

Except you can’t have yang without yin. I easily forget that in the frenetically paced chaos of my own life, where my most reliable measuring sticks of success are the check marks on my to-do list. I don’t know how to appreciate this yin-rich time in my life. I don’t know how to allow myself this time to be still.

It’s obvious I need to embrace everything yin at this moment. The fact that I’m not even pulled to create anything should be suggestion enough that now is not the time for creation. And that can be okay. If I let it be.

I just have to learn to let go of my old measuring sticks. I have to learn how to create new ones that honor the new me.

5 responses

  1. Funny you say now is not a time of creation when an actual human life is forming right inside you!!! Of course you’re tired, go take a nap! All of this will be waiting when you come back. It is within where the magic truly happens.

  2. 🙂 To everything, turn, turn turn, there is a season. Embrace the season you’re in or wish for the season you’re not in. One way will bring you contentment and the other will bring you struggle.

    Your choice.

  3. Some seasons are very long, some are short. Not like the ones we experience here on earth. And all we can do is know that eventually the seasons change, because they always have. It’s a balance of hope, and something more … which I guess I have to call faith.

    I have the same problem with measuring sticks. Never enough. The only other solution is to have friends you don’t admire and respect, and I prefer having the friends I have now. 🙂

  4. Lots to ponder here. But I think it’s important to remember that the first trimester tends to come with its own crazy brand of exhaustion. So expecting yourself to work full time, take care of a toddler, keep yourself and your family fed/clothed, grow a whole new person, AND write the next great American novel seems to be putting a little too much pressure on yourself.
    I have moments of worrying about what I’m accomplishing in my life, but then I remember that this particular phase of family life is intense and exhausting and tends to keep me very focused on my little nuclear family. But it won’t always be this way. I know there are challenges to parenting older kids, but the intensity of their daily demands is less–they can feed themselves, get themselves dressed, maybe even do their own laundry! So I think there will come a time when I will be able to turn my focus outwards a little more. For me the solution is to find small ways to keep in touch with things that are important to me now (through blogging, running, going to the rock climbing gym, etc.) but to not put pressure on myself to do much more than that. For me it is enough to know that there will be time for bigger adventures in the future.
    It sounds like you’ll figure out what big thing you’re being called to do, but it’s okay to not know just what that is yet. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself!

  5. Your last paragraph describes where I’m at right now as well. I feel like I’ve never fully let go of the measuring stick I held myself to in my professional life. So while I generally enjoy being home with Piglet all day, I feel like I’m somehow wasting everything I worked hard to achieve professionally for well over a decade. I worry that I’ll look back in six years and regret not keeping up with my career, as I’m sure that the jobs I was qualified for before leaving the workforce will no longer be readily offered. But then I have a particularly good day at home with Piglet and realize that there is still room to have both in my life. It may not be today, this week, or this year, but eventually, I will have the opportunity to achieve professional success again.

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