Focusing on the Positive

I wrote that post two nights ago and immediately felt light. I thought, “What a cathartic process, just writing about that made me feel so much better.” I actually intended that post to be this post, and I was just going to really quickly summarize that I was frustrated at work, and then I just kept writing and I realized, hey, this is REALLY bothering me. And then I felt so much better.

And then today I felt light. Almost elated. Wow, look how powerful writing a post can be!

And then I got my period.

So I guess, the take-home is that while writing a post can be cathartic, nothing is so powerful as a good old hormonal shift. 😉

Anyway, I’m feeling a lot better emotionally, despite the cramps, and I’m pretty proud that I knew my body and mind well enough to figure out this past funk was PMS even days before AF showed her face. Not having my period for a decade made me very unaware of how it affects me. I’m just now figuring out how to detect its nefarious affects on my mood.

So today’s post is about focusing on the positive, because really, there is so much to appreciate and celebrate in my life right now. Here are just a few of them:

🙂 My weight is almost in the 150s. I’m expecting to see 159 this weekend. (Please, oh pretty please!)

🙂 There are less than two weeks of school left, and then it’s SUMMER!!!

🙂 I finally, after a full month of trial and error (lots, and lots of waking-up-wet-in-the-middle-of-the-night error), figured out a cloth night diapering situation that work for my heavy, heavy wetter.

🙂 We have two fun trips coming up! (More on that soon)

🙂 I have paid off all the credit card debt currently accruing interest. I only have $7000 left and that doesn’t start accruing interest until March 2015. I should have half of it paid off by then.

🙂 Eating this way is getting easier. I hardly even think about it anymore.

🙂 I have kept my daily step average over 10,000 the majority of days this month.

🙂 I found out I have vision insurance (with our new coverage) which pays for one pair of glasses every 24 months! Yay!

🙂 The tumbling gym found my glasses and my friend picked them up for me.

🙂 My daughter’s fourth birthday is this Saturday: Four has got to be better than three.

🙂 Did I mention summer starts in two weeks?

🙂 My boobs don’t hurt anymore, and they are so much smaller. I LOVE having smaller boobs.

🙂 I feel a lot better being back on my medication. It’s a significant difference and I’m very thankful to have something that helps me so much.

🙂 I’m SOOOOO looking forward to spending the summer with Monito. He is at such an amazing age and I can’t wait to eight solid weeks with him as he learns new things. The more his personality shines through, the more I fall in love with him. (See Peekaboo!)

🙂 Osita and I are going to Disneyland for her birthday in two weeks. It’s just the two of us and we’re both really excited. For the first time I feel like we’re doing something together, not that I’m taking her, but that the two of us are going as a pair. She has grown up SO MUCH in the last six months and I really think this is going to be a special, special four days for us.

So yeah, life is pretty great right now, and I shouldn’t have to try so hard to remember that.

What is great in your life these days?

 

Clutter

I tried for like five minutes to write a catchy title for this post but I got nothing.

I wanted to write quite a bit about this tonight but Monito is really sick and it took three hours to get him to sleep. Who knows how long he’ll be out, and I’m starting to feel the twinges of sick myself, so I promised myself I’d go to bed when I am done pumping. All this to say, I might not get it all out tonight, but I’m going to try.

I’ve been wanting to tackle the clutter in my house since the beginning of my maternity leave but it wasn’t until January that I felt I could manage it, or at least attempt to. There are a few big problem areas in our house, areas that cause me an incredible amount of stress. Of course, these are the areas we need to navigate on a daily basis. I have been wanting not only to clean and organize those areas, but to feel like I really KNEW where everything went. I want a spot for each and every thing in my house, and I want to know where each spots is.

The problem is I so easily get overwhelmed. I literally don’t know how to start these gargantuan tasks, my ADD makes it almost impossible for me to be productive. Basically, I need back up.

Today my mom TOOK THE DAY OFF to help me clean my house. Yeah, she wrote sub plans and burned a personal day so she could help me tackle the disaster area that is my house. She is truly amazing. Also my in-laws took Monito for me. They are also amazing. I am truly blessed.

I knew we weren’t going to have enough time to do everything we wanted to do, but we managed to get a lot of it done. The biggest areas were the entry way (where we dump EVERYTHING on our way in and out), the big cutting board/table in our kitchen (always covered in dirty dishes, mail, knick knacks, this and that), the shelving unit in our bathroom (a graveyard of personal care products), our entire bedroom (I can’t even describe how dire this situation is), and the storage nook in the garage (where the big shit goes to die). We got all of them done except the master bedroom, which we started but didn’t really finish. I felt the most successful area was the storage nook in the garage, and every time I walk past it when I’m doing laundry I feel warm and squishy inside.

I’m disappointed that we didn’t get more done in our room, but really, Mi.Vida needs to be a part of that effort, as half the stuff in there is his. Maybe we can have his parents watch the kids one day and just go in and get it done.

As far as my ultimate goal, I do feel like I figured out where more things went, but I didn’t find a home for EVERYTHING. I was a bit disappointed about that. I did get closer, though, and I suppose that is something.

Recently SRB asked some questions about clutter and the emotions it inspires as part of her Who Needs It? Challenge. Ever since reading that post, I have been thinking about how clutter makes me feel; I paid careful attention today, as I worked through the biggest problem areas in our house.

Clutter makes me feel a lot of things, all of them negative, some of them down right awful. Among the array of unpleasant feelings are: incompetent, hopeless, helpless, unable, stupid, embarrassed and frustrated. Mostly clutter makes me feel guilty. I feel guilty for having so many things when so many others are wanting. I feel guilty for buying so those things in the first place. I feel guilty for not using them anymore. I feel guilty for allowing my home to get so bad. I feel guilty for throwing away the stuff that I can’t keep and no one else would want. I just feel… guilty.

My clutter represents deep personal failings. It’s the manifestation of all my worst qualities: my laziness, my greed, my irresponsibility, my lack of self-control. The clutter in my house embarrasses me. I’m ashamed that I allow things to get so bad and I’m ashamed that I’m not bothered enough about it to make it better. I’m ashamed that I bought all that shit in the first place and I’m ashamed that I’ll have to throw most of it away. I’m just…ashamed.

The clutter in my house is constant evidence of my failings, how I’ve failed as a housekeeper and mother. How I’ve failed as a woman. I can’t do the ONE THING we’ve always been tasked to manage. (Come to think of it, I can’t do the other one either, as I’m a crappy, incompetent cook).

So yeah, the clutter in my house makes me feel pretty shitty about myself. I tried to work through some of that today, but the negative feelings are still there. I suspect they always will be.

How does your clutter make you feel?

The unbridled joy of a truly open heart

I was really tired today. I almost didn’t go to yoga. I thought of a whole slew of reasons why I might not go, gave myself tons of possible excuses for bowing out.

When I got home from work I cleaned up the kitchen and then tried to take a nap. I might have gotten twenty minutes, I’m not sure. I was still so exhausted and wasn’t sure if I wanted to go but Wednesday nights are yoga nights and I felt the routine of it seeping in. I signed up online for class. I told Mi.Vida to be home by 6pm. I started putting on my clothes while Isa took a bath and before I knew it I was walking to class.

I’M SO GLAD I WENT.

Yoga tonight was great. The pace of the class was prefect for me. I felt strong even though I was obviously challenged. I remember thinking multiple times that I was so glad I had come.

And then we did savasana.

That’s when it happened.

During savasana, or the final resting pose, I had what can only be described as a transcendental experience. I was lying there, focusing on my breath, when an intense feeling of joy and gratitude overcame me. The only way I can describe it is to say that my heart felt truly open, fully and completely so. I suddenly saw everything in my life and was overwhelmed by the bounty of it, by all that I had, by the limitless love I had the great honor of sharing with others. Everything in my life seemed absolutely perfect, just as it was, my family, my daughter, my partner, my parents, my job, my apartment – things I generally complain about seemed faultless, utterly perfect. My apartment wasn’t small or moldy or cramped or messy but warm, inviting, bright and safe. I literally could not conjure one negative thought about it.

As I sat longer and longer with this open heart, and realized it wasn’t vanishing as quickly as it came, I started testing other people and things that I was generally disgruntled about. The woman at my work whose political views chaff and who got pregnant on the first month trying, both times and who gets to had free child care from her in laws for the last five years, the one I can’t really stand? When I thought about her all I felt was love and an intense desire for her continued happiness. It was the strangest thing I’ve ever experienced. It was like she was a different person in my eyes.

This experience couldn’t have lasted more than five minutes but I feel like it transformed my life. To know that opening my heart in that way is possible, and to know how good it feels, has changed me. I came home and immediately sat down to write about it because I never want to forget how incredible this experience was or how momentous it seemed to be. I need to remember that a path towards that kind of awareness, either via yoga or mindfulness meditation or something else, is a path worth journeying.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

What It’s Like Here

Wordgirl over at Bloodsigns recently posted an extraordinary photo collage entitled What It’s Like Here. I was so captivated that I decided to attempt capturing a bit of what it’s like here, during winter in San Francisco.

(If you’re viewing this on a reader it might be worth clicking over to see it in its intended layout. Or not. Whatever works best for you. 😉 )

Perfect Moment Monday: 15 seconds

This is my first time participating in Lori’s (of Write Mind Open Heart) Perfect Moment Monday. Thank you Lori for giving me cause to reflect on this wonderful moment shared with my growing girl.

My daughter is not much of a snuggle bug, but I am. I’m hoping that some day she’ll indulge me every once in a while with a good long snuggle. Right now I have to make due with quick, fierce embraces that end before I’ve hardly realized they began.

*       *       *       *       *

I sit on the pillows in the playroom, watching my daughter entertain herself – first with books, then stuffed animals, then musical instruments, then books once again. She flits from one toy to another, her attention easily stolen by something bright, shiny and just out of her reach. I track her quietly, silently, observing her in all her one and half year old glory. She’s growing up so fast, I don’t want to miss these precious moments.

Suddenly I catch her eye. She stops, a huge smile blossoming on her face. She turns to me and I sense her body readying for movement, fast and furious. Without thinking she lunges forward, barreling towards me with reckless abandon. She crashes into me, trusting I’ll catch her, keep her safe. I grab her gently and tickle her softly, then let her body fall to rest next to mine. I have her blankie and she grabs it from me, bringing it to her face.

We lay there, still and quiet, my nose buried in her hair, breathing in her sweet essence. She looks up at me, searching for reassurance that it’s me, that I’m with her and when she sees me she smiles again and lets her body melt into mine. We lay there for what feels like a life time but is probably only 15 seconds. Fifteen glorious seconds intimately shared with my ever changing daughter. Even if we snuggle like that again, she will be a different girl. She will never be in the same as she was right then, resting quietly in my arms. She will never again be precisely who she was right in that moment.

I hope I always remember, even when my daughter does not seem so ever changing, that every wonderful moment shared is unique and should be experienced as such. We are always changing, with each and every breath, we just need to recognize it is so.