I feel like this is the year of waking. I have a three year old. He makes himself naked. He uses the potty and he understands you get more sweetness with honey than vinegar. Each day is full of some small wonder from this little person. But there is a big person trying to find herself again. The last three years have been filled with, at first, a total giving of myself to another person after many years of rediscovering that self from my first journey through motherhood. Each day passed by so quickly. Each developmental step that the wee one accomplished was one more step back to center. And, here I am.
But this time around, I am older.
Turning 40 was a strange year for me. It seemed like, suddenly, I was aware of a mortality that I had only heard about through myth. Each day, I would look in the mirror and take inventory of each new sag, wrinkle and gray hair. That was youth passing on to something else and I wasn't sure I was ready for it. By the time I reached 41, I had a mantra, " Is this the life you want to live?" For a while, it worked for me. I made sure that each day I was asking myself this question, I did not spend too much time doing something that was not true to the person I knew I was. All the while, the world was falling apart and I was working hard on this experiment in self-sufficiency. In the end, the self got fogged out a bit by the canner and the rising price of oil. I think it is almost primordial to worry that your children may not have enough to eat.
And now, I am 42! Gasp! The horror!
No, not really.
But this is what I know is true for me. I have a vision of how I want to live my life. Much of that vision has to do with my health, both physical and creative. Often, I think I would like to be physically fit and eating a healthy diet 98% of the time. I have yet to loose the baby weight. Not a huge deal. It is not that much weight but I never had to worry about it before. When I reach the age of my mother, I don't want to struggle with the family curse of diabetes,high blood pressure and osteoporosis. I watched my grandmother fail. One broken hip, then one broken leg and she gave up. Everything else caught up with her.
Don't get me wrong, I KNOW 42 is not old. In fact, I am still in the prime of my life. But how I live now determines how I live later. In terms of feeling like I am living a genuine life and not just running through the paces, I need to take enough time for myself to connect with that other person that is not just mother and wife.
So I gotta keep moving. The weather has been great for walking. I take the wee one for walks all the time; but, walking by myself gets the cogs moving in ways that a conversation about squirrels and trucks does not. The teen is going to watch the wee one so I can take this little quiet time each day. Walking is not a routine the way it was when I lived in Portland, Maine; a very walkable city.
I need to take more time to just be. There used to be a time when I would sit on rock and look out over the ocean and breath salt air. No angst, just sunshine, the ring of a far off bell and the occasional squawk of a seagull.
I am not a religious person. I go to a Unitarian church for community and some spiritual fulfillment. I like the message. And the message I try to derive from every day lately is, be true to yourself.