The Morning Crazy
Getting my 4 year old son JJ into school this morning was a like a scene from Indiana Jones – an obstacle course of challenges and set backs (1 lost shoe, 1 school shirt with breakfast spilled down it, 1 dirty baby nappy to be changed….) followed by a completely mad scramble to get to our destination before sliding through the tomb opening, grabbing my hat just in time before the stone (double school doors) closed dramatically. Technically we weren’t late but it was close enough that my anxiety was making my heart beat faster than a racing tomb raider. I got back in the car and my phone pinged to tell me that i had a new email…..sitting with (I kid you not) 12,225 other unopened emails. I sighed, looked in the mirror and caught sight of my make-up-less, frizzy-haloed head looking back at me and thought: I’ve got to do something about all of this; I live in chaos. It can’t do my kids much good to feel so rushed and it sure as heck doesn’t make me feel good. I got back to my lovely (albeit very messy) home, thought about all the things I had to do – the over due thank you cards, my empty fridge, all the washing that needed to be done, trying to do some exercise not to mention finding time to sit down and actually write a post in this blog that I’ve been so excited to start. I panicked and then proceeded to comfort myself with not one but two mini twix bars and a second cup of coffee for the morning (yep that’s really going to help my jitters). That familiar sense of overwhelm had crept in and made itself at home in my poor mind, that negative voice telling me to not even bother because I’m a disaster.
Luckily just then my little 17 month old marched in, shook me out of reverie and demanded that I follow him out into the garden.
A Snail and Butterfly Break
He desperately wanted to show me a pretty cool snail he had found in the bird bath. So I took a deep breath, let me him take by the hand and then sat watching him exploring our little wild patch of garden. I watched his exquisite face light up with wonder when he found a butterfly and then his little nose wrinkling up in frustration when it wouldn’t stay still long enough for him to touch it. I picked him up and dusted him off when he tripped over and then comforted him when he couldn’t quite manage to get up a particularly pesky step. By the time I put him down for his nap, I felt so much more positive and present. Fintan had given me a lovely real life reminder on how important it is to be gentle and encouraging. The truth is that organising and time keeping have never been particularly strong points for me but I also am feeling exhausted and depleted, not just from the last week of us all being ill but from the last few years of broken nights and the last few months of change and transition. Yes there’s lots I need to do and so many changes I’d like to make but I also need to be gentle with myself and build up my reserves.
Getting Back into Meditation
After sitting with him for a while in the garden, Fintan was quite happy to let me get some of the boring house work out of the way and then once he was asleep, I made a realistic (aka short!) list of what else I could achieve later today and then I lay down for half an hour and did a guided meditation. I haven’t done this for ages and it’s one of the most nurturing and restorative self care tools I have come across. A beautiful friend of mine introduced me to the concept when JJ was a baby and sleep was practically non-existent. I have done various types of meditation over the years but had abandoned all practice in the wake of a new baby. She sent me a 25 minute guided Yoga Nidra meditation and I swear it’s the only thing that kept me sane through some of those really challenging sleepless months. 25 minutes felt like 2 hours of deep restorative sleep – amazing! At the moment I’m using something called a binaural beats meditation which I find puts me into the most incredibly relaxed state (and I generally fall asleep which is encouraged!). I will do a post on different types of meditation at a later stage but in the meantime, if you want to check out some binaural beats, I’ve been listening to a lady called Kelly Howell . She’s got the most incredible voice! I bought The Secret Universal Mind Medition which cost me US$10 for an immediate download. There’s also plenty of free ones on Youtube like this lovely Alpha Wave meditation
So, here I am, 40 minutes into Fintan’s nap time and feeling more refreshed and energised than I have all week. Let’s see if I can get this post written before my little boy wakes!
I know that I am capable of getting things done when I set my mind to it. I have to say I was a little bit proud of myself for getting my blog started. Within the space of 2 baby nap times, I managed to research, select and pay for a web host, choose a design, name and buy a web domain and write and upload my first blog post and set of photos. Yes….for a brief window I was feeling rather smug! I wrote a massive list of ideas and possible blog posts including lots and lots (and lots) of self improvement type projects….learn to play the guitar that’s gathering dust in my sitting room, actually cook some of the fabulous healthy food from the many many cookbooks I own (I have a slight cook book addiction….just buying them, not necessarily cooking from them), start a compost heap, get back into meditation, get fit, sort out our half done house (we moved in May and there’s still no pictures on the walls, unopened boxes and piles of things to be sorted)….I think you get the picture. I showed the list to Matt my husband and whilst he was very supportive and made all the right noises he then suggested that although there were plenty of great ideas that I should remember to be gentle with myself and try not to take on too much at once. And of course he’s right (he loves that!). I get all sorts of ideas, rush forwards with abandon and then get completely overwhelmed and end up not getting very far at all. And so this time, I’m going to try to take baby steps, ask for help along the way and just try to implement small changes in a sustainable way and if I fall over, I shall pick myself up gently and dust myself off and hopefully keep going.
Thanks so much for reading – this has turned out to be a lot longer than planned! I’d love to hear any suggestions on what keeps you gentle ….and sane!
Thank you also to my lovely model Fintan….still working on my photography skills…..it’s on the list!