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I’ve developed a proclivity for habits my (naïve) pre-baby self would have deemed nonsensical. I’ve tried many forms of therapy — self-hypnosis, journaling, and chocolate (hoping to replace one habit with another), but nothing seems to kick my motherly addiction to the following …
1. Talking about baby’s bodily fluids, to everyone, even the nice teenage grocery store clerk who asks me how my day has been.
(The following is not a 100% true story, but based on reality, don’t tell anyone.)
This morning, on this day of Not-The-Weekend, 2015, we will stay in our pajamas and eat whatever refined sugar treat we can find in the freezer.
If you can find it on my tablet thingy, you can watch that episode of that animated show you’ve seen approximately 1,256 times, 15 more times.
We will not engage in any preplanned physical activity, and say that we did.
We will close the curtains, turn the rain sound machine on, cozy up under the covers, and pretend we can’t do anything productive because it’s raining.
We will put two sticks of butter out to soften, in preparation of burning some baked goodness, then lose motivation and make something easy out of the crescent roll dough sitting in the fridge from Thanksgiving.
I won’t gripe at you for yanking all my “perfectly ironed” clothing down from the closet, creating a pile, and using it as a makeshift mound of leaves; I’ll even join you.
(We were having too much fun to take a photo.)
If one of our mommy-baby couple friends knocks on the door, stopping by for an impromptu visit, we’ll hide in the bathroom until we’re certain they’re gone, so they won’t see our chocolate stained faces, semi-stinky pajamas, and happily guilt laden faces.
I’ll hide my phone and only pick it up if Nana calls more than three times.
Because “it’s raining outside” you can use the chalk on that spot of the carpet that was soaked in coffee, or something else, long ago, what’s a little chalk going to hurt?
If we do select to bathe today, we’ll fill the tub with ten times the amount of recommended bubble bath and will summon our impressive fleet of rubber duckies, and have rubber ducky wars. Then, we’ll put our pajamas back on, the dirty ones, if we can’t find any others.
Above all else, we’ll lie when daddy gets home and tell him we’re only wearing our pajamas because we’ve had such a healthfully productive day we’re going to bed early. Luckily, you cannot yet intelligibly talk, so I’ll do the lying thank you.
Today was awesome, you’re pretty cool, let’s do it again sometime.
Sometimes life needs a new look, a pep talk, or maybe a rejuvenating kick in the butt. These life-revitalizing moments might just arrive in the most unusual forms.
Until recently, I’ve been stuck in a rut, a muddy rut that has the consistency of tar-like quick sand. I’m of course able to do laundry, dishes, baby bottom wipes, and other such tasks from this tar-like mud, but I can’t seem to wiggle myself free from the suctioning grasp of ‘stuck.’
No helping hand, stick, rope, or words of encouragement have had much effect, and then, I took a (almost) completely dark shower.
The less than ideal electrical system in our kitchen, which is obviously located right by our one little bathroom (yay for the scent of bathroom mixed with freshly cooked eggs,) can’t handle more than the convection oven and a light. Someone in the kitchen had the audacity to think they could boil water and burn some toast, whilst I was using light to shower, and that was just too much, lights out.
At first I was peeved, and then, when my bristles settled, I realized I could (almost) see and I became one with the newness. From body memory I retrieved the shampoo, the conditioner, the loofah, the soap, the…razor. Dun, dun…. dumb. I tried to shave in the dark; I was (almost) successful. The lights came back on as I nicked myself for the third-ish time. I was half tempted to turn them back off, because I was actually enjoying this new experience, sans nicks.
I could feel my brain being rewired, my synapses firing throughout this simple, yet out of the ordinary, event. I didn’t turn the lights back off because I noticed the water. I actually noticed it, every last exquisite drop, and I was in love (insert cheesy sigh here.) But, really. Had I ever-observed falling water? Like really examined it? No, I hadn’t. It was pretty phenomenal and was preaching mindfulness. My head was usually so full of the cacophony of “you need to do this, but actually you really should be doing that” I rarely had time to give my surroundings even a passing acknowledgement.
After I dressed my wounds from this spiritually fulfilling, yet physically painful, shower, I saw things, like ghosts, kidding. No ghosts, but plenty of details I normally miss when my mind is on the incessant proverbial hamster wheel of ‘what should I be doing after I finish what I’m doing?’
Here’s what I spied, with my two newfound eyes….
Rainbows, everywhere man.
A rainbow pouring through the water jug on the counter and spilling onto the tile below.
A rainbow shooting through the little crystal this hippie has hanging on the living room window, and splashing onto the adjacent wall.
A flash of a rainbow jutting out from our stained glass wind-chime dancing on the porch.
A rainbow materializing on the baby’s arm via the markers he was holding.
Life, like whoa.
I saw, and felt, life everywhere.
Life coursing through me.
Life in the (usually annoying) ants covering my banana from breakfast.
Life in the crows taunting the squirrels with empty nutshells outside (ha!)
Life in the water flowing through our rock fountain that had miraculously ceased making a high-pitched whirring tone.
Life in my baby who had moved from the markers to removing his own poop-filled diaper; not an easy task, that takes life, yo.
Simplicity, in all the hectic places.
Simplicity in the pile of toys that didn’t need to be picked up that instant.
Simplicity in the phone that could be turned off.
Simplicity in the dishes that were cool to hang out on their own a bit longer.
Simplicity in my ability to just be.
Simplicity in the pure love I have for my child, regardless of the trail of poo and marker he was leaving in his wake.
Light, filling every corner, even the dark ones.
Light in the dust dancing around my head.
Light glistening on succulent leaves that were thriving, despite my inability to figure out their proper watering schedule.
Light in the eyes of my child who just discovered how to open the latch of the baby gate, bingo.
Unicorns. Just kidding, maybe.
There was color, life, glorious simplicity, light, magic and love swirling around me, offering me a hand out of the mud, but I had never accepted it, I hadn’t even seen it. As the internal fog lifted, I was elevated up, out and into a clear new state of being. I was no longer stuck and I could see.
A simple event, that at first thought seems supremely inconvenient, has the potential to transform our perceptions, our life, and our light, if we leave ourselves open to the possibilities.
Let’s take a moment to put a new spin on a seemingly rote task, we might just open our life to magic.
Let’s take the constraints away from how we should be living and infuse some unconventionality into our behaviors; we might just open our life to revelation.
Let’s take that seemingly annoying power outage and become open to internally illuminating our life.
Here’s hoping the electricity shuts off while we’re taking our next shower!