Spring has been a rough season around here, with cloudy attitudes despite sunny days. I’ve written a lot complaining about stuff in long, meandering posts like “Failure to thrive in motherhood” and ”
I thought it might be more helpful to post the things that do make me feel good … and inspired to do more things that make me feel good.
How Jessica gets her groove back:
- Adequate, solid, uninterrupted sleep that starts before 10:30 p.m. at the latest
- Time to write. I can make this happen during the week, but when it really scores big points is when it happens on the weekend when I am not also at the same time expected to take care of all three of the children’s meals for the day (and two of their dad’s, and all of mine) and when I am not responsible for all of the housework (to do it or to feel like a failure for not doing it adequately). I’ll take this time as a surprise, but it’s a huge bonus if it’s planned ahead of time and actually goes forward. Huge detractor if it’s planned ahead and doesn’t happen. Huge.
- Time to exercise, do tai chi, and do yoga before others get up and declare they are hungry.
- Time to talk with friends about things that matter to us: relationships, health, our children, social issues, education.
- Closely related to above, time to work in a way that feels fulfilling, like my efforts will benefit others.
- Time outside. If combined with exercise, so much the better. Gardening is good, too.
- Being thanked and being acknowledged, or at least not feeling like a drag or burden to others. Smiles while I’m looked in the eye are great.
- Fresh juice. (Read: the time to wash the veggies, make the juice and clean the juicer before everything dries, all before I get so hungry that I just decide I need protein. Or having juice made for me.)
- Time spent thinking about bigger ideas, as in reading, or listening to quality radio, or watching thought-provoking film or occasionally television.
- Music. There is not enough of it in my life when my husband is not home, and I’m sure I’d benefit from more.
- Yoga class. One time this year so far. Two classes and one weekend retreat all of 2013.
- Eating good food that I made myself is good, but eating food that I didn’t have to make is better, provided I think it’s pretty safe. Most restaurant food will probably have some kind of hidden ingredients and probably cause some kind of issue for me down the line, but it’s still really enjoyable in the moment. Homecooked food I didn’t make but know is safe is divine.
- Doing fun things with my kids that I’ve avoided for one reason or another (usually fatigue or too much prep) but have really wanted to do. Huge bonus when they beam about how much fun they had (without having some kind of meltdown just a few hours later).
- Bodywork! Craniosacral work is huge, and it helps that a neighbor of mine who is studying acupuncture has been willing to needle me at my house (and that her son is so great at entertaining my children!) Massage is lovely as well but often reminds me how out of shape I am.
I think it would do wonders if I could spend two weeks away from my family getting daily bodywork and having someone else cook and juice for me, and give me time to do some of the things above. And when I say do wonders, I mean like add years to my life. I’m already pretty lucky, and privileged, I realize. But we can all have fantasies, right? Some people might want fancy trips to far-flung locations or nice cars, or high fashion.
Me? Caretaking is really all I want.
I am not good at accepting help in my regular life, and I often feel like asking for it takes so darn much time that I just give up. So a real vacation would be one where it was assumed I just wanted to be treated like the vulnerable — but eager! — person I really am.
This post was written a few weeks ago. In the interest of not having it sit in my queue for a million years, I’m posting without polishing. First and foremost, this blog is an outlet for me and a record to track how I’m doing. So I need this live or I’ll forget it’s how I was feeling!